Educating Children with Disabilities: Sierra Leone

Theme:
  • Children with Disabilities
Pages: 86
Year of Publication: 2011
Country: Sierra Leone

A quarter of all children aged 2-9  years in Sierra leone have at least one reported disability, according to Sierra leone Statistics/unicef (2007). The war that ravaged the country for more than a decade has contributed to the large number of  people with physical and mental disabilities. The country has one of the largest amputee populations in the world, largely due to the war. Some 12,000 schools were also reportedly destroyed during the conflict. 

Despite their great number, disabled people in Sierra leone have been largely excluded from education services, and most have limited life chances and opportunities. it is estimated that 76 per cent of children with disabilities are out of school (leonard cheshire disability/ unecA 2008:113). Various factors underpin this high degree of exclusion. despite encouraging starts, Sierra leone’s legislative and policy frameworks lag behind current human rights and educational thinking. Secondly, schools – both special and regular – are not only in short supply, but the existing ones  are ill-equipped and unable to ensure that children with disability get access to education. further, very little government funding is allocated to education, and teachers are poorly motivated and trained. The attitudes of parents, community members and professionals also pose a serious impediment to educational access.

The constitution of Sierra leone, the child rights Act, the 2004 education Act and the Persons with disabilities Bill 2007 are  the key Sierra leonean legislative and policy instruments regarding protection of the rights of disabled children, including their right to education.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Located in: Publications
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