By Lui Ming from Save the Children China.
China has around 2.46 million children aged 6-14 with disabilities—but only 500,000 of them are enrolled in schools.
Save the Children is working to get more children in school. Education for All is an amazing project, funded by the IKEA Foundation, which I have been leading since its kickoff in July 2012.
Through this three-year project, 150,000 children in China—including 2,000 children with different forms of disabilities—will receive a basic education.
Although the central government is investing a lot in education, children with disabilities have fewer opportunities than other children to attend basic education. Save the Children is striving to bring equal education opportunities for all children in China.
So far we have been working in 35 primary schools with over 40,000 children, including 600 children with disabilities, and we are supporting seven counties’ education bureaus to set up inclusive education services.
Save the Children advocates for policy development at both national and provincial levels by providing evidence from the field to the Ministry of Education. We also work with universities and schools to train teachers and student teacher in inclusive and special education so that all children, and particularly those with special needs, can benefit from a higher quality education. Last but not least, we organise large-scale campaigns to overcome discrimination and to create a more welcoming and inclusive society.
It is not easy and often very challenging for me and my colleagues to work in the field, but I am confident we will achieve a tremendous change for children by 2015!
All of this would not be possible without the IKEA Foundation’s support. I look forward to meeting the IWitness team in Chengdu, China, and to thanking them in person for helping us through their daily work to bring about change in vulnerable children’s lives here in China, as well as in many other countries around the world.