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Education and Disability

Photo: a group of students with and without disabilities

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Education for All: The Cost of Accessibility
[PDF 235KB]
By Edward Steinfeld


Education for All: Including Children with Disabilities
[PDF 188KB]
By Susan Peters

"An estimated 40 million of the 115 million children out of school have disabilities."

"Children with disabilities are likely to have never attended school."

"Fewer than 5 % are believed to reach the EFA goal of primary school completion."

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Universal Primary Education by the year 2015 is one of the Millennium Development Goals. With estimates saying that 40 million of the 115 million children out of school have disabilities, universal primary education cannot be obtained without including children with disabilities.

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Education For All (EFA)

Education For All is based on the fundamental principle that all should have the opportunity to learn. Inclusive education is the education framework for including children with disabilities and was originally based on a principle stating that all should have the opportunity to learn together. This is not a principle universally acknowledged. On the contrary it is the subject of lively debate as it generates questions of a moral and educational nature. In addition, there are practical issues, especially in developing countries with scarce resources and teacher expertise.

The World Bank does not limit its focus to primary education, but includes secondary and tertiary education. Children and adults with disabilities do not only have the right to an education, they have the right to be part of the mainstream education system.

Disability and education involves a strong involvement from community as well as parents in early childhood intervention, the relation between school and health, teacher education, school accessibility and not least the ability to look at disability in a broad context so not only visible disabilities are addressed, but also those of low incidence and visibility, like mental health issues and learning disabilities, that still prevents a person from getting a proper education and, in turn, employment.

Publications and Reports

World Bank Publications

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Last updated: 2009-08-28




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