Call to Action on investing in disability-inclusive education endorsed by CBM

On Thursday 27th April a community of over 40 international and national non-profit organisations are launching a ‘Call to Action on investing in disability-inclusive education.’ This initiative was started by the International Disability and Development Consortium Inclusive Education Task Group as part of the #CostingEquity campaign to galvanise world-wide support for increased financing to realise the right to inclusive education for girls and boys with disabilities.

Over 32 million children with disabilities in low and middle income countries are out of school. Those who are in school are generally educated in segregated settings that do not promote inclusion in their communities and attainment of learning outcomes that would secure them a decent livelihood. The exclusion of these children has a devastating impact on whole societies and economies.

''Multilateral, bilateral domestic and development aid and private foundations in general needs to support disability-inclusive education if we are truly committed to ‘leave no one behind’. We hope this call to action will secure more investment to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in its run-up to the replenishment and the Education Cannot Wait fund for girls and boys with disabilities in countries in humanitarian crisis'', says Sian Tesni – Senior Advisor for Education at CBM and co-coordinator of the IDDC inclusive education task group.

The recent #CostingEquity report by the IDDC highlights some of the poor government and donor practices that need to change and provides solid arguments of why disability inclusive education is a wise and worthy investment. The #CostingEquity campaign aims to set into motion the comprehensive recommendations put forward in the report.

In a joint statement, the IDDC (which includes membership of the world’s leading NGOs working in disability and education in low and middle income countries) calls on governments and donors to significantly step up action and show their commitment to deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals to ensure quality education for all children by investing in inclusive education for boys and girls with disabilities.

“Inclusive education is essential for equity in educational opportunities for all learners from an early age as set out in SDG 4 and UN CRPD Article 24. This approach needs new processes through which the various systems of society such as health services and education are delivered; it means in addition to other requirements, dedicated budgets to support inclusive education. In turn this will ensure the right for learners with disabilities to remain in their communities and to receive the schooling and social supports they need within the mainstream structures available in their communities. To achieve this strong advocacy is needed. Parents, girls, boys, men and women with disabilities and other stakeholders need to be empowered, be involved in programme development; implementation, monitoring and evaluation with communities mobilised and professionals trained in new ways of working,” said David Bainbridge, International Director, CBM.

International NGO leaders endorsed a joint ‘Call to Action to invest in disability-inclusive education’ in which they have agreed to commit to making education for children with disabilities in developing countries a top priority and to advocate for better donor financing for inclusive education. This action is expected to gain momentum and become endorsed by major international non-governmental organisations and their government partners in the global South.

The Call to Action is being launch during Global Action Week on Education, which is aptly themed: Stand up for Education – Time to deliver. It is open to all organisations to sign up.