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Inclusive education for children with disabilities

Globally, there are 150 million children living with disabilities. They are often denied an education because they are the most vulnerable and excluded people in their communities.

HOW ARE CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES EXCLUDED?

Children with disabilities are 10 times less likely to attend school than those without. Even if they attend school, they are more likely to drop out early while the level of schooling they receive is frequently below that of their peers.

Children with disabilities are often unable to go to school because of unsuitable school buildings. In addition, there is a limited understanding within their communities and among teachers about their learning needs, which is often fuelled by prejudices around disability.

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Regional Office - West Africa

HOW ARE GIRLS AFFECTED?

Girls with disabilities experience greater exclusion and injustices as a result of their disability and gender.

They are less likely to go to school and are often considered a burden on the family because they are seen as a non-productive member of society.

Providing these girls with an education that meets their needs can play a fundamental role in addressing the root causes of the discrimination they face.

Tot, 18, from Cambodia was born with one arm. With support from Plan International she was able to stay in school. Now she teaches English to younger children in her community and hopes to go to university. “I love teaching English,” she says. “I’m much more confident.”

HOW IS PLAN INTERNATIONAL SUPPORTING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES?

Plan International is committed to ensuring that every child completes a quality, inclusive education without discrimination or exclusion.

In the last 5 years, our inclusive education programme has supported children with disabilities in 40 countries. We help children with disabilities access primary and secondary schools that meet their needs. We also provide specialised physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and skills training to help children get good jobs or create their own businesses.

Malik at school in Togo
Malik's teachers have been trained to ensure he receives a quality education.

Malik, 6, from Togo, was born with a condition that meant he was unable to walk. Plan International supported him to get the surgery and rehabilitation he needed to make a recovery and go to school. We also trained teachers at his school on working with disabled children. “When Malik was first bought to school, there was a lot of discrimination,” says his teacher, Mr. Koula. “Since we told the students about Malik’s disability, they like him just as we teachers like him.” 

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

Girls with disabilities are kept in the dark about their sexual and reproductive health and often don’t know how to protect themselves against abuse, pregnancy and disease. Our report Let me Decide and Thrive highlights the perfect storm of discrimination faced by girls with disabilities, which leaves many of them totally unaware of their rights.

Read our report: Let me Decide and Thrive