Yesterday, members of the RESULTS Stort Valley group met their MP Robert Halfon to discuss the exclusion of children with disabilities from education throughout the world. Gill Price and James Howells gave Robert a thorough briefing covering the key facts on this issue including:
- 72 million primary age children are out of school
- One third of these are estimated to be disabled
- In Africa 90% of children with disabilities are not in school.
They also handed the MP RESULTS’s recent report ‘DFID, disability and education: bridging the implementation gap‘ which examines what the UK’s Department for International Development is doing to solve these problems and makes recommendations for improvements.
Robert Halfon, who has a disability himself, is deeply committed to the cause of education in the developing world. Each year he spends two weeks teaching at a school in Rwanda, so he was very interested to hear what Gill and James had to say about education systems excluding children with disabilities. He commented:
I’m really pleased to meet James and Gillian as they have raised fundamental issues for access to education for disabled people, not just in the UK, but around the world. Yesterday I made a speech in parliament on World Poverty saying that charity begins at home, but home does not mean geographical boundaries, but global boundaries. We live in a global wolrd where everyone is our neighbour. I am going to raise the issues that James and Gillian have raised over the coming weeks in parliament.
Well done to Gill and James for their excellent work, and we look forward to seeing Robert championing this issue in the Houses of Parliament.