Denying disabled children an education causes lifelong harm.
Without an education, disabled children are deprived of the chance to learn, to explore their talents and to build futures filled with opportunity. Exclusion reinforces separation between disabled and non-disabled children. Exclusion strengthens stigma. Exclusion condemns disabled children to a future of poverty and isolation.
57 million children are out of school around the world, with disabled children disproportionately represented among them.
Education for all.
At ADD International we understand it’s not just about getting individual children into school but about permanently dismantling the barriers that keep disabled children excluded.
That’s why we partner with disability rights activists to tackle stigma and transform attitudes. We work together to empower disabled children and their families to access an education; we work with teachers and schools to help deliver inclusive environments, and together we hold powerholders to account for prioritising financial resources for inclusive education.
In our country, especially in rural areas, people have a negative perception of disabilities. Cultural practices are the biggest problem but also inadequate facilities of learning in school.
Most of our schools, they don’t have skilled teachers on disabilities, there is no infrastructure which is accessible to children with disabilities, so parents they feel that there is no need of taking kids to school.Isaac, Disability Rights Activist, Tanzania
Another element of our work towards inclusive education is research. We worked with children with disabilities to find out about their experiences in education, and come up with recommendations for making it more inclusive.
Project focus: Shule Bora in Tanzania
Shule Bora is designed to improve the quality, inclusiveness, and safety of learning for all girls and boys in government primary schools in Tanzania. Delivered in partnership with the Government of Tanzania, Shule Bora is putting in place lasting reforms that will enable every child to get the best start, to progress through primary and complete their education, giving them the opportunity to fulfil their potential and contribute to Tanzania’s growth and development.
The programme is funded by UK aid and running to 2027, Shule Bora operates at both a national level supporting the government’s education reform programme, and with local government and schools in nine of Tanzania’s regions to improve education. Shule Bora aims to reach 4 million children, half of whom are girls. Reform and innovation will be trialled and evaluated at local level so that proven best practices can be adopted across all primary schools in Tanzania.
ADD International works with organisations of disability activists. They go to the villages to raise awareness about disability rights. They advise the community not to hide disabled children away, but to send them to school instead. Parents are now starting to understand that children living with disabilities deserve an education.Siporah, District Education Officer, Tanzania.
Shule Bora is focused on four outcomes:
- Learning: All children are learning in school.
- Teaching: UK aid supports the strengthening of Tanzania’s teaching workforce.
- Inclusion: All children are in schools that are safe, provide an environment conducive to learning and that this enables children to complete primary education and progress to secondary education.
- Systems building: UK aid supports government in strengthening the value for money of education provision at school, local and national level.