New international group of experts on education for disabled people

Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende has appointed an international group of experts on education for children and young people with disabilities. The group is to provide input to the Oslo Summit on Education for Development, to be held on 7 July.

The purpose of the Oslo Summit is twofold: to strengthen efforts to improve the quality of education in poor countriesand to intensify efforts to reach the 58 million children of school age worldwide who currently do not attend school. Around a third of out-of-school children are considered to have some form of disability. In certain countries, as many as 90 % of children with disabilities do not attend school.

'Far too often, children with disabilities are excluded from the educational programmes on offer, not least in poor countries and countries affected by wars and conflicts. When we bring together the most important supporters of education from around the world at the Oslo Summit this summer, we will make education for disabled children a cross-cutting issue. Our aim is to improve the situation for these children in practice,' said Mr Brende.

The chair of the group of experts is former mayor of Oslo Ann-Marit Sæbønes, who is known for her international engagement for the rights of disabled people. She has previously been Director of the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs and Secretary General of the Norwegian Federation of Organizations of Disabled People.

The group of experts will meet in Oslo for the first time on 23–24 April. The other members of the group include specialists on work to promote the rights of disabled people in education from multilateral and bilateral bodies, academia, and organisations for disabled people.

Members of the group of experts:

  • Ann-Marit Sæbønes, chair
  • Nafisa Baboo, Light for the World, Geneva
  • Louise Banham, Global Partnership for Education, Washington, DC
  • Rosangela Berman Bieler, Unicef
  • Cathrine Howgego, the UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, the World Bank, Washington, DC
  • Trine Riis-Hansen, the Atlas Alliance, Norway
  • Nidhi Singal, St. Cathrine's College, Cambridge
  • Grant Dansie, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), secretary.