The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that was established to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by States parties has called on civil society organisations all over the world to make submissions on the right to education for persons with disabilities. SECTION27 has made a submission that highlights the systemic failure of the South African government to adequately provide for learners with disabilities. In particular, many learners with disabilities are not getting access to an education. These learners are not being screened and placed in appropriate schools, and in many instances are not in any schools. Even where learners are placed in schools, the failure to accommodate their needs means that they do not have meaningful access to education because they are not provided with, for instance, accessible learning materials, appropriately qualified teachers and safe and accessible infrastructure. The ongoing failure to prioritise special needs education, and a lack of understanding of the needs of learners with disabilities, has resulted in the inadequate budgeting and provisioning for learners with disabilities. Finally, there is a lack of expertise amongst teachers and other staff at special needs schools, as well as officials within education departments responsible for developing and implementing policies to accommodate learners with special needs.
SUBMISSION ON THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES