Inclusive education

GPE helps make education more accessible and equitable, including for children with disabilities

Despite dramatic improvements in access to school over the past decades, many children are still excluded from learning in safe, healthy and non-discriminatory environments. They include children with disabilities, and refugee and internally displaced children.

Children with disabilities are less likely to start school and if they do, they are unlikely to transition to secondary school. Their access to school is often limited by a lack of understanding about their needs, and a lack of trained teachers, classroom support, learning resources and facilities.

Children with disabilities are also at significantly increased risk of violence compared to children without disabilities.

Denying children with disabilities their right to education has a lifelong impact on learning, achievement, and employment opportunities, hence hindering their potential economic, social and human development.

Inclusion means transforming schools so that they can respond to the diverse needs of all children – ensuring that they are not just present in the classroom but also safe, participating and learning.

Making schools safe, healthy and inclusive is a priority area of GPE 2025, the partnership’s strategic plan. GPE promotes the mainstreaming of equity and inclusion in all policies and plans to ensure that all children enjoy their basic human rights without discrimination.

Increased equity, gender equality and inclusion in education are fundamental to GPE’s mission.

Our results

of partner countries
were at or close to gender parity in primary completion in 2019
of partner countries
reported key education statistics disaggregated by children with disabilities.
in GPE funding
supported activities promoting equity, gender equality and inclusion in 2019
More than 80%
of 66 accelerated grants for COVID-19 response
included initiatives that target children with disabilities to ensure learning continuity


GPE in action

Research and data: GPE has supported research and projects on disability, school health (including screening for disability and provision of eyeglasses), school-related gender-based violence, and refugee children. Additionally, GPE supports national governments to strengthen education data systems, including efforts to disaggregate data by disability.

Planning, policy dialogue and financing: In partner countries, GPE promotes equity through its support for inclusive planning processes and implementation of inclusive education sector plans.

GPE supports countries to put in place factors such as a rights-based approach and data on disability, that will enable transformation towards a more inclusive education system and ensures that disability inclusion is considered in all activities we fund.

Advocacy: GPE advocates for inclusive education at the global, regional and national levels, supports sharing research and data, and facilitates peer learning on inclusive education.

Supporting countries to implement equity and inclusion activities: Partner countries use GPE grants to train teachers in inclusive education and provide access to equipment and learning materials for children with disabilities such as braille machines, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Equity and inclusion webinars

This series of webinars titled Sharing innovations on making all children count focused on collecting and using data on marginalized groups and education. It covered:

  • identification of disability and measurement of inclusive learning environments
  • the role of community and citizen-led initiatives
  • the use and limitations of new technologies in gathering better data.

A key objective is to convene partners working on these issues and to foster collaboration to hone and apply new ideas.

Access webinars

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Rwanda: Making strides in equity and inclusion
Rwanda is building a knowledge economy which will rest solidly on an educated human capital. With the help of GPE and other partners, the government is making education a priority, especially for young children, girls...