Intersections of Education for All and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Explaining the Conflicting International Cadences of Inclusive Schooling
Keywords:Education for All, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, international educational governance, inclusive schooling, marginalization, disability.
Intersections of Education for All and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Explaining the conflicting international cadences of inclusive schooling): Education for All (EFA) was encapsulated in a series of UN summits and conventions throughout the 1990s. In 2000, governments around the world adopted the Dakar Framework that addressed education for both development and the eradication of poverty. In 2006, changes in the global landscape for those with disabilities emerged with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Although the cadences differ, both the CRPD and EFA clearly identify inclusive education as one of the key strategies to address issues of marginalization and exclusion. Yet only 2 to 3 percent of those with disabilities go to school and, in the vast majority of education systems around the world, inclusive schooling remains extremely limited, if not non-existent.
This paper centers on the CRPD embedded within the universal policy frameworks of Education for All. It explicitly draws attention to contradictions between the universal EFA and the disability-centric CRPD by assessing aspects such as hard-to-reach children, the invisibility of disabled persons on UNESCO’s statistical maps and in development agendas, and increasing segregation. We conclude that although progress of the CRPD is intimately connected to broad global education governance, the treaty is limited in maintaining an effective, proactive position within policy systems where it has constricted formal authority and financing.