Access to Quality Education & Employment Opportunities, Crucial Factors for Persons with Down Syndrome

Press Release Posted On: May 8, 2024

Dr Sunil Kumar


Championing employment opportunities and providing access to quality education are crucial factors to fostering inclusivity for individuals with Down Syndrome in the Pacific.

This is the statement made by the Fiji National University College of Humanities and Education, School of Education, Assistant Professor in Inclusive and Special Education, Dr Sunil Kumar.

Having countless years of experience in the teaching field of inclusive and special education, Dr Kumar suggests that governments in Fiji and the Pacific have recognised the importance of addressing the needs of individuals with Down Syndrome and that policies and initiatives aimed at promoting inclusivity, providing health care, and supporting families have been introduced.

He said that societal attitudes towards persons with Down Syndrome have evolved, moving towards a greater inclusion and acceptance.

“Many individuals with Down Syndrome lead fulfilling lives, actively participating in education, employment and community activities,” said Dr Kumar.

“Inclusive education programs supporting environments and advocacy efforts have contributed to breaking down barriers and promoting a more inclusive society for individuals with Down Syndrome.”

Dr Kumar added that in the Pacific, families played a central role in providing support for individuals with Down Syndrome.

“However, it’s essential to acknowledge that the responsibility can sometimes be overwhelming for families, and ensuring the ability of external support services is crucial,” he added.

“While progress is being made, challenges persist, however, these challenges also present opportunities for community education, awareness campaigns, and the development of innovative solutions to address the unique needs of individuals with Down Syndrome in the Pacific context.”

He said Down Syndrome in the Pacific and Fiji is a story of resilience, cultural diversity, woven together with the ongoing journey towards inclusivity.

“Embracing diversity not only enriches the lives of those with Down Syndrome but also contributes to the overall fabric of Pacific societies, where every individual is valued and included in our communities and society at large.”