Global Monitoring Report Education for All 2000–2015 features Young Voices campaigners
9 April 2015
Globally, 121 million children and teenagers are out of school. (That’s almost double the total number of people living in the UK.) And UNICEF estimates that a third of them have a disability.
The reasons are many but include not enough teachers, inaccessible classrooms and the fact many families cannot afford to pay the school fees or a uniform.
Yaaseen Edoo from Mauritius was involved in our Young Voices programme and this year is one of the first recipients of a Queen’s Young Leader Award. But he didn’t get the chance to go to primary school.
‘I was denied a place at school because I am disabled. The school was far from home and not equipped as it had no ramps.’
Instead, Yaaseen got his primary education from a volunteer teacher who visited Yaaseen’s home once a week.
UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report — Education for All 2000–2015, published today, shows that education is becoming a reality for more young people, but on current trends 25 million children — 15 million girls and 10 million boys — will never attend school. Many of these children will be disabled.
Leonard Cheshire Disability works to secure an education for young people with disabilities. We run inclusive education programmes in India, Bangladesh, Zambia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. We are also working to ensure global and national education goals and policies include persons with disabilities, including the post-2015 development agenda. The lessons and recommendations in UNESCO’s report provide clear directions for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Yaaseen and Leroy Phillips from Guyana, two of our global network of Young Voices, highlight the unique challenges and achievements regarding inclusive education in UNESCO’s Youth Report (PDF), also published today.
Leroy succeeded in overcoming huge challenges related to his visual impairment to get an education. Now in his twenties, he interviewed 14-year-old Paula, also from Guyana, for the report.
Paula told Leroy, ‘My dream as a young blind woman is to become a lawyer or a judge. After my secondary studies, I will go to university. I will tell other disabled people, “Don’t let people let you down or let yourself down because of your disability. Believe you can do anything because you can do anything or try to do it.”’
With so many young people still unable to get to school, Eduction for All is encouraging young people around the world to join the #UpForSchool movement using social media and local action to put pressure on political leaders to ensure universal education becomes a reality.