Norway supports new initiative to strengthen education for children with disabilities

Norway has entered into a partnership with the UK authorities and the World Bank to promote inclusive education. Norway will provide NOK 50 million over a three-year period to an initiative designed to strengthen efforts to ensure global education for all children, including children with disabilities.

 ‘Norway has made a commitment to promote the rights of disabled people both under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and under the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. We are now translating this commitment into action. The new initiative will help to ensure that children and young people with disabilities all over the world have better access to education,’ said Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup.

According to the World Health Organization’s World report on disability, there are around one billion people with disabilities in the world, and four in five of these live in developing countries. In its 2016 report, the Education Commission estimated that 65 million children of school age in developing countries have disabilities, and that at least half of these are out of school.

The Inclusive Education Initiative (IEI) will give children and young people with disabilities better educational opportunities. Among other things, it will seek to ensure that curriculums take the needs of children with disabilities into account, improve statistics, and enhance research in this area.
Strengthening inclusion of vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities, is a key element in the Government’s efforts to promote human rights.

‘Increasing the number of children who receive an education and improving the quality of education are two important goals in Norway’s development policy. We are seeking to ensure that all children have equal opportunities to start and complete school. The new initiative will be important for this work,’ said Mr Astrup.

The Inclusive Education Initiative was launched in London on 25 July, by the Norwegian Authorities, the UK authorities, and the World Bank, which will host the ETI. The launch took place during the Global Disability Summit 2018, which was attended by more than 700 representatives of the authorities, civil society, the business sector and academia. The Director General of Norad (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation), Jon Lomøy, represented Norway.