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Education of children with disabilities still insufficiently addressed in India: UNESCO

disabled schoolgirl reading a book in the library at school

New Delhi – More than one in four children with disabilities between ages 5 and 19 in India have never attended any educational institution, while three-fourths of five-year-olds with disabilities are not in school.

A report by UNESCO and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences released on Wednesday recommends structural, funding and attitudinal changes to ensure that no child is left out of the right to education.

“Much has already been done in India for the education of children with disabilities, but with this report we are suggesting a number of concrete recommendations, to take several more steps forward and help the nearly 8 million Indian children with disabilities get their share of an education,” said Eric Falt, UNESCO New Delhi Director.

The Report acknowledges that inclusive education is complex to implement and requires a fine understanding of diverse needs of children and their families across different contexts. India has made considerable progress in terms of putting in place a robust legal framework and a range of programs and schemes that have improved enrolment rates of children with disabilities in schools. However, further measures are needed to ensure quality education for every child so as to achieve the goals and targets of Agenda 2030 and more specifically Sustainable Development Goal 4.

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