Doors of learning shut on kids with disabilities

2015-08-19 10:10
Enelani, an 8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome from a village near Tzaneen, Limpopo province, shows off two medals awarded at a sports competition. Enelani was moved to an alternative mainstream school after a mainstream school in his village rejected

Enelani, an 8-year-old boy with Down Syndrome from a village near Tzaneen, Limpopo province, shows off two medals awarded at a sports competition. Enelani was moved to an alternative mainstream school after a mainstream school in his village rejected

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An estimated half-a-million children with disabilities have been shut out of South Africa’s education system, Human Rights Watch said in a report released yesterday at a joint event with South Africa’s Human Rights Commission.

The 94-page report, “‘Complicit in Exclusion’: South Africa’s Failure to Guarantee Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities,” found that South Africa has failed to guarantee the right to education for many of the country’s children and young adults due to widespread discrimination against children with disabilities in enrollment decisions.

Human Rights Watch research in five out of South Africa’s nine provinces showed that children with disabilities face discriminatory physical and attitudinal barriers, often beginning early in children’s lives when government officials classify them according to their disabilities. 

Meanwhile, News24 yesterday reported how a mother, Doreen Moloko, is desperate for her Down Syndrome son, Gift, to go to school, but the closest school which is equipped for his needs is simply too full.

"I applied at a training centre in 2012 for Gift, but was told that the school was full," she said on the sidelines of the release of the report Complicit in Exclusion which deals with the country's failure to guarantee an inclusive education for children with disabilities.


Read more on:    human rights watch  |  disabilities

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