New report calls for more investment in education for children with disabilities

Posted on: Wednesday, 19th October, 2016
Abigail from Zambia sits at a desk in her classroom in a wheelchair

A new report launched at the United Nations this week finds that millions of disabled children are being left out of school because too little money is being budgeted for their needs. Costing Equity, a new report by the International Disability and Development Consortium of which CBM is a member, calls on governments and donors to urgently prioritise education for children with disabilities.

The lack of investment in education for disabled children doesn't just impact individual children – it also has an enormous economic impact on societies - with some of the world’s poorest countries economies losing out on billions of dollars each year.  

Hannah Loryman, CBM UK’s Senior Policy Officer said, “The Sustainable Development Goals pledge to provide inclusive and equitable education for everyone by 2030. But without significant change for children with disabilities this won’t happen, and we will have a whole generation of children that are left behind.”

Promoting inclusive education

The report promotes inclusive education as the best method to reach children with disabilities. Inclusive education, where the vast majority of children are educated in mainstream schools, dramatically reduces the number of children out of school, removes learning barriers for all children, can tackle discrimination in society and is considerably cheaper than educating children with disabilities in separate schools.

Key recommendations

 Despite evidence on the benefits of inclusive education governments and donors are not investing sufficient money to make sure that children with disabilities are able to access quality education alongside their non-disabled peers.

Domestic funding is the most important source of education financing, but many governments do not share how much they spend on education for children with disabilities or whether this money is spent on inclusive or segregated education. The report makes a clear recommendation that governments in low-income contexts need to close the gap between inclusive education policy and practice, and provide domestic financing for this.

Donors must also make sure that disability becomes a core component of education funding and invest in research so that we gain a better understanding of exactly what works.

Sian Tesni, CBM’s Senior Advisor for Education who contributed to the report said:

“This report is a collective wake-up call to all of us about the urgency of the situation and how desperately we need to join together.”

Download Costing Equity, the full report.

Read more about CBM's work promoting education for all

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