Around the world

Global Action Week is happening in countries all over the world: below is a snapshot of activities that are planned to highlight awareness and lobby for quality education for children with disabilities this year.

In Nigeria is campaigning for the government to ensure quality education to children with disabilities, specifically the training and deployment of more teachers for disabled children as well as provision of adequate data for education planning purposes. The campaign will also raise awareness on stigmas and the need for attitudinal changes about disabled children.

Campaign activities include an advocacy visit to a special school and a round table meeting.

As the constitution of Pakistan declares that education a fundamental right for every child aged 5-16 years, is demanding that the government develops national guidelines to support inclusive education and to make appropriate changes in curriculum. This will require allocated resources and increased capacity, resources and leadership to implement national plans on inclusion. In addition PCE is demanding improved data on disability and education and increased accountability on actions taken.

Campaign activities include a banner campaign, whereby the demand for inclusive education as part of the right to education will be displayed on large on all main roads/chowks (locations/intersections) of major cities and districts; child-led demonstrations and rallies for the implementation of the right to education in 50 districts; and more broadly a national-level consultative meeting on the post-2015 education agenda in the context of Pakistan.

The is hoping thousands of children will be taking part in classroom activities to support education for every child. The coalition is asking children to write and perform songs to ‘sing all children to school’, demonstrating a common voice to support children with disabilities. Schools are encouraged to perform or present their songs to local politicians.

In addition, the coalition has organised three Days of Action in Copenhagen, Aarhus and in Aalborg:

In Copenhagen children and activists will sing loud for the Danish Prime Minister in Christiansborg Palace Square, 8 May

In Aarhus the Day of Action is 7 May in the Great Square

In Aalborg Action Day is on 6 May.

In India, is campaigning for an Act for equal right equal opportunities for people with disability, targeting a cross-section of ministries including the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Ministry of Social Justice, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women and Child.

NCE is organising Global Action Week events in 20 states, working with schools, teachers’ unions and state CSOs, with a national culminating event in New Delhi.

The Romanian Coalition is supporting the policy demands formulated at international level, but is also focusing on specific demands aimed at improving inclusive education on national level.

So far, hundreds of schools have registered for GAW activities (the lesson, case studies of children with disabilities who are in or out of school, letters and messages for the decision makers).

has been extremely supportive at the global level as an active member of the Global Action Week Working Group and has contributed case studies for the GCE report ‘Equal Right, Equal Opportunity: Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities’ and other resources for the use of GCE members.

In Austria, an awareness-raising workshop on inclusion (inclusive education and development cooperation) for journalists will take place at the Light for the World offices on 6 May.

Light for the World has developed a video spot “It’s in your hands. Inclusion now.” This has already been widely spread via online media and shared by different organisations. In Austria it is being screened in 20 cinemas until the end of May.

They have also designed a school mailing with a lesson plan on inclusive education which was sent to around 550 Austrian secondary schools. Education authorities from all Austrian states were informed and asked to send out the materials to local schools.

Finally, Light for the World will be organising a discussion round on the 13th May, working closely with DKA (Dreikönigsaktion – an Austrian NGO on development cooperation), to raise awareness on the necessity of inclusive education worldwide and to include children and people with disabilites in development cooperation programmes.

The Lesotho national education coalition is running a week-long programme of events to raise awareness of the needs of children with disabilities, and to mobilise popular support for the campaign. These events will be held across Lesotho and include community mobilisation dialogues, a public awareness peace march, a consultative workshop from CEF key stakeholders on education and disability, a roundtable discussion including a presentation to the Parliament Social Cluster Committee and a gala dinner to raise awareness of education and disability to partners and the business community. These events will be supported by a public awareness and media campaign, including the issuing of car stickers and flags, radio programmes and inclusion in a TV programme

The is demanding the creation of appropriate legislative frameworks and ambitious national plans for inclusive education and improved data and accountability. There is also a public awareness campaign.

Activities include a consultative meeting with government, sports events, visits to disability centres and schools for children with disabilities and an exhibition on creativity and disability.

has an extensive set of campaign demands, some of which will specifically hold the government to account on the implementation of existing commitments. These include:

  • Ensure facilities for quality inclusive education for disabled people, considering their specific disabilities and the needs of disabled people as per National Education Policy 2010
  • Recruit skilled and trained teachers in every school for disabled children to ensure ‘Education For All’
  • Recruit at least one skilled trainer in each Primary Teaching Institute (PTI) on planned education teaching method for disabled children as per the National Education Policy 2010
  • Develop education materials considering all types of disability
  • Integrate special education and vocational training programmes for all types of disability and ensure accessibility for disabled people in existing education and training programmes
  • Separate budget allocation for the education of disabled people.

National-level events include a consultation on Skills, Development and Workplace of disabled people;
the publication and dissemination of posters and leaflets focusing on demands for education of disabled children; open appeals in daily newspapers; broadcasting news and an online talk-show focusing on Global Action Week and the hand-over of a memorandum to the government and international agencies.

Local level events, working with members and partners, include discussion meetings, parents’ events, round tables, press conferences, mass gatherings, drawing competitions, cultural programmes, sports, rallies, debate competitions, education materials exhibition and press briefings.

To conclude the week a national-level sharing meeting will be hosted with invited policy makers.

The is advocating for an inclusive and quality education for all, focusing on policy makers to take into account the needs of disabled children. In particular the campaign wants to ensure disabled children can enjoy learning, and that parents feel responsible educating children with disabilities.

A series of local level events will be taking place, including lectures, debates, cinema broadcasts, public meetings and visits to decision makers.

The is demanding the right of children with disabilities (and in particular girls) to receive a quality, inclusive education without discrimination, to meet their basic learning needs as stated in Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. They are asking for why the government to commit to an education system which supports all children with any form of special educational need, providing the necessary conditions, in all educational institutions.

The coalition will be convening forums and meetings at regional and national level, with the national meeting to be held with mayors and education authorities in Palmira, Valle. The campaign will involve teachers, students and parents as well as policy makers.

The is aimed at encouraging local communities in the partner governorates to mobilise to ensure the development of the educational system for disabled people, and filling the social and educational gaps which obstruct people with disabilities from receiving quality education. The coalition will be working with the media, educationalists and governmental officials on solving problems for disabled people through innovative approaches and participative strategies.

As well as a broad public awareness promotional campaign, the coalition is providing a series of eight targeted training courses for different audiences including civil society, media representatives and head teachers about disabled children’s rights and support strategies.

There will also be 3 advisory roundtables involving civil society, disability experts and parents of disabled children to agree proposals for education legislation and policies. Following this there will be roundtables and meetings with representatives from the Ministry of Education and other politicians to put forward agreed proposals from civil society.

GCE UK’s campaign on disability, , has created a series of materials for young campaigners and teachers, including a schools’ pack and a campaign film featuring one of the UK’s well-known Paralympians, Ade Adepitan, who is also an Ambassador for GCE UK’s campaign.

Earlier this year, two of GCE UK’s Youth Ambassadors took part in a trip to Uganda to find out more about education for children with disabilities in practice, and witnessed the huge difference between disabled children who have received specialist support at school, and those who have not. The Youth Ambassadors have already presented their own accounts to the National Union of Teachers Annual Conference as part of the 2014 campaign.

So far, approximately 2500 schools have already registered to participate in Global Action Week across the UK.

SOLNEFA is campaigning to ensure full participation of people with disabilities in the educational system, as well as encouraging them to directly take part in the advocacy campaign.

The coalition has translated materials and information into local languages to ensure broad public participation. A series of stakeholder meetings and a mass media campaign focused on the benefits of educating people with disabilities are the two key activities in the delivery of this campaign.

The demands of the are for the government to adopt a human rights approach – as opposed to a ‘charitable’ approach – in the provision of educational services for people with disabilities. This includes ensuring that the physical school environment is appropriate and accessible, specific teacher training and the provision of specialist teachers for children with different disabilities, the provision of free education for children with disabilities. Alongside this the campaign aims to strengthen the awareness and responsibility of civil society and local communities for ensuring the delivery of equal rights for people with disabilities.

The strategic plan of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has a goal for educational institutions to integrate people with disabilities by 2020, but there are challenges and obstacles currently standing in the way. More than one third of Palestinians with disabilities (37.6 %) have never attended education: 0.35 % in the West Bank but a staggering 42% in Gaza. More than half of people with disabilities are unable to read or write (53.3%). The Ministry of Education stated in September 2012 that approximately 60% of children with disabilities of enrolment age are not in education.

Campaign activities are broad and include:

  • Local level sub-committees coordinating community-based Global Action Week activities
  • Meetings with young leaders of the General Federation of Persons with Disabilities
  • Awareness workshops and public meetings to raise awareness on the human rights perspective of disability and education
  • Workshops between civil society, the official authorities and the private sector
  • A national conference on education for people with disabilities where papers and policy recommendations will be presented
  • A national central march
  • A mass media campaign making use of billboards, radio and television.

disability campaign will launch with Global Action Week on 4th May, but will continue for a full two months, engaging schools, activists and politicians throughout its duration.

So far, 310 schools have registered to participate, and a huge number of resources including lesson plans, country case studies and promotional materials have been developed as part of the ‘Weltklasse!’ campaign. Activities that will be running include a creativity campaign for young people to demonstrate their awareness of the issues surrounding education for children with disabilities.

CBM is a new international member of GCE which is committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world. Working through national offices and with partners, CBM is running Global Action Week activities in the following countries.

On 7 May, will host the Australian Disability and Development Consortium as they deliver a workshop about inclusive education in development work. Plan Australia and the Australian Council for Educational Research will also be running an event on inclusive education during Global Action Week.

will commemorate Global Action Week alongside 11 other international development organisations and with Burkina Faso’s National Coalition for Education (another GCE member). Activities will focus on both awareness and advocacy. There will be radio and television programmes, public conferences in 12 regions, the production of a documentary film on inclusive education, and opportunities for persons with disabilities who have succeeded in school and in professional fields to share their stories with others.

There will also be a major review of the government’s promises on inclusive education and a meeting with the Prime Minister, as well as a large public ceremony to inquire about access for persons with disabilities to their educational rights. At the ceremony there will also be an exhibition of images and photos, and the presentation of a new media award for exceptional disability coverage at the Prix Gallian 2014 event.

Alongside partners, is looking into the development of television and radio spots, producing a short documentary video on inclusive education, exploring the possibility of developing a show with local artists and comedians, and hosting a live talk on radios with stakeholders such as children with disabilities, children who are members of ethnic minorities, non-governmental organisations, and government representatives. There will also be banners, posters and leaflets to announce the arrival of Global Action Week.

has many exciting, year-long plans focusing on inclusive education. They began with a symposium held in Berlin on 3 December 2013, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, where GCE debuted their “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity” report. CBM is now partners with Oxfam, teachers’ trade unions, UNICEF, World Vision and the German GCE coalition to advocate for supporting replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education (a fund that supports inclusive education efforts); a conference will be held on this matter in Brussels in June 2014.

CBM Germany is working with GCE Germany on the Weltklasse! campaign, and plans to set up a series of action weeks in schools across Germany, spread out over two months. Materials will be distributed to schools, visits will be arranged, and members of the school communities will be encouraged to write their own statements about inclusive education. The launch of these action weeks will occur on Wednesday, 7 May in Berlin. Schoolchildren will be invited to participate in activities, enjoy entertainment, and learn more about inclusive education.

A CBM partner named Adisa has recently reported that they are in the process of joining a national group of government authorities, universities and non-profit organisations that are planning activities for Global Action Week on a national level, and hoping to convince additional organizations to join in.

CBM partners Instituto Psicopedagógico Juana Leclerc, Prepace and Escuela para Ciegos Pilar Salinas are active participants in the Coordinating Educational Network Committee, or COMCORDE, an organization that is dedicating all of their activities this year solely to inclusive education. For Global Action Week, COMCORDE will be sending a document to the Ministry of Education demanding legislative and monetary support for inclusive education. On the same day, there will be an awards ceremony honouring the winning school or organization of a nationwide contest seeking best practices for inclusion; an article about the winners and their best practices will be published in national newspapers. Other noteworthy activities include a city walk and a televised debate between members of government and civil society organizations, in which they will discuss the merits and importance of inclusive education.

will focus on advocating for inclusive education at the secondary level during Global Action Week. They will collaborate with a CBM partner, the Kerugoya School for the Deaf, to address the challenges of transitioning from primary to secondary school for children with disabilities in Kirinyaga county through several events to be hosted during just after Global Action Week (so as to not conflict with the first week of school).

On 6 May at the TSA special education school, a partner of has arranged a day of games and activities under the theme “Celebrating the Gift of Life.” Students in primary schools and high schools, with or without disabilities, will be invited to partake in the day. Other attendees will also include parents, caregivers, political leaders, and leaders with disabilities. There will be team games such as softball and racing, as well as arts and crafts stations. Leaders with disabilities will share their stories with parents, students and political leaders about how education made a profound difference in their lives. All participants (adults and children) will be invited to plant new saplings of fruit trees and plant flowers in the school garden. To conclude the event, each student will bring a rose to give to their parents and / or caregivers as a symbol of love, thanks and trust for believing in their futures.


Other organisations are partnering with GCE during Global Action Week – here is an update on some of their work.

Every year UNESCO lends its strong support to Global Action Week, and 2014 is no different. As well as establishing

for 2014 GAW in four languages (English, French, Spanish and Arabic), they have provided the following useful resources:

  • A video message from the Director-General of UNESCO
  • “Key messages” to facilitate advocacy and media work
  • “Facts and Figures” related to education and disability
  • Bibliography/Resource list
  • Links to other resource materials
  • PPT presentation on GAW 2014 (to be posted soon)

The Assistant Director General for Education, Qian Tang, has sent out personal messages on 2014 GAW to the UNESCO field offices, National Commissions for UNESCO and the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO, so they can prepare their activities at country and regional level. A message also will be sent to the 8000-strong UNESCO Associated Schools Programme network in the coming days.

The UNESCO Global Monitoring Report Team has also prepared a which brings together all of the data on education and disability from all of the previous Global Monitoring Reports. GCE will be using this information as part of our social media campaign during Global Action Week too.

The Latin American Association of Radio Education (ALER) is a partner of CLADE, the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education, and will be producing a series of radio programmes and advertisements to highlight the work of the national Global Action Week campaigns in Latin America as well as to promote supportive and positive perspectives on disability and education. ALER has 83 members across Latin American media and community radio, and national campaigners will participate in the programmes throughout Global Action Week.