An estimated half a million children with disabilities live in Viet Nam. These children face significant challenges in their daily lives and multiple forms of discrimination, which leads to exclusion from society and school. While every child has the right to an education, attitudes towards children with disabilities as well as a lack of understanding of their needs compound the challenges they face in claiming this right. With access to school a primary issue, of equal concern is the inability of the education system to ensure quality education for children with disabilities.
Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities
UNICEF works to ensure children and adolescents with disabilities in Viet Nam can access and benefit from inclusive education.
Too many children with disabilities remain out of the classroom, especially at primary or secondary school ages.
Today, such children still face a number of barriers that leave inclusive education out of reach, in particular the lack of specialized school facilities and training for teachers and inconsistencies in the definitions of children with disabilities within different sectors. Together, they mean too many children with disabilities remain out of the classroom, fail to complete primary or secondary school and claim their rights to a meaningful education.
UNICEF believes every child, regardless of disability, in Viet Nam has the right to attend a school that fully nurtures their potential to learn within their own communities. To ensure quality and inclusive education for children with disabilities, we work with government and partners to achieve this through child-centred, rights- and equity-based approaches. Research shows that inclusive education can lead to better learning outcomes for all children, not just children with disabilities. Inclusive education promotes tolerance and enables social cohesion as it fosters a cohesive social culture and promotes equal participation in society.
No exceptions and no child is left behind.
In Viet Nam, we champion inclusive education for children with disabilities through providing technical support, promoting accessible and inclusive learning spaces, teacher training and online capacity building, taking a multi-sectoral approach to break down barriers, facilitating community involvement, tracking enrollment and collecting data for evidence building and progress monitoring.
A key focus is bridging knowledge gaps in childhood disability and collaborating closely with the education sector for an improved package of services for children with disabilities to scale-up. Importantly, we also work to ensure issues related to children with disabilities are prioritized in the government’s agenda and reflected in resource allocation. Synergized, these factors will elevate the readiness of students, teachers, schools, parents and communities to unclock the door to inclusive education for children with disabilities.