Inclusive education

GPE supports lower-income countries to improve equity and inclusion, so no child is left behind

Despite dramatic improvements over the past decades, progress towards achieving education for all has stagnated, and close to 260 million children, adolescents and youth are still out of school.

Children from the poorest households, from rural areas and from countries affected by fragility and conflict are still more likely to be left behind, as are girls in many countries. Marginalization based on socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, language, religion, disability and location are drivers of education inequality.

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.

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 in the classroom but participating and learning. 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 access to education are fundamental to GPE’s mission.

Our results

of partner countries
were at or close to gender parity in primary completion
25 million
children supported by GPE
between 2015 and 2018
in GPE funding
supported activities promoting equity, gender equality and inclusion in 2019


GPE in action

Research and data: GPE has supported research and projects on out-of-school children, disability and school health (including screening for disability and provision of eyeglasses), and school-related gender-based violence.

GPE supports the development of methodological guidelines on education sector analysis for inclusive education, together with UNESCO-IIEP, UNICEF and the World Bank. GPE is also supporting improvements in education data on disability at country and global level, in partnership with UNESCO-UIS.

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.

Countries have to allocate sufficient domestic funding, especially to primary education, to be eligible for GPE grants, and GPE’s results-based model requires that countries demonstrate results in equity and inclusion to receive their full allocation of funds.

GPE also works with partners to strengthen inclusive education sector policy dialogue through advocacy and social accountability grants and scales innovations relating to equity and inclusion in education through the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX).

Equity and inclusion webinars

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

  • 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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