Conference aims to promote inclusive education

Kathmandu, December 7

A three-day Global Disability Inclusion conference, which would bring together global experts and representatives from the disabled people’s organisations from over 40 countries, began in Kathmandu yesterday.

The conference aims to increase knowledge, understanding and skills on inclusive education in development and humanitarian settings. This is the second Global Disability Inclusion Conference hosted by Plan International.

Inaugurating the ‘Include Us!’ conference, Minister for Education Dhaniram Paudel said, “I find that organising an international conference on disability inclusion in Nepal is contextual.

We must all work towards creating an equitable society that is inclusive, and support children with disabilities to continue their education by removing existing barriers.”

During the opening ceremony, Sven Coppens, country director of Plan International Nepal said, “Plan International has built up commensurate and recognised expertise to reach out to some of the most marginalised and excluded groups of children in Nepal, including girls and boys living with disabilities.”

Coppens added that Plan International was prioritising inclusive education in Nepal, and was committed to ensuring children’s access to quality education without discrimination or exclusion.

The conference also included a keynote address from Catalina Devandas, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The conference has brought together delegates, partners, technical experts and thought leaders to increase knowledge and skills on inclusive education.

The conference will also emphasise the links between inclusive education for children with disabilities, gender equality and Sustainable Development Goals. Globally, there are up to 150 million children living with disabilities, says WHO and the World Bank.

Girls and boys with disabilities are often denied education because they are the most vulnerable and excluded people in their communities, and are subjected to profound levels of poverty, discrimination and violence.