Lesotho's Inclusive Education Policy and the continued exclusion of children with disabilities
Hodgson, Timothy Fish
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The Kingdom of Lesotho (Lesotho) has assumed international legal obligations to ensure access to quality, inclusive education for children with disabilities, by acceding to treaties including: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Lesotho is bound to submit periodic reports on its compliance with the provisions of these treaties, upon which the bodies responsible for monitoring their implementation provide concluding observations and recommendations. The concluding observations may include concrete, focused and implementable guidance on realizing the right to inclusive education. In serial breach of its reporting obligations, Lesotho has only submitted a periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which has expressed concern on the limited access to education for children with disabilities. According to an unofficial list of special and inclusive schools provided to the ICJ in late 2022, there are six (6) special schools (including one resource centre), and fifteen (15) inclusive schools operating in Lesotho. It is therefore likely that many children with disabilities remain out of school, or in schools that cannot appropriately accommodate their educational needs. Given the limited number of these schools, and their lack of capacity to accommodate learners with all types of disabilities, the majority of children with disabilities are not able to attend them.
DescriptionA briefing paper.