On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated on December 3rd, Aide et Action would like to highlight the need for inclusive education where every child must be taken into account within schools.
“Disability is part of the human condition – virtually everyone, at some point in life, will have a temporary or permanent disability and those who reach old age will experience increasing functional difficulties. Disability is complex and interventions to overcome the disadvantages are multiple and general, varying with context.” This is what states the World Disability Report produced jointly in 2011 by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
95 million children with disabilities around the world
Although this issue is global, it is still poorly taken into account. Although many countries have begun to take action to improve the lives of people with disabilities, much remains to be done. It is estimated that more than one billion people live with some form of disability, or about 15% of the world’s population. Disability disproportionately affects vulnerable populations. In fact, the results of the World Health Survey indicates a higher prevalence in low-income countries than in high-income countries.
Among people with disabilities, there are 95 million children, 13 million of whom have a “severe disability”. They are one of the most marginalized and excluded groups in society, including at school. However, for Aide et Action, no child should be deprived of their right to education. On the contrary, individual needs must be considered.
Develop appropriate support
“The likelihood of children with disabilities to be in school, stay and progress in the school system is lower than for others. There are unfinished educational cycles in all age groups […], says the Report. The integration of handicapped children into the educational system requires changes to the system itself and to schools. The success of inclusive education systems depends largely on a country’s willingness to adopt adequate legislation, provide clear policy guidance, develop a national plan of action, develop infrastructure and capacity for implementation, and allocate adequate funding over the long term. Guaranteeing children with disabilities the same standards of education as other children often means increasing funding. “
Giving children with disabilities the opportunity to learn and build another life, but also to reintegrate society and school systems are part of the objectives pursued by Aide et Action. In Cambodia, China and India, our organization is developing educational programs adapted to these children, such as integrated classes where children benefit from specific teaching methods through which they can hope to reintegrate the classical school path. Creating an inclusive learning environment is essential so that all children, without exception, can study and realize their full potential.