Background paper for the Oslo Summit on Education for Development July 7th, 2015. This paper covers the four topics of the Oslo Summit: investment in education, quality of learning, education in emergencies and girls’ education. The inclusion of children with disabilities is a moral issue as well as an economic and social issue: the costs of exclusion are significant for both for the individual and for society. Disability inclusion should be mainstreamed in all policies and plans. Accessibility standards should be implemented and supported by international development cooperation. Currently, 1/3 of the 58 million out of school children are children with disabilities. Planning and budgeting by national governments and development partners needs to include children with disabilities. There is an immediate need for inclusive reporting and monitoring, for applying disability specific education indicators as well as a need for systematic collection of disaggregated data on disability, age and gender. Keys to achieving quality disability inclusive education include: requiring minimum standards of accessibility for all schools, including in emergency settings; investment in teacher training; ensuring that learning materials/resources are available in accessible formats and are easily adaptable; investment in assistive technology and devices; ensuring participation of Disabled People’s Organisations in education planning and monitoring.
Barrier-free access refers to universal access for all children to inclusive schools. While there are many barriers that need to be addressed — the curriculum, and teaching-learning practices and materials, among others — to make a school inclusive, this guidebook speci fi cally focuses on infrastructural barriers and provides practical, cost-effective and technical solutions for making the physical environment of a school safe, accessible and friendly for children with disabilities.
During accessibility audits conducted in 500 schools across 16 states in India in 2012-2014, it was found that due to lack of expertise and understanding of access standards amongst construction personnel and school administration, school infrastructure was often barrier- fi lled and unsafe for children with disabilities. This hampered their access to and use of classrooms, playgrounds, libraries, drinking water units, toilets, mid-day meal areas, and other areas.3 This guidebook has been prepared to:
i. Provide guidance on making the school infrastructure accessible for children with disabilities.
ii. Assess school facilities and infrastructure and provide design solutions based on national accessibility standards.
The Out-of-School Children Initiative (OOSCI) aims to support countries in their study and analysis of out-of-school children and children who are at risk of dropping out by using innovative statistical methods to develop comprehensive profiles of excluded children, linking these profiles to the barriers that lead to exclusion, and identifying, promoting and implementing sound policies that address exclusion often from a multi-sectoral perspective. The manual aims to provide concise and powerful tools for achieving this goal.
OOSCI studies are intended to stimulate policy changes and enable governments to target their strategies for reaching out-of-school children. By using a systematic approach to identifying out-of-school children and analysing the associated issues, the studies can guide education sector reforms that will help bring all children into school.
UNESCO together with UNICEF, the World Bank, UNFPA, UNDP, UN Women and UNHCR organized the World Education Forum 2015 in Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 19 – 22 May 2015, hosted by the Republic of Korea. Over 1,600 participants from 160 countries, including over 120 Ministers, heads and members of delegations, heads of agencies and officials of multilateral and bilateral organizations, and representatives of civil society, the teaching profession, youth and the private sector, adopted the Incheon Declaration for Education 2030, which sets out a new vision for education for the next fifteen years.
Towards 2030: a new vision for education
Our vision is to transform lives through education, recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development and in achieving the other proposed SDGs. We commit with a sense of urgency to a single, renewed education agenda that is holistic, ambitious and aspirational, leaving no one behind. This new vision is fully captured by the proposed SDG 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and its corresponding targets. It is transformative and universal, attends to the ‘unfinished business’ of the EFA agenda and the education-related MDGs, and addresses global and national education challenges. It is inspired by a humanistic vision of education and development based on human rights and dignity; social justice; inclusion; protection; cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity; and shared responsibility and accountability. We reaffirm that education is a public good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights. It is essential for peace, tolerance, human fulfilment and sustainable development. We recognize education as key to achieving full employment and poverty eradication. We will focus our efforts on access, equity and inclusion, quality and learning outcomes, within a lifelong learning approach.
Action and commitments required to implement the agenda are presented.
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion