Sightsavers welcomes UK government’s commitment to invest in inclusive education

February 2018
A blind schoolboy smiles alongside his classmates in Bangladesh.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has committed to ensuring that more children with disabilities are able to get an education.

The DFID’s new ‘Get Children Learning’ policy, published today, sets out how it will invest in education for the next five years. It focuses on three main areas:

  • improving teaching
  • reforming education systems and
  • increasing targeted support for the most marginalised children.

The policy recognises how important it is to support children with disabilities so they are able to go to school and receive a good-quality education. Crucially, it also recognises that reform to education systems must be carried out so it improves learning for all children, including those with disabilities.

Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign has been calling on DFID to prioritise people with disabilities in all of its work. The new education policy is another step in demonstrating DFID’s leadership in this critical area.

Sightsavers welcomes the policy’s recognition of the importance of early childhood intervention for children with disabilities, and the DFID’s commitment to work with governments to expand the most successful approaches so they reach children with disabilities and give them the best start in life.

The policy also calls for a united effort by national and international leaders to address the challenge of quality education and ensure that those who have been excluded from education are not left behind.

DFID must now take steps to translate this policy into practice in its programmes, and in the work of its partners. This includes ensuring that DFID-supported programmes and plans feature budgets for the inclusion of children with disabilities.

A group of visually impaired girls wearing Sightsavers tracksuits, laughing.

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