January 24 is International Education Day. This day celebrates the role of education in promoting peace and development.
Education is a fundamental tool to access other rights and is the path to building a better future in our society, and a door for the participation of all people. Every person has the right to education, and governments are committed to providing quality, inclusive and equitable public education.
Education and Disability
According to the UNICEF report entitled “Seen, Counted, Included,” although people with disabilities have the right to education, it is common for them to find barriers to accessing it on an equal footing with others.
There are more than 240 million girls and boys with disabilities in the world. As an example, we share some hard data with you:
- 42% less likely to have basic knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic;
- 49% more likely to never have attended school;
- 47% more likely not to attend primary school, 33% more likely not to attend lower secondary, and 27% more likely not to attend upper secondary;
- 51% more likely to feel unhappy;
- and 41% more likely to feel discriminated.
What can you do?
Children with disabilities should not be the only people fighting for inclusive education. Below, we share three actions to make inclusive education a reality:
- If you have children or relatives with one or multiple disabilities, get involved in their education. If it is in your hands, offer them support in their studies.
- Eliminate stigmas! Talk to your children about discrimination and how to prevent it.
- Spread the word! The more of us who are aware of the challenges that people with disabilities face to receive inclusive and quality education, the more pressure we can exert to change this situation.