IHC New Zealand says although NCEA achievement rates for students with intellectual disability are rising, overwhelmingly there is a massive struggle for these students to access quality education at their local school.
Today, 24 January, marks International Day of Education – a day in which the United Nations has dedicated to celebrating the role of education for peace and development.
However, IHC Inclusive Lead Education Trish Grant says today isn’t a day for celebration, and without an overhaul of Aotearoa’s education system the country will continue to fail to meet our human rights obligations.
“We are heading in the right direction, but we need to ramp up the pace in order to mitigate the current risks of low achievement and attendance,” says Trish. “Education is a foundational right to being able to live as a contributing and included citizen.”
A newly released report from IHC reveals the number of intellectually disabled people with qualifications is increasing – 43 percent of intellectually disabled people aged 25 to 34 have no qualifications compared to 76 percent of intellectually disabled people in the 65 to 74 age group.
The 2022 Ero report reflects the grim situation with poor student outcomes and low teacher confidence to teach diverse learners
Also, promisingly, intellectually disabled children attend early childhood at similar rates to other children (94 percent of both populations).
Trish says the data points to some good news, however participation rates don’t always mean an inclusive quality education.
“There is a great opportunity here to make some tangible change for the children of today.
“We are looking forward to working with the new Government on lifting achievement for all students, including disabled students.”