The Global Action Week for Education 2017 is being observed from 23rd to 29th April. The theme for this year is ‘Accountability for SDG 4 and Citizen Participation’. CBM and its partners in India will be holding a number of outreach and awareness activities across its projects working on inclusive education for all to mark the Global Action Week for Education 2017.

The Global Action Week for Education  2017 is focusing on ensuring accountability for the right to quality education as mandated in the Sustainable Development Goal 4.

The Week is led by the Global Campaign for Education, and provides everyone campaigning for the right to education with an opportunity to make targeted efforts to achieve change on the ground, with the added support of millions of members of the public worldwide joining together for the same cause.’

The SDG Goal 4 states that ‘education… should be public, equitable, inclusive and free’.

CBM and its partners in India will be holding a number of outreach and awareness activities across its projects working on inclusive education for all.

Collective accountability

The SDGs need a long-term commitment but we must start working to put in place, financial resources, capacities and participation processes to create a tangible action plan towards achieving education for all.

This year, the Global Campaign for Education is calling for actions to:

  • Develop, fund and implement credible plans for the full set of targets for the education SDG (SDG4)
  • Strengthen public systems and state capacities to ensure that education is free, quality, and equitable
  • Ensure that there are credible, transparent mechanisms for the participation of civil society in monitoring and accountability for the SDG4 agenda.

CBM India is collaborating with the National Coalition for Education for a culmination event on May 1, 2017, to prepare a set of recommendations on way forward for reaching the commitment made.

There will be a number public engagement events and conversation on social media to underline the theme and related discussion especially on the financing of education for all.

Inclusive and mainstream

Children with disabilities are more likely to be out of school than any other group of children; even if they do attend school, children living with disabilities are often more likely to drop out and leave school early.

(Source: #CostingEquity – The case for disability-responsive education financing)

The number of children with disabilities between the ages of 5 to 10 in India is estimated to be 2.36 million, but only 1.72 million are enrolled in elementary school.  The District Information on School Education (DISE) reports that the proportion of enrolment of children with disabilities at the primary level to total enrollment was 1.18% and dropped to 0.90% for the upper primary level in 2012-13.

Children with disabilities have a right to study and learn alongside their non-disabled peers in a mainstream school. This is not just a non-negotiable entitlement but is also linked to their participation and creation of an inclusive society.

CBM advocates for the right to free and equitable education with a specific focus on inclusion of children with disabilities.

Through its Include Vidya campaign, CBM works closely with the government of India and Sarva Shikha Abhiyan (SSA) to promote inclusive education in government schooling system across India. CBM’s main focus is on curriculum development, training teachers on inclusive classroom methods, developing teaching-learning materials, continuous monitoring of the training to the teachers with a regular feedback on the same to the district education department and also supporting Governments to make their mainstream schools accessible for children with disabilities.

Financing for inclusive future

One of the key aspects of the discussion around education for all is about financing, especially for inclusive and lifelong learning for children with disabilities.

“Global funding for education is declining with governments and donors not prioritising education investment (Education Commission Report, 2016). When allocated, it is neither tracked efficiently nor is the data disaggregated according to gender, age, and disability. The same applies to humanitarian aid for education.”
(Source: #CostingEquity – The case for disability-responsive education financing)

#CostingEquity report is part of IDDC research into the financing of inclusive education for children with disabilities. The report looks at the benefits of financing disability-inclusive education, the current state of education financing with regard to inclusion, and what needs to change in order for education financing to effectively support the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

CBM works with partners, members of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) as well as UN bodies, Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and others to advocate for inclusive education for all, including learners with disabilities.