The founder, Cedar Seed Foundation (CSF) and Network of Women with Disabilities (NWD), Ms Lois Auta, has urged international stakeholders in education to prioritize the education of Children with Disabilities.
Auta made the call while delivering her speech at a high-level financing conference held recently in Geneva, which had experts from Germany, Norway, Colombia, Niger and South Sudan, invited to speak and share experiences on Education. The international conference, held in Geneva, was hosted in Switzerland by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and UNICEF.
Lois Auta, the only African with disability guest speaker at the conference, urged the world education stakeholders to believe in children with disabilities and support their education.
She cited Article 24 of the UNCRPD and Goal 4 of the SDG, which gives the right to children with disabilities to be educated. However, she pointed out the alarming situation in Nigeria where, according to an UNESCO report of December 2022, some 20 million children are out of school, with 15% of these numbers being children with disabilities.”
Auta charged the international stakeholders to provide an enabling learning environment for students with disabilities to thrive. She added: “Make schools accessible and inclusive so that children with disabilities will perform better academically among their peers.”
The political and human rights activist listed some of benefits children in general and those with disabilities in particular stand to gain through education thus: “They become the champions for civic participation, they bring development and progress in our countries, they have capacity and competence, they become decision makers and agents of change when they are educated. Education empowers us to live self-reliant and independent lives. Education transforms us”.
At the event, the World leaders announced over US$826 million to Education Cannot Wait and the global challenge to support the education of 222 million girls and boys living in crises. These ground-breaking announcements were made at the ECW High-Level Financing Conference on 16-17 February in Geneva, Switzerland – a vital step in delivering on the global promise of providing education for all by 2030 as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals.