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Education for Every Ability. A review and roadmap of disability-inclusive education in East Asia and Pacific

UNICEF EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
July 2020

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Rapid advances in education provision over the past few decades in East Asia and Pacific has led to considerable progress in integrating out-of-school children and adolescents in basic education. However, children with disabilities continue to face many barriers to accessing and completing quality primary education. While countries increasingly recognize the importance of making education systems more disability inclusive, many challenges remain to realising inclusive education for every child

 

The Education Section of UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) commissioned a review of the progress of countries and UNICEF programmes in the region in advancing inclusive education for children, as part of its continued commitment to enabling equitable access to and participation of all learners in high quality and inclusive education. The mapping has a particular focus on programmes targeted for children with disabilities of pre-primary and primary school age, implemented from 2015 to 2019. 

 

This Report analyzes successes, innovative approaches, challenges, gaps and priorities for action in the region and proposes a roadmap for advancing Inclusive Education in the region

 

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

Family-based activity settings of children in a low-income African context

BALTON, Sadna
UYS, Kitty
ALANT, Erna
2019

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Background: There has been an overwhelming call to improve the understanding of how children develop within an African context as Euro-American definitions of competence have been uncritically adopted as the norm for children in Africa. The activities that children engage in within the family setting are seen as important to understand how children develop within context. The use of activity settings is closely aligned with a strengths-based perspective of family-centred practice and contributes to improved sustainability of intervention.

 

Objectives: This study that was conducted in Soweto, South Africa, aims to describe activity settings that typically developing young children in low-income African contexts participate in.

 

Method: A descriptive design using structured interviews was utilised to obtain information about activity settings that children aged 3–5 years and 11 months engaged in. Structured interviews with 90 caregivers were conducted.

 

Results: Findings show that children participate in a variety of activities with varied participation levels. The types of activities are dependent on the context and perceptions of caregivers.

 

Conclusion: These findings draw attention to understanding activities that children engage in within the family context.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Budgeting of pre-school education for children with disabilities in the municipalities of Elbasan and Korca

KOLPEJA, Vilma
May 2018

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The study on the budgeting of preschool education for children with disabilities was conducted in the municipalities of Elbasan and Korça. It is structured into 5 chapters. Following the introduction (Chapter 1) and the description of the methodology (Chapter 2), Chapter 3 provides the legal and institutional context of inclusive education as well as the crosscutting with the territorialadministrative reform (of 2014) and decentralization. Chapter 4 argues the need for inclusive pre-school education from child rights approach and of longterm economic benefits. This chapter identifies and describes in detail the educational services, rehabilitation services and support services that facilitate the inclusion of children of children with disabilities (0-6 years) in the inclusive preschool education. This chapter provides also information on the number of 0-6 year old children with disabilities, public education structures that apply inclusive pre-school education and the number of children with access to these structures.. Chapter 5 describes and analyzes the funding aspect of inclusive education in the two municipalities under the study.

Building the evidence base in disability : research summary

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR EVIDENCE IN DISABILITY (ICED)
December 2014

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This research summary of presents the aims, methods and key findings from two disability studies in Cameroon and India. The studies developed a comprehensive population-based survey methodology that is compatible with the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), and explored the inter-relationship between the components of this framework

School readiness and transitions

BRITTO, Pia
LIMLINGAN, Maria
July 2012

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A companion to the Child Friendly Schools Manual, this module provides guidance to policymakers, educators, programme professionals and practitioners on how to promote holistic early learning and development. It can be used in several ways, including: as a resource document for early childhood programmes, preparing children and families for primary school entry; and as an advocacy document for promoting school readiness practices in the transition to the early grades of primary school. It is intended as general guidance adaptable to particular contexts and settings.

National plans of action for orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa : where are the youngest children?

ENGLE, Patrice
July 2008

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"There are three reasons for wanting young children to be included in the National Plans of Action. First, as the numbers indicate, there are a substantial number of young children who are orphans and/or vulnerable, but they tend to escape notice. Second, they have specific rights and requirements for care that differ from those of older children...Third, because of the growth potential of young children, the possibilities for effective interventions to prevent long-term negative consequences are greater than at older ages"

Early childhood transitions research : a review of concepts, theory, and practice

VOGLER, Pia
CRIVELLO, Gina
WOODHEAD, Martin
May 2008

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This review surveys major conceptual tools that shed light on different aspects of early childhood transitions. The objectives are: 1) to review major research perspectives on early childhood transitions; and 2) to identify significant trends (and gaps) in the knowledge base of scholarly as well as professional studies

State of the world's mothers 2008 : closing the survival gap for children under 5

SAVE THE CHILDREN USA
May 2008

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This report shows which countries are succeeding - and which are failing - to deliver basic health care to the mothers and children who need it most. It examines where the health care gaps between the poorest and best-off children are widest, and where they are smallest. It also looks at the survival gaps between the rich and poor children in developing countries, and shows how millions of children’s lives could be saved by ensuring all children get essential, low-cost health care

PMI communication and social mobilization guidelines

PRESIDENT'S MALARIA INITIATIVE (PMI)
2008

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These guidelines are help in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes to influence behaviours and mobilise communities to create long-term normative shifts towards desired behaviours and to sustain enabling behaviours around the four interventions of the Presidents Malaria Initiative. These are: * Increased demand for malaria services and products; * Acceptance of indoor residual spraying; * Improved adherence to treatment regimens and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy during pregnancy; * Regular insecticide-treated nets use by the general population, focusing on vulnerable groups including pregnant women and children under five; * Prompt, appropriate treatment with Artemisinin-based combination therapies for children under five within 24 hours of onset of symptoms; and * Community involvement in malaria control

The guidebook nutritional anaemia

BADHAM, Jane
ZIMMERMANN, Michael B
KRAEMER, Klaus
2007

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This guidebook offers a comprehensive summary of the critical issues from prevalence data and statistics, to economics, through to diagnosis, functional consequences and background information on each of the micronutrients believed to be directly or indirectly involved in anemia

Index for inclusion : developing play, learning and participation in early years and childcare

BOOTH, Tony
AINSCOW, Mel
KINGSTON, Denise
2006

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"The Index is a detailed set of materials to help settings increase the participation of young children in play and learning. The Index involves a self-review of all aspects of a setting, drawing on additional help as needed. It encourages the involvement in inclusive development of all practitioners, volunteers, management committee/governors, children, young people and their parents/carers. Actions to assist inclusion are prioritised and a development plan is drawn up, implemented and reviewed using the Index materials. These changes are sustained in the setting as the process progresses annually"
A CD Rom and an Index for Inclusion insert for early years and childcare are available when the resource is purchased from the publisher

Strong foundations : early childhood care and education. EFA global monitoring report 2007

UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION
2006

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Tackling disadvantage and setting strong foundations for learning begins in the earliest years. This fifth edition of the Education For All Global Monitoring Report calls upon countries to expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most disadvantaged children. Such interventions are crucial to improving children's present well-being and future development.through adequate health, nutrition, care and stimulation. Yet the evidence suggests that young children in greatest need, who also stand to gain the most, are unlikely to have access to these programmes. The report argues the even in the context of limited public resources, designing national policies for early childhood carries benefits for the country's entire education system

Strong foundations : early childhood care and education. Education for all monitoring report 2007

United Nations Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
2006

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"This global monitoring report focuses on the first Education for All goal, which calls upon countries to expand and improve early childhood care and education - a holistic package encompassing care, health and nutrition in addition to education. Disadvantaged children stand to benefit the most, yet too few developing countries, and too few donor agencies, have made early childhood a priority." Additional features on the CD-ROM: 1. The report in ten questions 2. Highlights and overview of the 2007 report 3. 2007 summary report 4. Background research papers commissioned for the report 5. Over 90 country profiles on early childhood care and education

Working towards inclusive practice training : a resource to support the delivery of training in Gypsy/Roma and traveler culture for early years settings

MCGEE, Fiona
Ed
2006

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"This resource is intended as a practical toolkit for those involved in delivering training in Gypsy/Roma and Traveller culture for early years settings...This pack provides both training exercises and play and learning activities. By offering both, practitioners not only have the opportunity to participate in training to increase their understanding of the Gypsy/Roma and Traveller community; but also have access to a range of culturally reflective and inclusive activities, which they can then use in their settings"

Prepared for kindergarten : what does "readiness" mean?

ACKERMAN, Debra J
BARNETT, W Steven
2005

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Stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels agree that a child's future academic success is dependent on being ready to learn and participate in a successful kindergarten experience. But it can be difficult to define "readiness". Due to their different prekindergarten education experiences and irregular and episodic development, children enter kindergarten with widely varying skills, knowledge, and levels of preparedness. Parents and teachers also have differing expectations for what children should know and be able to do before starting kindergarten. Furthermore, discussions of readiness do not always include how schools and communities can enhance and support children's kindergarten readiness, no matter what their socioeconomic status, home language background, or skill level. This policy brief addresses what we know about readiness and how it may be improved

Does having a newborn child affect income diversification opportunities?|Evidence from the Peruvian Young Lives study

ESCOBAL, J
et al
2005

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This paper describes the patterns of income diversification of Peruvian households with young children (aged between 6 and 18 months) interviewed during the first phase of the Young Lives study. It "aims to link income diversification strategies to the livelihood asset base and the external context of these households. In addition, it examines the relationship between these income diversification strategies and child wellbeing"

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