Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education by Ines Renique

As the “ Let Girls Learn” initiative led by the First Lady Michelle Obama and USAID has disseminated, there at currently 62 million girls across the world who are not in school. Without educating such a vast percentage of the population, how can any village, community, or nation ever develop further? Education is the key to success, and without knowing any better, or without knowing about what other women are doing and are capable of doing, how can young girls ever even think of doing something themselves? For many regions in the world, educating women is seen as a waste of time. If a woman is illiterate and told to keep quiet, how will she ever be able to have a positive influence on development? Malala Yousafzai is a perfect example of the need for sustainable education, as she continues to make positive change on her country, or at least to raise awareness as a role model. Development cannot progress without women coming up with solutions and ideas for future betterment right alongside men.

At the MEDD conference, I met Andrew Lange, (Fulbright- Clinton Fellow) who presented on  Inclusive Education and Employment Policies for Persons with Disabilities in Peru and APEC Member Economies.

He shared the unfortunately reality in Peru is a “segregated special education” model for children with disabilities. Forcing children to adapt to the classroom, rather than a classroom adapting to students.Some forms of integrated education, but the public school system classroom is far from inclusive.

But there are some organizations in the world of guaranteeing disability inclusive education. CEBE (Centros de Educacion Basica Especial) for example, which attends to youth with severe intellectual disabilities or those with multiple disabilities from 2-20 years old.

Moreover, Lange is making strides as he continues to develop a demand-driven employment model using the latest national household survey on disability to identify a town or community in Peru with a high prevalence of people with disabilities. With this data he can then target the community for his sustainable education projects.

CRPD’s Article 24 is entirely centered on education and the right to education that those with disabilities have. As outlined in Section 2. B: “Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live”.  And this basic right needs to be guaranteed.