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Sudan unveils national education strategy for children with disabilities

November 22, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s ministry of education this week launched a three-year national strategy aimed at providing better quality education for children with disabilities.

In a statement, UNICEF welcomed the initiative, saying it was the first of its kind in Sudan, offering a comprehensive take on the issues and challenges affecting children with disabilities in the Sudanese school system and setting out a broad range of responses to gradually address the needs of these children.

According to UNICEF, inclusion of children with disabilities will be at the cornerstone of the new strategy, which is particularly important for vulnerable children often excluded from essential social services such as education.

The strategy will also provide for teacher training, as well as address the challenges of physical access, with poor infrastructure often blocking children with disabilities from participating in their education on par with their able-bodies peers.

“UNICEF is very pleased to see that the ministry of education has taken this critical step to give children with disabilities the chance to receive a quality education”, said UNICEF representative in Sudan Geert Cappelaere.

According to the 2008 National Sudan Census Survey, the estimated prevalence of disability among the general public is 4.8 percent, among these are about 720,000 Sudanese children under the age of 18 who have a disability.

UNICEF says efforts to address the major barriers in achieving education for children with disabilities must include measures to improve access to quality inclusive education, raise awareness of the issues and the allocation of targeted funds.

(ST)