Global Campaign for Education UK applauds new report

The Global Campaign for Education UK, a coalition of over 30 UK-based international charities and teachers unions, applauds the International Development Select Committee’s report released today calling on the Department for International Development (DfID) to urgently step up its work on disability.

It is crucial that children with disabilities can access and complete a quality basic education to avoid facing a future trapped in poverty. Progress to meeting the Millennium Development Goal on universal primary education (MDG 2) has all but stalled, leaving 57 million children worldwide out of school and it is children with disabilities that are missing out most on their basic right to education.

United in their determination to achieve education for all, regardless of disability, GCE UK has been working tirelessly to support DfID and welcomed Minister Lynne Featherstone MP’s initial announcements on the issue last year.

However the Global Campaign for Education UK wishes to stress that:

  • DfID must show much more ambition to ensure that the needs and rights of disabled people become a clear and sustained priority, embedded throughout DfID’s development programmes in order to achieve long term change, even as governments change and key individuals move on.
  • A strong disability strategy with clear targets and timescales are needed as well as a larger team with a senior sponsor and a strong reporting process to ensure accountability. And as the report recommends ‘DFID [should] choose one or two substantial sectors (e.g. health or education), and a small number of countries, to focus on’

Dan Jones, Chair of GCE UK’s Parliamentary Group, said: “We are proud that the UK is the leading donor on basic education and we know that DfID is changing the lives of millions. With Prime Minister David Cameron’s strong commitments on disability as the Co-chair of the UN Post-2015 panel on development, the UK is in an excellent position to lead by example and galvanise international action to achieve education for all, ensuring the rights of children with disabilities are prioritised. We urge DfID to lead the way and live up to the Prime Minister’s promise that we can achieve a world of prosperity for all ”that leaves no-one behind.””

GCE UK is currently preparing an evaluation of DfID’s aid to education for children with disabilities. The report, which will include detailed recommendations for DfID’s bilateral and multilateral education aid, will be published in June 2014.