Developing Countries: Disability

House of Lords written question – answered on 25 April 2013.

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Photo of Lord Browne of Ladyton Lord Browne of Ladyton Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Lynne Featherstone, on 2 November 2012 (Official Report, Commons col. 431W), what evidence suggests that as a result of the millennium development goals more disabled children are able to access primary education.

Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

Evidence suggests that progress on the education millennium development goals (MDGs) has contributed to the substantial drop in the number of children out of school, down from 108 million in 1999 to 61 million in 2010 (UNESCO 2012). There is, however, limited available data on disabled children accessing primary school. It is currently estimated that one third of the children out of school worldwide have a disability and in Africa fewer than 10% of disabled children are in school (UNESCO 2012). We do not, however, have reliable data on how this has changed over time.

Monitoring of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals is highly dependent on comparable and reliable information. DfID is working with partners to ensure equitable access to learning for all, including those with disabilities. For example, the UK is working closely with the Global Partnership for Education, World Bank, UNICEF and Ausaid in supporting disability screening, data collection and developing data collection modules. This work will help ensure support is targeted to those children still out of school as well as those in school but not learning. DfID is also looking at ways to ensure that issues of marginalisation and inequality, including ensuring access to quality education for children with disabilities, are central to discussions on the post-2015 framework.

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