Inclusive education: The case of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in rural Cameroon

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Inclusive education: The case of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in rural Cameroon

Sustainable Development Goal 4, represents a global effort to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and eliminating all disparities and barriers to education for all by 2030. Unfortunately, such a lofty aspiration falls short of realization.

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Surviving and thriving in school is especially difficult for the majority of children with special needs-especially children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The near absence of adequate data on and the limited knowledge on the issues relating to disability is only helping to make things worse for these children.
Cameroon has come up with the vision of emergence by 2035. The unanswered salient question is what promise of emergence is there for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities?
If children with disabilities (even children with intellectual and developmental disabilities) are given opportunities like others, these children have the potential to lead fulfilling lives and to contribute to the social, cultural and economic and emergence of Cameroon by 2035.

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This will require a change in attitudes and practices that help to exclude special needs children from benefiting from the global aspirations of education for all by 2030. It would require a complete elimination of barriers that these children face on a daily basis be it in school, in the home or in the communities where they live.
Crystal Foundation has been doing significant ground work for the past seven years by being the voice for these children in villages in rural Cameroon. During the month of April the campaign went viral on the airwaves of a community radio. This is helping to make the global campaign and aspirations real at the grassroots where much help is needed now than ever.