• a philosophy built on the belief that all people are equal and should be respected and valued, as an issue of basic human rights.
• an ""unending set of processes"" in which children and adults with disabilities have the opportunity to participate fully in ALL community activities offered to people who do not have disabilities.
(UNESCO - at the UN-Committee on Rights of the Child, October 6, 1997 - Centre for Human Rights, Geneva)
Under PIED, there has been a significant increase in the number of not only mildly disabled, but also severely disabled children, with the number of orthopaedically handicapped children far outstripping other disabled children. All these perform at par with non - disabled children; in fact their retention rate is higher than that of non - disabled children and absenteeism is low. PIED has also had a positive impact on the attitudes of the teachers, the heads of schools, as well as parents and the community in general. Also, the interaction between the disabled and the non - disabled children is good.
Another important paradigm shift in this area was initiated with the thinking that any difficulty that a child exhibited in learning was to be attributed not to a problem within the child, but to the school system. The organisation and management of schools, and the various programmes of teaching and interventions could also be one of the causes of children`s learning difficulties.
The new whole school policy is also referred to as the social or environmental model and rests on the theory that the child is a product of his/her experiences and the interventions the child has with various environments that impinge upon him/her. Thus to a great extent a child`s growth and development depends upon this.
• educating children with disabilities in the schools they would attend if they did not have disabilities
• providing services and support that parents and children with disabilities need in order to be in normal settings
• supporting regular education teachers and administrators
• having children with disabilities follow the same schedule as other children
• encouraging friendships between children with disabilities and their classmates/peers without disabilities
• teachers and administrators taking these concerns seriously
• teaching ALL children to understand and accept differences
(UNESCO - at the UN-Committee on Rights of the Child October 6, 1997 - Centre for Human Rights, Geneva)
Towards Inclusive Education
For over a century, the prevalent model for offering education to children with special needs has been the special school. This system had major drawbacks – it is expensive and has only limited reach. Moreover, segregating children based on disability was discriminatory and violation of the human rights. Subsequently, the philosophy of `integration` emerged which advocated education of children with mild and moderate disabilities in general schools along with others with adequate resource support. But children under integration method were still treated separately in schools and integration or mainstreaming was only partial.
This led to the emergence of the new concept called Inclusive Education (IE) which argues that all children irrespective of the nature and degree of the disability should be educated in general schools with normal children. More and more experts in special needs education are now advocating inclusive education not only on educational grounds but also on social and moral grounds. Inclusive education is all about making classrooms responsive to the needs of the learner. It stresses on child centered pedagogy using peer tutoring, co-operative learning and group learning.
Inclusive education has been introduced in the schools in the project areas of DPEP on a limited scale. Success of IE depends on teachers and good classroom practices. A beginning has been made in this area, but a lot more has to be done. Inclusive education may be the mantra to provide education to all children with special needs in the country. Then only the country will be able to achieve the elusive goal of Universal Elementary Education (UEE).
*The feature is being released to coincide with World Disabled Day on December 03, 2000 .
What do you mean by inclusive education ?
Three types of school
1. Don`t come to me, I am not for you.
2. Come, but you change, I won`t.
3. Welcome! I change to respond to you all
Which one is an inclusive school?