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20030316 UNICEF Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities


20030316 UNICEF Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities
Lessons From The East Asia And Pacific Region
Every child has a right to education. This has been affirmed by all countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region as signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and several other key international agreements. Quality education is a critical component of child development and a means of
self-empowerment, independence and social integration. Children with disabilities are no exception. They need and deserve educational opportunities as much as other children. In fact, without educational opportunities, children with disabilities face huge barriers to full social and economic participation in society. Lacking adequate educational services and opportunities, children with disabilities will likely grow up to become economically and social dependent and vulnerable to long-term poverty.
Unfortunately, while much progress has been made over the past decade in providing access to education for most children in the East Asia and Pacific Region, children with disabilities have been largely left outside this process. Estimates indicate that for the majority of countries in the region, less than 10 percent of children with disabilities are currently enrolled in school, and in some countries the estimates range as low as 1-2
percent. However, positive trends are emerging.