Globally, an estimated 93 million children – or 1 in 20 of those aged up to 14 years of age – live with a moderate or severe disability. In most low- and middle-income countries, children with disabilities are more likely to be out of school than any other group of children. Children with disabilities have very low rates of initial enrolment. Even if they do attend school, children living with disabilities are often more likely to drop out and leave school early. In some countries, having a disability can more than double the chance of a child not being in school, compared to their non-disabled peers. In Burkina Faso, having a disability increases the risk of children being out of school by two and a half times. It is, therefore, unsurprising that in many countries children with disabilities make up the vast majority of those out of school. For example, in Nepal, it is estimated that 85% of all children out-of-school are disabled. For those children with disabilities who actually manage to enter classrooms, the quality and form of schooling received – often in segregated schools – can act to powerfully compound exclusion from the mainstream and confirm pre-existing societal notions about disability.

Author Global Campaign for Education