Experiences Implementing Inclusive Education in West Africa and Madagascar: Case Study Report
Educate A Child (EAC), a global programme of the Education Above All Foundation, has a particular focus on enabling the hardest-to-reach children to fulfil their fundamental right to education. In many places today, children with disabilities and other vulnerabilities continue to be denied an education due to misconceptions and beliefs that can lead to severe stigmatisation, harmful practices and even concealment of the children. When the existence of these children is hidden, there is little question regarding their ability to access the services or education that can provide them with the skills needed to have agency over their lives and contribute to society in meaningful ways.
In 2016, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) partnered with EAC to implement the Towards a Universal Access of Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education project, a ten-country inclusive education programme aimed at improving the access, enrolment and retention of some of the African continent's most marginalised girls and boys in quality primary education, particularly those with disabilities. The project drew on 18 years of experience that Humanity & Inclusion has in implementing inclusive education programmes and worked to bring children out of the shadows, helping them gain the skills and competencies needed to be change agents in their own lives.
Our partnership with HI reflects EAC’s principle of building on existing work and taking it to scale. This project expanded HI’s regional West Africa Inclusive Education programme to new countries and regions within those countries. With the support of EAC, HI was able to pilot new and creative strategies to address the needs of children with disabilities and other vulnerable children while also replicating innovative approaches in new countries. This case study allows us to examine the impact and effectiveness of these strategies and reflect on the lessons learned.