The right to education is universal and must extend to everyone with disabilities. The goal of "education for all" by 2015 will only be achieved when all nations recognize that the universal right to education extends to individuals with disabilities, and when all nations act upon their obligation to establish or reform public education systems that are accessible to, and meet the needs of, individuals with disabilities.
Access to good quality basic education is a fundamental human right and so is inclusive education for disabled children. Also, since there is a strong link between disability and poverty, it is important to educate disabled children in order to reduce poverty.
A third of the 72 million children out of school in the world are disabled and only 10 percent of disabled children in Africa attend school. According to the Ministry of Education, more than 10 percent of the youth in Rwanda are disabled.
These children are segregated, marginalised and are not accessing education. We still face a huge challenge of overcoming the ignorance, fears and prejudices around disability.
Even though educating the disabled requires extra efforts, it is possible to mould them to become skilled people. Rwanda should make education plans that address the inclusion of disabled children.
The education system should focus on improving teacher training and providing additional learning materials and support.
Targets for enrolment and giving incentives to encourage schools to become more inclusive must be set and rigorously monitored.
Government and non-government institutions must work both directly and in partnership with local, national, regional, and global organizations that are comprised of and represent individuals with disabilities and their families. These "disability" organizations represent diverse groups with diverse educational needs.
Their representatives must be engaged in the development of national plans of action; and they must be consulted to ensure that educational facilities, curricula and materials are appropriate, and include necessary accommodations.