Access to education and Assistive devices for children with physical disabilities in Tanzania


Publication date



Oslo and Akershus University College

Document type


Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy


Since 1990 many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have witnessed extraordinary progress in school enrollment and establishment of comprehensive rehabilitation programs for provision of assistive devices for children with physical disabilities, however, the progress has slowed in recent years. UNESCO warns that unless new measures are taken, the number of out-of-school children in 2015 will increase from current levels. Inequalities in most developing countries have been found to be a major barrier to universal education and provision of assistive devices. However, to achieve universal education and health we must focus on all marginalized groups. People with disabilities are among the least visible of the marginalized children. As the Tanzania government implemented a policy on people with disabilities in 2004, it is essential to understand the achievement on accessing education and assistive devices for children with physical disability since the implementation of this policy. Therefore, using the available data this study examined schooling patterns and the accessibility of assistive devices for children with physical disabilities in Tanzania. The study finds that children with disabilities are significantly less likely to enroll, attend and complete Grade 5. It also finds out that disability is experienced differently depending on the nature of the disability. Physical disabilities carry high stigma and require extra resources. Consequently, children with disabilities are less likely to be given equal opportunities as non-disabled are. Also the study finds out that: even though producers of goods and services are increasingly introducing accessibility as a criterion, the practice is still rare in Tanzania.


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