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Inclusion and education: All means all. Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report 2020

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT TEAM
June 2020

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The 2020 GEM Report assesses progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG agenda. The Report also addresses inclusion in education, drawing attention to all those excluded from education, because of background or ability. The Report is motivated by the explicit reference to inclusion in the 2015 Incheon Declaration, and the call to ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education in the formulation of SDG 4, the global goal for education. It reminds us that, no matter what argument may be built to the contrary, we have a moral imperative to ensure every child has a right to an appropriate education of high quality.

The Report also explores the challenges holding us back from achieving this vision and demonstrates concrete policy examples from countries managing to tackle them with success. These include differing understandings of the word inclusion, lack of teacher support, absence of data on those excluded from education, inappropriate infrastructure, persistence of parallel systems and special schools, lack of political will and community support, untargeted finance, uncoordinated governance, multiple but inconsistent laws, and policies that are not being followed through.

Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education for Tanzania (PPPIET) – Foundation Phase : Report on Participatory Research to Inform Design of New Inclusive Education Model in Tanzania

JUDGE, Emma
June 2020

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The Disability Inclusive Development (DID) consortium, a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded initiative, is working together on the Pre-Primary and Primary Inclusive Education in Tanzania (PPPIET) programme whose ultimate goal is to foster quality sustainable inclusive education for all children with disabilities at scale across Tanzania in mainstream pre-primary and primary government schools. To achieve this, it aims to support collective, coordinated systems change by establishing an agreed common model of basic inclusive pre-primary and primary education in mainstream government schools, and galvanising significant progress in spreading its systematic implementation for all children with disabilities across Tanzania. 

 

This task requires the cooperation of government, civil society and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to achieve real change.  No single organisation or government department can achieve inclusive education on its own. Pooling the skills and resources and exchanging learnings to achieve quality inclusive education of children can help all involved. Working together will build collective commitment and action, not just amongst DID consortium members but also across government, donors, education actors and the private sector. 

 

Part of this process was to conduct a participatory field research to gather evidence on the current provision of support services needed for inclusive education and identify gaps that need to be filled in the future. The exercise also served to identify key challenges that need addressing to facilitate the removal of legal, policy, systemic, physical, communication and language, social, financial and attitudinal barriers. The findings from the research were intended to identify the priority components that need addressing in the design of an inclusive education design model and the drivers of accountability, i.e. the agencies/stakeholders responsible for implementing the required system changes.

 

Summary of key findings

The Government of Tanzania has continually demonstrated its support and commitment to inclusive education evidenced by the many comprehensive policies for inclusive education, including the National Inclusive Education Strategy (NSIE) 2018 – 2021.  Through these policies, it is actively working to improve the educational environment but the journey is long and requires significant system changes for the policies to be effectively implemented, which needs collaboration, cooperation, planning, and strategic resourcing across multiple ministries, NGOs, DPOs, and the private sector. 

 

To achieve inclusive education, a rights-based approach to education needs to be adopted, focusing on identifying and removing the barriers to access and quality learning for every child, including appropriate infrastructure changes in schools, changing attitudes, and providing additional support to girls and boys with disabilities through learning support assistants.  There also needs to be a fundamental shift towards child-centred pedagogy in teacher training and curriculum development to meet the needs of all learners, including having a mandatory module on inclusive education in all teacher training curricula.  Over time, this will help develop teachers’ confidence and positive attitudes towards teaching children with disabilities and achieve impact at scale.  Strengthening the capacities of all teachers, improving classroom management, increasing awareness about inclusive education for all stakeholders, and improving access to screening and early identification, health, rehabilitation services, and affordable assistive devices are all contributing factors to achieving inclusive education in Tanzania.

 

Systems change to improve learning and support for children with disabilities takes time and requires a significant investment of resources and budget allocation by government and service providers.  However, inclusive education can be cost-effective compared with the cost of segregation and special schools, particularly where ministries work together to ensure a more ‘strategic allocation of existing funds, promoting universal design and co-operation agreements among multiple ministries’.   Developing partnerships with the private sector to improve the physical infrastructure of schools and access to affordable assistive devices can also help reduce the cost of inclusion.

 

Inclusive education is a cross-cutting issue that requires the commitment and accountability of multiple stakeholders across government ministries to ensure its effective implementation.  This includes the MOEST, MOHCDGEC, MOFP, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG). 

 

It is anticipated that to achieve successful implementation and scaling up of the model design for inclusive education, there will need to be a systematic and phased approach to implementing the recommendations in this report over the short, medium and long term.  It is acknowledged that this process will take considerable time to implement and can only be successfully achieved over a period of years with the support and increased understanding of all stakeholders.  There is no quick-fix solution to inclusive education.  It requires changing long-established systems and adjusting services, including health and education, training, and attitudes.  There is also no financial short cut. 

 

However, while some recommendations require significant investment, others can be achieved in the current context without significant monetary investment.  For example, changing the curriculum for all teacher training to ensure inclusive education is included as a standard module will help transform the approach of teachers and the inclusion of children with disabilities in learning.  Raising awareness of inclusive education for all stakeholders, including policy-makers and implementers will also help increase understanding of the long-term system changes required and reduce stigma and discrimination.  Inclusive education can only be achieved in an inclusive society and it needs collective effort from the government, parents, community, and all stakeholders for effective implementation.

Estimated prevalence of disability and developmental delay among pre‐school children in rural Malawi: Findings from ‘Tikule Limodzi’, a cross‐sectional survey

MURPHY, Rachel
et al
January 2020

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This study measured and compared the prevalence of disability and developmental delay among children attending preschool centres in rural Malawi. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 48 preschool centres in Thyolodistrict, Malawi. Data were collected from parents or guardians of 20 children per centre. Disability was ascertained using the Washington Group/UNICEF Child Functioning Module. Child development was measured using the language and social domains of the Malawi Development Assessment Tool. A total of 960 children were enrolled; 935 (97.4%) children were assessed for disability and 933 (97.2%) for developmental delay; 100 (10.7%) children were identified as having a disability

 

Child Care Health Dev. 2020;46:187–194.
https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12741

Summary Report. LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND Invest in the early years

WALKER, Jo
BABOO, Nafisa
September 2019

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A summary overview of the findings of a study led by LIGHT FOR THE WORLD with its partners, supported by the Early Childhood Program of the Open Society Foundations. The aim of the study was to uncover the trends in aid for inclusive Early Child Development (ECD) for 2017. It further identified strategic commitments to ECD, as reflected in policy documents up until 2019. The research examined donors’ spending and commitments in three key areas: early childhood development; inclusive early education and pre-primary; and disability-inclusive early childhood development investments in the sectors of health, nutrition, education and sanitation.

 

This study presents a baseline on donor investment in ECD services in low- and middle-income countries for the children who are traditionally left behind. It draws lessons from six bilateral donor countries – Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) – as well as the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), European Union (EU) Institutions, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank. Donor advocacy briefs for each of these donors are provided.

 

The study focuses on donor contributions to scaling up ECD services in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe

State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with disabilities

RAMCHAND, Mythili
et al
July 2019

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The past twenty years in India have seen significant legal and political commitments towards universalization of education and the right to education. This report documents the considerable effort undertaken in the country to protect the right to education of children with disabilities (CWD) and outlines what remains to be done to achieve its full realization. 

The report is based on extensive research of national and international literature and attempts to provide comprehensive information on the current status of education of CWDs, evidence of achievements and continuing concerns. It extensively draws upon a series of thematic research studies between 2017 and 2018. 

The report has taken a participatory approach with contributions, in the form of case studies, from specialists and those working directly in the field. 

Adapting and pre-testing the World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training programme for autism and other developmental disorders in a very low-resource setting: Findings from Ethiopia

TEKOLA, Bethelem
et al
May 2019

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The World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training programme for children with developmental disorders or delays teaches caregivers strategies to help them support their child’s development. Ethiopia has a severe lack of services for children with developmental disorders or delays. This study explored the perspectives of Ethiopian caregivers, professionals and other stakeholders to inform adaptation and implementation of the World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training in Ethiopia. Data collection included (1) a consultation and review, comprising stakeholder meetings, review of draft Caregiver Skills Training materials and feedback from Ethiopian Master Trainees and (2) a pre-pilot including quantitative feasibility and acceptability measures and qualitative interviews with caregivers (n = 9) and programme facilitators/observers (n = 5).

 

Autism 2020, Vol. 24(1) 51–63

https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319848532

Tikule limodzi: Let’s grow together. The impact caregiver training has on children with disabilities in Malawi - Baseline report

MURPHY, Rachel
et al
December 2017

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Tikule Limodzi (‘Let’s Grow Together’) was a three-year (2015 to 2018) multi-agency study that sought to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in community-based childcare centres (CBBCs) in a rural district of Southern Malawi. The main purpose of the project was to explore ways of developing the skills of caregivers to support children with disabilities in CBCCs through the use of inclusive strategies and resources. This mixed-method study also sought to share evidence that will aid the Malawi government and other stakeholders to better understand the complex dynamics that ‘enable’ or ‘inhibit’ quality early childhood development (ECD) for children with disabilities. 

This report presents the baseline pre-intervention data from a cluster-randomised controlled trial (CRCT) of a caregiver training intervention targeting CBCCs in Thyolo district in the Southern Region of Malawi. The trial involved 48 CBCCs randomly allocated to the control and intervention arms (24 CBCCs each). The training (intervention) consisted of a two-week training programme based on the basic National ECD Caregiver Training Programme, with additional modules on how to improve the inclusion and participation of children with disabilities in CBCCs. The baseline data was collected between December 2016 and May 2017. The aim of the trial was to measure changes in child development outcomes (equal to actual age), school readiness, caregiver satisfaction and motivation, changes in CBBC environment and routine and structure, as well as caregiver retention.

Entering the SDG era: What do Fijians prioritise as indicators of disability-inclusive education?

SPRUNT, Beth
DEPPELER, Joanne
RAVULO, Kitione
TINAIVUNIVALU, Savaira
SHARMA, Umesh
2017

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Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 is to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and the targets and indicators for SDG 4 emphasise the importance of measuring outcomes for children with disabilities (United Nations, 2015b). This paper reports on findings from qualitative research investigating Fijian stakeholders’ priorities for measuring success of efforts within a contextually and culturally meaningful process of disabilityinclusive education; that is, achievement of SDG 4 for children with disabilities. The priorities are presented in light of the specific challenges in Fiji to fulfilling this goal. The research presented in this paper is one part of a much larger mixed method study funded by the Australian aid program that aimed to develop and test indicators for the education of children with disabilities in the Pacific (Sharma et al., 2016). Fijian researchers with lived experience of disability undertook key informant interviews and focus group discussions with 28 participants. The findings include the need for or role of: an implementation plan and resourcing to ensure the national inclusive education policy is activated; improved awareness and attitudes; competent, confident and compassionate teachers; disability-specific services and assistive technology; accessible buildings and transport; and the important role of special schools. Inclusive education reform requires that Fiji incorporates and builds on existing strengths in special and inclusive education to ensure that systems and people are prepared and resourced for inclusion. The paper concludes that targets within SDG 4 are compatible with priorities within Fiji, however additional indicators are required to measure locally-prioritized changes related to barriers which need to be addressed if Fiji is to make progress towards the higher-order targets of SDG 4.

 

Disability & the Global South (DGS), 2017, Vol. 4 No. 1

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

INTER-AGENCY NETWORK FOR EDUCATION IN EMERGENCIES (INEE)

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These resources have been collected to support the provision of education in places affected by COVID-19.

 

Collections provided are: key educational resources; advocacy; child friendly resources; child protection; coordination; country response plans; distance learning; early childhood education; gender; guidance for schools; guidance for teachers; guidance for parents and caregivers; health nutrition and WASH; inclusion; mental health and psychosocial support; recovery.

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