110816 Barriers to education for children with disabilities in Nepal

110816 Futures Stolen: Barriers to education for children with disabilities in Nepal

Human Rights Watch

There are 120 to 150 million children with disabilities under the age of 18 worldwide. UNESCO estimates that children with disabilities represent more than one-third of the 67 million children who are out of school worldwide. In some countries, the chances of a child with a disability not attending school is two or three times greater than a child without a disability.

There is no clear data on the total number of children with disabilities in Nepal and how many of them are out of school. Based on the government’s conservative figures from a 2001 analysis, there are, at the very least, 207,000 children with disabilities in the country.

The Government of Nepal and the United Nations acknowledge that, while Nepal has made important progress toward achieving universal primary education as part of its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), children from marginalized communities, such as children with disabilities, represent a significant portion of the approximately 330,000 primary school aged children who remain out of school in Nepal.

Although in theory the government promotes an inclusive education policy, in practice, it supports a system of segregated resource classes designated for children with disabilities in mainstream schools and separate schools for deaf, blind and children with physical and intellectual disabilities. This report is the outcome of interviews carried out between February and July 2011 with nearly 100 disability advocates, teachers, government officials, and children or young people with disabilities and their families in Nepal. It examines the barriers faced by children with disabilities in obtaining an inclusive and quality education.