Sri Lanka has accomplished many significant education milestones, including achieving a primary enrollment rate of 98% (World Bank, 2013). Yet despite ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which committed to ensuring that children with disabilities can access quality inclusive education without discrimination, children with learning disabilities* in Sri Lanka find themselves excluded from mainstream education, and experience high school ‘drop out’ rates.
We believe this must change.
Watch ‘Every Mind:Equal rights to education for children with Learning Disabilities in Sri Lanka’ to learn more about the situation for children with learning disabilities in Sri Lanka , and the key actions that must be taken to ensure that every child, whoever they are, wherever they live, not matter their ability, enjoys the benefits of a quality education.
* A learning disability is defined as a condition which gives rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the level expected of those of the same age, due to reasons other than physical handicaps. Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning.
Directed by: Nelum Seneviratne | Copyright: UNICEF Sri Lanka
Watch the 3 minute trailer
Too many children living with disabilities are missing out on the benefits of education. In 2016, UNICEF Sri Lanka commissioned the ‘Learning Disabilities in Sri Lanka’ report, and it found that:
In Sri Lanka, the main providers of education for children with special needs are special education units attached to schools, special schools under the Ministry of Education, and a limited number of private institutions. In keeping with the Gazette proposals of 1997, the Ministry of Education has issued circulars to schools and regional offices to ensure that children with learning disabilities in each educational division have access to special schools and special education units.
At present Sri Lanka currently has:
The number and quality of these schools and units is insufficient and requires expansion and quality improvements, meaning that children are missing out.
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