Power helps children with disabilities go to school.

Some UN estimates suggest that 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school and that more than 95% of girls with disabilities are illiterate. Those children who do attend school face significant challenges and many drop out early. Children who are not attending school are largely left to their own devices and face a life of severely limited prospects, often confined to dependency and poverty.

This is why education for children with disabilities is a core theme of Power's work.

Education is a fundamental human right and is widely recognised as critical to developing human capital, improving economic opportunities, and enhancing individuals’ capabilities and life choices. Governments of all countries that have ratified the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), have a binding legal obligation to provide education to children with disabilities on an equal basis with other children.

POWER is working with its partners to get children with disabilities into school by reducing barriers to education, improving access, and ensuring that legal obligations under the CRPD are enforced and become a reality.

Our work suggests that the main barriers to children with disabilities accessing education include:

  • Schools failing to recognise and accommodate the needs of the children with disabilities.
  • Parents not realising that their child with a disability has a right to education; that they have a responsibility to prepare their child through socialising and play; and their role is to act as advocates for their children’s education.
  • Civil society in poor countries lack the capacity to support children with disabilities and their families; and lack capacity to lobby governments and hold individual education establishments to account for effective delivery of education to children with disabilities;
  • Governments and policy makers do not have information and systems that can reach those children who fall out of the school system, and often lack the political will to champion ‘Education for All’.

POWER works to address these key issues. It builds the capacity of our partners as to: exert more influence and hold individual schools and government to account in delivery effective education for CWD; to raise public awareness of the rights of children with disabilities and the importance of inclusive education policy and practices; provide governments with evidence-based information for effective development of policy and practical actions; to drive forward an agenda for legal and practical change to secure education for CWD.

Relevant Programme Experience
Further details of our education work can be found in programme links below.

  • Malawi: Promoting Inclusion of Children with Disabilities into Basic Education (Situation Analysis, Sept 2013)
  • Zambia: The Disability Education Access Rights Project. 2009-2013 (DEAR) (Project Evaluation, Sept 2012)
  • Lao PDR: Improving Access to Education for Children with Disabilities in Oudomxay Province. 2009-2013 (L-AECD)
  • Mozambique: Advancing civil society's capacity to monitor and improve access to education for children with disabilities. 2011-2014  (MAECD)
  • Mozambique: Improving access to education and life chances for children with disabilities in Gaza Province. (M-IAECD)
  • Mozambique: Progressing and monitoring education for children with disabilities in Nampula Province. 2008-12. (PaMECD)