THE RIGHT TO PRIMARY EDUCATION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES IN MALAWI: A DIAGNOSIS OF THE CONCEPTUAL APPROACH AND IMPLEMENTATION

Authors

  • Enoch MacDonnell Chilemba

Keywords:

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Malawi, disabled children, human rights, access to education

Abstract

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Malawi ratified in August 2009, affirms the recognition that disabled children are entitled to enjoy human rights such as primary education, including compulsory and free primary education, on an equal basis with others. However, almost 98 per cent of Malawi’s disabled children do not have access to education. This article observes that the situation could be attributed to the failure by the government of Malawi to conceptualise and implement the right to primary education for disabled children as envisaged by the international conceptual approaches and legal standards of inclusive education. The standards, as provided for in article 24 of the Disability Convention, emphasise the right of disabled children to attain compulsory and free primary education in mainstream schools together with all other children. Accordingly, this article explores the measures that Malawi could take to ensure a domestic implementation framework and conceptual approach that complies with international standards and approaches. This article first highlights the challenges that Malawi faces in the provision of primary education to disabled children before analysing the pertinent concepts such as inclusive education. It further discusses the applicable international legal standards before examining Malawi’s approach to the provision of primary education of disabled children. Ultimately, it evaluates Malawi’s constitutional, legislative and policy framework for the implementation of
the right and suggests a number of measures that Malawi can implement in order to ensure compliance with international standards and conceptual approaches.

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Published

2021-04-19

Issue

Section

SECTION A: Articles