More work needed to ensure people with disabilities access education: advocates
GOVERNMENT officials have been invited to attend a forum on problems faced by disabled people in Myanmar’s education sector. The forum will be held in Nay Pyi Taw in November and will be run by the Myanmar Special Education Association, an organisation which trains special education teachers.
The problems faced by people with disabilities in Myanmar are significant. Over 2.3 million people have some form of disability and, according to a 2010 nationwide report from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, 53 percent of people with disabilities do not have access to education while only 2pc hold bachelor’s degrees.
Though steps such as the adoption of the Disability Rights Law in June 2015 have been taken, disability advocates insist that further action is needed. First on the list is the implementation of by-laws for the Disability Rights Law in the education sector.
“Without by-laws, it is difficult to implement the main law as children with disabilities have difficulty enrolling in mainstream schools,” said L Zau Dim, secretary of the Myanmar Special Education Association. “One aim of the forum will be to come up with by-laws to implement the Disability Rights Law.”
According to U Ko Ko Oo, vice president of the Myanmar Physically Handicapped Association, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has already drafted the relevant teeth to the law, but he believes more work is needed.
Invitations to the forum will be sent to four ministries in early October. NGOs and CSOs that work with people with disabilities will also be invited to attend. L Zau Dim said advocates were hopeful that the forum would help to achieve change in the sector. “We hope the leaders of the country will attend this forum to advocate our cause,” he said.