Objectives of Inclusive Education
Need and Importance of Inclusive Education
Children with special needs are divided into certain groups such as street children, rural female children, marginalized children, vulnerable children, deprived children, working children and children with difficult circumstances. They are by and large excluded from mainstream education and development that may have serious repercussion for the national integrity and solidarity of the country.
Norwich and Nash (2011) argued that in USA and Europe the interventions of inclusive education were started as a part of special Education for the students with disabilities in 1980s. Researchers and educationists made efforts in Europe and USA to include the students with disabilities in mainstream schools that have reflected better results.
Millions of children in South Asia are out of schools and majority of them are the students with disabilities. The reasons of this exclusion are the inaccessibility or irresponsibility of the regular education system to accommodate them in schools. Studies conducted by Lilian & Sandy (2010) found that inclusive education is needed to accommodate children with diverse educational needs from all segments of the society. They endorsed that the regular education system needs changes to accommodate the individuals with special needs. Roger & Julie (2001); Khan, Ahmed, and Ghaznavi (2012) UNICEF’s Report on the Status of Disability in India 2000 states that there are around 30 million children in India suffering from some form of disability. The Sixth All-India Educational Survey (NCERT, 1998) reports that out of India’s 200 million school-aged children (6–14 years), 20 million require special needs education. While the national average for gross enrolment in school is over 90 per cent, less than five per cent of children with disabilities are in schools. According to the Census 2001, there are 2.19 crore persons with disabilities in India who constitute 2.13 percent of the total population. This includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, loco-motor and mental disabilities. Seventy five per cent of persons with disabilities live in rural areas, 49 per cent of disabled population is literate and only 34 per cent are employed.
According to the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010: reaching the marginalized, children with disabilities remain one of the main groups being widely excluded from quality education. Disability is recognized as one of the least visible yet most potent factors in educational marginalization. The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was entered into force in 2008, was ratified by India in October, 2008. It can be safely assumed that achieving the Education for All (EFA) targets and Millennium Development Goals will be impossible without improving access to and quality of education for children with disabilities.
Problems and Challenges of Inclusive Education in India
Inclusive education is a binding and priority for government of India. However, a wide gap in policy and practice exists in the country with respect to inclusive education. There are a number of barriers that hinder proper practice of inclusive education in our country. Based on the literature and personal experiences, the authors believe these barriers to include the following:
Appointed teachers in our primary and secondary school are not trained for inclusive education. They have no skills to teach students with disabilities in inclusive education. Das, Kuyini and Desai (2013) examined and reported that nearly 70% of the regular schoolteachers had neither received training in special education nor had any experience teaching students with disabilities. Further, 87% of the teachers did not have access to support services in their classrooms.
Lack of awareness about children with disabilities among teachers
The general teachers, at all levels, lack basic awareness about children with disabilities. They have their own socially and culturally constructed notions about certain obvious disabilities but lack scientific and educational knowledge about the disabilities such as classification, labeling, special needs and adaptations etc.
Improper curriculum design
For practicing inclusive education, curricular adaptations suited to special and unique needs of every learner, including children with disabilities, are necessary. Concepts like ‘Universal Instructional Design’ are to be properly developed and incorporated into the curriculum. However, needed curricular adaptations are either missing altogether or are improper.
Difficulties in physical access
School environment needs accommodations for truly practicing inclusive education. However, such accommodations are not there in majority of the schools. Facilities like slopes, lifts, and directional cues etc. are mostly absent in schools.
For implementing inclusive education in all schools, at all levels, we need strong support services. Their strength should be both quantitative and qualitative. But, existing support services are scarce and inadequate.
Illiteracy of parents
In rural India maximum parents are illiterate or careless about disable
child education. They did not take interest to educate disabled child and accept disability as a curse of god.
In Indian society and culture, it can be safely stated that family has a very important role in implementing inclusive education in India. Family is considered having sole responsibility for their children in India. Hence, inclusion can only be realized by motivating and involving family in the process.
Insufficient and improper teacher training
The teacher training programs running in our country are gives training only for normal children. Modifications are needed to make these teacher education programs more effective. Currently, teacher education programs producing special teachers are controlled by Rehabilitation Council of India whereas these producing general teachers are controlled by National Council for Teacher Education. These two apex bodies need to collaborate and devise measures for producing skilled teachers capable of implementing inclusive education.
Negative self-perceptions of children with disabilities
For practicing inclusive education, negative self-perceptions of children with disabilities pose a great challenge. These negative perceptions are often strengthened by neighbours, peers, and teachers. Without wiping out these negative self-perceptions, true inclusion of such children is not possible.
ICT Resources unavailability
Present age is the age of information and communication technology (ICT). ICT is providing great help in almost all endeavours of human life including education and training. There are a number of ICT-enabled pedagogical and assistive devices are available particularly useful for children with disabilities. Their use can ease and expedite inclusive education. These should be made available and competencies for their use should be developed among all stakeholders.
Improper policy planning and lack-luster implementation
Government of India claims that it has implemented inclusive education everywhere and at all levels. However, the policy planning is improper and measures to assess the degree of implementation have not been developed. Furthermore, implementation of inclusive education in private sector has not been enforced and ensured.
For a huge and diverse country like India, implementation of inclusive education at all levels requires a lot of money to be spent. The government does not seem willing to incur this huge expenditure. Being a developing country, the apprehensions of the government can be very well understood. The barriers mentioned here do not form an exhaustive list but authors believe that not much are left out.
Advantages of Inclusive Education
Disadvantages of Inclusive Education
ROLE OF TEACHERS
Adopting 6Cs and questioning and improvising ourselves being teachers on the above parameters can support us to be truly effective and competent teachers to bring inclusion as never before reality. in a free society.
(b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;
(c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided;
(d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;
(e) Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.
As the outcome of UNCRPD parliament constituted 86th amendment inserted a new article 21A and enacted new Act RTE 2009 which made education a Fundamental Right for children in the age group of 6-14years
Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), which was passed by the Indian parliament on 4th August 2009, describes the modalities of the provision of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under the 86th constitutional amendment Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.
In order to promote Rights of CWSN we need to be aware of several of provisions in this Act which will facilitate the promotion of inclusion
“An Act to put into effect the Right to Free and Compulsory Education to all children in the age group of six-fourteen years”, is an important document that details every child’s right to free and compulsory education of equitable quality; responsibility of the State,, parents, schools, teachers; the content and process of education; and the monitoring process for the implementation of the Act.
Important provisions of RTE Act relate to:
Right to Free and Compulsory Education:
Duties of Appropriate Government, Local Authority and Parents:
Main Provisions under Right to Education Act – 2009:
Inclusive Education of the Disabled at Secondary Stage (2010)
The Scheme of Integrated Education for the Disabled Children (IEDC) has been replaced by the scheme of Inclusive Education for the Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) with effect from 1.4.2009. The scheme IEDC was meant to cover all classes in the school education stage. With the coverage of children with special needs in the elementary stage under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the scheme of IEDC was replaced by IEDSS under which children with disability in the secondary stage (classes IX to XII) are covered. The objective of IEDSS is to enable the disabled children who have completed eight years of elementary education to continue their education at the secondary stage in an inclusive environment in regular schools.
Inclusive Education refers to the opportunity for persons with disability to participate fully in all of the educational, employment, consumer, recreational, community and domestic activities that typify every society. (ILSMH-1994). “Inclusive education is a system of education where students with special needs including disabilities are educated in neighbourhood schools in age appropriate regular classroom settings with non-disabled peers & are provided with supports & instructions that meet their individual needs”.