It is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that “everyone has the right to education.” Education also plays an integral role in social and economic development. It is therefore essential that access to education is available to all, and this is addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals which will run until 2030. Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.”
Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities addresses the need for inclusive education. State Parties to the Convention acknowledge that persons with disabilities have the right to education. Article 24 also states that State Parties must ensure “that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability” and that persons with disabilities are able to access quality and inclusive education with reasonable accommodations when necessary in order to be able to access in an equal manner with others in their community. These inclusive education systems must be geared towards the development of persons with disabilities to their fullest potential, and ensuring that persons with disability are able to freely participate in society.
As one of the grand challenges concerning disability and development, inclusive education requires collaboration and cooperation from a wide range of actors. As part of a joint effort to facilitate the implementation of the CRPD, UNESCO and the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) created a ‘Model Policy for Inclusive ICTs in Education for Persons with Disabilities.’ The main objective of this initiative was promote the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for learners with disabilities. This initiative is an excellent example of how important cooperation is in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing global grand challenges such as inclusive education.
The Model Policy’s main intention is to “assist Member States in the process of developing policy in order to achieve the wider goal of inclusive education across all educational sectors and settings.” This can be so valuable to a state such as Cote d’Ivoire, which I am looking at for my capstone project, which does not have a good history of including persons with disabilities. The Model Policy for Inclusive ICTs in Education for Persons with Disabilities promotes inclusive education further by making the distinction that it can be applied to all learners who may be excluded from education.