On 13 December, the Regional Workshop on Enhanced Access to Education for Children with disabilities officially opened in Da Nang. The 2-day workshop is a collaboration between the AICHR, UNICEF, the Viet Nam ASEAN National Secretariat under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Training.
It is being attended by 70 representatives of relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, government officials from ASEAN member states, representatives from international organisations, non-governmental organisations, associations of people with disabilities, academics, parents and children with disabilities.
The workshop is the first ASEAN cross-sectoral initiative focusing on the right to education for children with disabilities, discussing the challenges and the roles of different stakeholders as well as experiences within and outside the bloc.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the workshop, Vietnamese Deputy Minister for Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia reported that Viet Nam has about 6.7 million people with disabilities, of which 1.3 million are children. More than 60% of children with disabilities attended school in the 2016 - 2017 academic year, and the country has developed 14 rehabilitation centres and 97 gifted schools nationwide to cater to children with disabilities. She added that Viet Nam has also approved a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2014, and issued laws on education, children and persons with disabilities. The Government has also come up with many policies and action plans on ensuring the rights of children and persons with disabilities.