Pakistan has made visible progress on the education front, but exclusion of disabled persons, especially children in education, remains an alarming challenge.
This was said by Unesco Director Dr Kozue Kay Nagata on Tuesday at an advocacy walk at the Pakistan Sports Complex in the wake of Global Action Week on Education for All (EFA). About 1,000 students from colleges around Islamabad together with a large number of persons with disabilities and representatives of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), Unesco, civil society and the media participated in the walk.
Participants gathered at the sports complex holding banners and placards bearing messages related to the campaign. The walk started at the Roshan Khan Complex and concluded at Jinnah Stadium.
The Global Action Week on EFA is an annual campaign organised by the Global Campaign for Education to raise awareness on the importance of education.
“It is unfortunate that children with disabilities are less likely to complete primary schooling. For many, even access to education is simply denied. During this global action week, we raise the flag for education as a universal human right. No one should be denied access because of disability,” she said. She said it was UNESCO’s priority and they were acting across the world to break down barriers for people with disabilities to empower them as agents of change.
Capital Administration and Development Division Senior Joint Secretary Rafique Tahir said it the government’s mission was to enroll all out-of-school children in Islamabad, including disabled ones.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2014.