All children deserve love, care, and respect.
These should begin at home; unfortunately, several Filipino children never get to experience any of this.
Children with disabilities are among the most marginalized.
Some become targets of ridicule and mistreatment in school, in hospitals, in public, and at worst, inside their own homes.
Such discrimination stems from misinformation.
Many Filipinos – including parents – still don’t understand and recognize the rights and capacities of children with disabilities.
And this is why Save the Children is supporting inclusive education for all children.
Our KASALI program provides inclusive education for children with disability, ages 12 years old and below. We also ensure that they’re protected from abuse and violence.
We believe in empowering children through education.
Everyone deserves to learn
In the Philippines, there are at least 375,952 recorded school-age children with disability as of 2010.
However, only 1 in every 3 children with disability is in school.
Among those attending school, only 1 in every 7 goes to a Special Education class. Meanwhile, 5,916 are included in regular classes. (WATCH: A girl's love for math, learning, and sign language)
Where are the rest of the children? Why are they not in school?
Unfortunately, the problem might start within the family.
Some parents don’t send their kids to school for various reasons: Fear that their child will get bullied, fear of what others might think of them as parents, or the fear that they cannot afford their child’s schooling.
Parents also need support. A good first step is to educate them on the rights of their children with disability, as well as their responsibilities as parents.
Laws protecting children with disability
Internationally, children are protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child:
“[R]espect and ensure the rights [of] each child…without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.”
They are also covered by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This protects them from any form of rejection or unfair treatment based solely on their disability.
Under Philippine laws, children with disability are protected under the following:
- Child and Youth Welfare Code
- Special protection of children against abuse, exploitation, and discrimination Act
- Magna Carta for Disabled Persons
A common problem experienced by persons with disability is difficulty in finding jobs. Such dilemma may root from childhood, as they were not given fair access to education and training.
Hence the need to double our efforts in ensuring that children with disability are able to enter, enjoy, and make the most out of their schooling.
After all, children with disability are just like any other child. They deserve quality education.
Support our inclusive education programs, empower children. Donate today, save lives.