Inclusion: Concept, Significance and Practice of Inclusive Education

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  • The different education commissions and committees at national and international levels have highlighted the pressing need for education of children with different disabilities in the general education system. This is in the context of the National Policy of Education (NPE, 1986) which spells the need for equality in educational opportunities to children with disabilities.

  • It focuses on pre-service training of general teachers and orientation of in-service teachers to meet the needs of these children. It also highlights provision of vocational training, establishment of special schools for severely disabled children and encouragement to voluntary organizations.

  • It has suggested several strategies and several schemes for achieving equal opportunities and providing the children with disabilities access to quality education comparable to other children. The Government has also taken significant initiatives for the educational development of children with disabilities.

Concept and Significance of Inclusive Education

Concept And Significance

Concept and Significance

  • Inclusive education is a process that increases the participation of all children, including those with special needs, in school. The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education has advocated the need for inclusive education.

  • India is a signatory to all such statements and has endorsed the concept of inclusive education.

It reaffirms inclusion, which implies providing all children equitable and effective education that responds to their needs as learners in the existing regular school system regardless of:

  • race

  • class

  • ethnicity

  • religious belief

  • being from disadvantaged and marginalized groups

  • being from remote and nomadic population

  • language

  • gender

  • geographical location

  • culture

  • disabilities

Inclusion entails remodeling and enriching the general education system, making it more comprehensive, supportive and responsive to the needs of all children. Inclusive education ensures that children with special needs are taught in regular schools with their age and grade peers with support services provided within the school system.

  • It means all learners are able to learn together in regular schools with appropriate support network. It believes that all children are valuable members of society, whatever their difference and diversities are.

  • Inclusion involves a shift of focus from disabilities to the abilities of children and modifies the education system to suit the needs of all learners. It is about creating inclusive policy, inclusive culture and inclusive practices at all levels of the school system.

  • It can be achieved by developing the capacity of schools to respond to children’s individual needs.

Benefits of Inclusive Education

The benefits of inclusive education for Children With Special Needs are :

  • Ensure the children right to equal educational opportunities in regular schools

  • Provide opportunities for interaction that would not be otherwise possible in segregated settings

  • Maximize educational potential of each child

  • Involves children actively in their own learning as well as in the learning of their peers

  • Provide a wide range of learning and teaching programmes that encourage all children to participate, learn and experience success

  • Sensitize children and teachers to ensure that there is no discrimination

  • Set the goals for children in the classroom according to their ability and interests

  • ensure appropriate behavior/conduct from all children including children with special needs

  • children with special needs are valued

  • ensure the mobilization and involvement of all stakeholders like parents, community and voluntary groups to implement inclusion.

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