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Education

Sightsavers works with local and national partners in our programme countries to promote inclusive, quality education, giving all children the chance to go to school.

A school student raises her hand in class. She's wearing a mask and has an assistive lectern in front of her.

It’s thought that one third of children who do not attend school – 19 million – have a disability.

Despite significant increases in school attendance over the past decade and efforts to reduce gender disparities, children with disabilities continue to be left behind, with girls more likely to miss school than boys.

And when children are denied their right to education, they become trapped in a cycle of poverty and dependence.

Watch the video below for a quick overview of our work on inclusive education.

Our work in education

We work with schools, communities, governments and disabled people’s organisations around the world to ensure children are able to learn and play alongside their peers in pre-school, all the way through to primary and secondary school.

We make schools more inclusive for children with disabilities. We make sure lessons are stimulating and classrooms are as accessible as possible, and we ensure children with disabilities have the necessary equipment, receive specialist support and can learn with their peers.

We promote inclusive education throughout communities. We encourage parents to play an active part in education. ‘Mothers’ clubs’ have been set up in Sierra Leone to make school uniforms for students with disabilities, and community members in Malawi help young children to travel to pre-school using adapted bicycles.

We work with governments to improve education systems. We make sure schools get the support they need: we develop teacher training and help ministries of education collect data on children with disabilities enrolled in their schools, and promote joined-up services by linking health and social services with schools and families.

We work with disabled people’s organisations. We partner with groups across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to ensure people with disabilities have a meaningful say in education decision-making.

80,900
children with disabilities supported since Sightsavers began

How Sightsavers’ education work makes a difference

Leaving no child behind

Our innovative work across the world

India

We’re looking at how children who are deafblind can use assistive technology to communicate and to access information.

Bangladesh

We’re exploring how children with complex needs – such as children who are deafblind – can be included in schools and learn with others.

West Africa

Our research into why girls with disabilities are less likely to go to school is helping us develop strategies to overcome the problem.

Sub-Saharan Africa

UNESCO commissioned us to study education provision for children with visual impairments for a 2020 monitoring report.

We campaign for a fairer world

Learn more

More about education

A boy with crutches sits with his friends in the playground during lunch break at school in Senegal.
Sightsavers Reports

In Senegal, we’re ensuring all children are able to go to school

Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. Your donations are helping to train teachers so they can welcome children with visual impairments and other disabilities into the classroom.

Saio stands outside wearing her school uniform and backpack.
Sightsavers Reports

“I feel good whenever I go to school”

Saio has a physical disability that affects her feet and makes walking difficult, meaning she was missing out on a lot of her education. A Sightsavers-supported inclusive education project has provided transport to take her to school and training for her teachers, which has made a huge difference.

An illustration from the Put Us in the Picture website, featuring a woman with blonde hair wearing glasses next t a colourful wheel of fortune.
sightsavers_news

Sightsavers Ireland’s education site wins Website of the Year award

The Put Us in the Picture website teaches schoolchildren in Ireland about inclusive education and disability in low income countries.

February 2022

View all our education reports, guides and videos

Education resources