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Prof. Dr. Abdul Hameed, Dean

School of Social Sciences and Humanities
University of Management and Technology

The Prevalence of Disabilities

National census 1998 reports 2.49% prevalence
WHO estimates 6% of the population as disabled
Small scale in depth studies claim 6 to 14%
Of 180 million population the number of persons
with disabilities range from 4 to 8 million in
45% of these are children under age 18
At least 3 million adults (both genders included)
need rehabilitation through some kind of
How many of them have, in fact, access to decent
employment is not known
They remain invisible in almost all development

The Children with Disabilities

At least 2 million school age children are at high
In spite of all good efforts and spending only
40,000 (2%) have access to special education
Another 2 % are in ordinary schools with out
much academic support
Special education only caters for the urban
About 1.5 million rural children have no access to
Right to education is still a big question mark
The children without disabilities have far better
access (above 65%) to education

Disability and Poverty

The relationship between poverty and disability is
two way: disability adds to the risk of poverty and
conditions of poverty increase the risk of
At least 20% of the people living below the
poverty line suffer from disability as well.
Disability is a relative term like poverty, relying
on interpretation of a normal activity
Norms vary: an impairment considered to be
disabling in one environment may not be in
Disability is inherently difficult to observe; and
required subjective assessment. The subjectivity
of the judgment makes disability a political issue

Disability Leads to Poverty

Disability leads to poverty in the following
Loss of income
Additional cost of disability management
Exclusion from services and/or social and
community activities because of stigmatization and
other negative attitude of the society
Reduced opportunities for work for the families with
children having disability
Low expectations in terms of capacity to earn
Lack of technical and financial support
Disabling environment particularly with reference to
social services such as healthcare, education,
Unfriendly job market

Poverty Leads to Disability

Poverty creates following conditions which
increases the risk of disability:
Overburden and impoverished family (not able to
meet basic needs)
Poor nutrition and poor body defense against
Illiteracy and lack of awareness about health and
Poor health due unaffordable healthcare cost
Lack of access to basic services that prevent
Over-working more often in risky physical labor
Un-employment, under-employment and low wage

Changing Perspectives of
There is a shift in understanding of disability
from a condition of abnormality to a case
of human diversity with equal rights and

A Case of Poverty Alleviation
Persons with disabilities are poorest of the poor
They constitute a population most at risk
Disability is seen as a burden on society
Poverty cannot be alleviated without addressing
the needs of persons with disabilities
Persons with disabilities are human capital
Disability is a business case
There is a loss of GDP if people with disabilities
do not have access to decent work and
Social protection plan for persons with profound

A Case of Human Rights
Persons with disabilities have right to social,
political and economical inclusion
This inclusion requires barrier free access to state
resources and services to ensure meaningful
Persons with disabilities are claimants to a
dignified life as citizen of the state
The public institutions are duty bearers as
safeguard against all forms of discrimination
The creation of enabling environment should be
the target instead of rehabilitation
There is a need to welcome and accommodate
human diversity instead of labeling it as a
handicap and a case clinical treatment.

International Commitments
Following international commitments have direct
implications for a change in policy and practices
UN Declaration of Human Rights [1948],
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [1989],
World Declaration on Education for All [1990],
UN Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for
Persons with Disabilities [1993],
Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action [1994],
Dakar Framework for Action [2000],
UN Millennium Development Goals [2001]
National Policy for Persons with Disabilities [2002]
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

A Need for Paradigm Shift

All international declarations call for a change of
mind set from charity paradigm to right-based
A substantial reconstruction in both theory and
practice is in order
An effort without changing the mind set that
perpetuate charity paradigm will not bear any
Disability is a cross cutting issue and requires
collaborative efforts of public and private sectors
In public sector all line ministries are equal
partners and they need to be on board

Areas of Action
and the Duty Bearers
Access to following services is extremely
Early identification and intervention (MOH)
Appropriate education and training (MOE, MOSE)
Health care and allied services (MOH)
Recreation and entertainment (MOCS)
Social and political inclusion and participation
Decent work and employment (MOL)
Financial support and social protection (MOF,
Legal protection and access to justice (MOLAPA)
Old age benefits

Inclusive Education
The only way forward
The dream of 100% enrollment as perceived in
the UN Millennium Development Goals can not
come true without addressing the educational
need of children with disabilities
Special schools, in spite of all their benefits, have
failed to nurture a natural growth of these
children because of social segregation.
The cost of special education is Rs.30,000 per
child per year as compared to Rs.2500 for a child
studying in an ordinary school.
The most economical solution would be to make
the primary school functioning at the doorstep
open to all children through inclusive education.

The Definition of the Role of IE

Salamanca Statement 1994 clearly speaks on
the definition and role of inclusive education:
schools should accommodate all children regardless of
their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, linguistic or
other conditions. They should include disabled and gifted
children, street and working children, children from
remote and nomadic populations, children from linguistic,
ethnic or cultural minorities and children from other
disadvantaged or marginalized areas or groups.
Regular school with inclusive orientation are the most
effective means of combating discrimination, creating
welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and
achieving education for all; moreover, they provide an
effective education to the majority of children and improve
the efficiency and ultimately the cost effectiveness of the
entire education system (Article 2).

Historical Developments on IE
During the seven years (from 2000 to 2007) a
series of seminars, workshops, conferences
resulted in a perceptual change in the history of
education in Pakistan.
As a result, the National Educational Policy 2009,
for the first time, mentioned IE as a solution to
educational inequalities particularly in terms of its
access to marginalize communities.
The Education Policy 2009 reads:
To achieve the commitments of Government of
Pakistan towards Education for All (EFA) and the
MDGs, inclusive and child-friendly education shall
be promoted (p.19).

Two Dominant Barriers to IE in Pakistan

When a journey towards inclusive education was
ready to take off the federal government devolved
the education ministry to provincial governments.
The provincial governments are not conceptually
very clear what to do next.
At provincial level the movement of inclusive
seems loosing it momentum because of two

Attitudes of ordinary school teachers

Attitudes of special education teachers

Attitudes of Ordinary School Teachers

First, they feel that they are not fully competent and
supported for this major shift and it will be difficult to
create a welcoming environment for children with special
needs even if they are really willing to do it.
Second, the public school is already under furious
criticism for its extremely low educational standards. The
inclusion of special children will further deteriorate the
quality of instruction and the school may collapse.
The students and parents will resist this shift
They fail to see the strength of inclusive education as a
school improvement plan.

Attitudes of special education teachers

They argue that special needs children require a type of
clinical care that will never be possible in a free and least
restricted environment of public school.
The students of public school will not accept them and they
may bully, hate and show aggressive behavior against
children with special needs.
Deep in their minds they feel inclusive education is a threat
to their jobs and future career.
They fear that in case the inclusive education is
successfully implemented in Pakistan, they will be out of

Attitudinal barriers
In the presence of these attitudinal
barriers Pakistan has failed to exploit
the resources available in the
country and in the form of foreign
aid for achieving MDGs particularly
the goal Education for ALL through
inclusive approaches.

Definitional Debate
There seems a consensus that ordinary school should
be open to all children including special needs except
those with severe to profound disabilities.
The nation is still far away form the philosophy of
inclusive education, which stands for the elimination of
such discrimination.
By excluding the severe and profound disabilities from
the definition of inclusion the decision makers in fact
deny the right of education of this segment.

Definitional Debate
It is a violation of the UNCRPD which clearly stops
the exclusion of children with even severe
disabilities from mainstream education. The
article 24.2 (a) of UNCRPD reads as:
Persons with disabilities are not excluded from
the general education system on the basis of
disability, and that children with disabilities are
not excluded from free and compulsory primary
education, or from secondary education, on the
basis of disability.

First issue: Definitional Debate

Pakistan has recently ratified this convention. In
order to fulfill the obligation of ratification the
state must respond to educational needs of all
children under one roof.
There is need to realize that the definition of
inclusive education will have to be inclusive to the
extent that it must ensure no child is left

Roadmap for Inclusive Education

(Hameed, 2005)

Thank You