Does a person with disability have the right to receive free and compulsory primary education within the mainstream educational system?
Persons with disabilities must not be excluded from mainstream education – whether primary or secondary. Mainstream education must be both inclusive and of quality. All necessary support must be provided to ensure full and effective inclusion. This question refers to children and also to adults with disabilities who lacked the opportunities when they were young. Please describe any significant differences between the legal situation and the reality of everyday life.
In regards to inclusive education and the right for children with disabilities to receive free and quality education 39 percent of respondents replied that the right exists and children with disabilities receive education. 52 percent replied yes with qualifications, since in many countries children with disabilities have the right to receive free and quality education – but in special or segregated schools. The most mentioned comment of respondents is the fact that governments still highly promote and favor segregation and special schools over inclusive mainstream schools and often highlight to parents the benefit and advantage compared to inclusion. (Moldova, Denmark, Pakistan, Finland, Greece, Australia, Austria, India, Japan, Burundi, Benin, South Africa). The admission often lies in the responsibility of each school and it was stated by the respondents that admission is often denied to children with disabilities (India, Netherlands, Honduras). Many schools and curricula are not accessible – which is, quoting the experts – often due to lacking funds (Cameroon, Canada, Italy, New Zealand) and/or due to the shortage or non-existence of trained specialists and teachers who can meet the learning needs of children with disabilities (India, Azerbaijan, Poland).