Countries lose billions by keeping disabled children out of school, report suggests

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By Luke Barber
Countries lose billions by keeping disabled children out of school, report suggests

Children with disabilities are being kept out of the classroom due to a lack of funds to adequately support their needs, according to research conducted by rights groups.

Many think for example that there's no point investing in their education as people with disabilities can't work.

Nafisa Baboo Adviser for inclusive education at Light for the World

Of the world’s 65 million disabled school-age children, at least have are thought to be losing out on education to their abled classmates, the charity funded research purports to show.

The report, written by the International Disability and Development Consortium and supported by international disability and development organisation Light for the World, was presented on Monday at a United Nations meeting and urges governments to provide better facilities for disabled school children.

Light for the World said that stigma and misinformation about disability is in part to blame for the problem, as well as a severe lack of data on the numbers of disabled children.

“People don’t see them (children with disabilities) as a worthy investment,“ Nafisa Baboo, adviser for inclusive education at Light for the World, told Reuters.

“Many think for example that there’s no point investing in their education as people with disabilities can’t work.”

However, numbers presented in the report show that, in fact, the world’s poorest countries are missing out on billions of dollars worth of potential income through a lack of educational and employment opportunities for disabled children.

“Children with disabilities are constantly left at the very back of the queue, and the impact on both individuals and economies can be disastrous,“ Julia McGeown of Handicap International said in a statement.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030.

Rights groups believe making education more accessible to disabled students would go a long way to achieving these aims.