Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Efforts towards Inclusive Education

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Efforts towards Inclusive Education

Article excerpt

Introduction: Inclusive education strives to address the learning needs of children with special needs, with a particular focus on those who are subject to being isolated and excluded. The philosophy behind inclusive education is to provide opportunities for all children to participate, to learn and have equal treatment, irrespective of their mental and physical abilities. Awareness on Inclusive education is still lacking and most of the institutions of education display a large skeptical attitude about having both normal and special children studying in the same classroom. Globally, children with disability account for one-third of all children out of school. In developing countries, the numbers are even higher, with 90% of all children with disabilities out of school. In India, a majority of children with special needs do not receive any formal education. According to the National Census Data - 2002, Government of India, there are 18.49 million people with disabilities in India, i:e,1.8% of the population. 94% of children with disabilities did not receive any educational services and 75% of people with disabilities live in rural areas in India. In terms of educational levels, only 11% of children with disabilities between the age of 5 18 years in urban areas and less than 1% in rural areas were enrolled in special schools. So also, 68% of girls with disability are not in schools. The reasons may be the lack of awareness on the educational choices available to children with special needs, non affordability, inadequate resources, lack of flexibility in the curriculum, lack of adequate attention by parents and teachers, socio-cultural gender bias attitudes and more. Government linked initiatives, services and interventions, awareness of opportunities for special children through the use of media, positive attitude and sensitivity, a balanced curriculum with flexibility, special trained teachers, parental involvement and need based programs will help to increase the confidence of a number of special children to aspire for a valuable education like their normal peers.

India has the second largest educational system in the world. Yet, the Government of India allocates 4.1% GDP for education (UNDP2005). The government of India has created numerous policies around special education, since the country's independence in 1947. Inclusive education is written in India's Constitution as a fundamental right for all citizens. The creation of a Ministry for Social Welfare focused on rehabilitation, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS- 1974) and the Integrated Education of Disabled Children Scheme( IEDCS -1974), The National Policy on Education (NPE 1986), People with Disability Act (PDA-1995), Central Government of India's Five Year Plan(1997-2002), District Primary Education program(DPEP) and the District Institute of Education and Training(DIET) asjoint ventures between the Indian Government's Department of Education and the World Bank, the 86th amendment in 2002 to the Constitution and the creation of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), The Right To Education Act (2005) passed in 2009 and put into full effect in 2010 which was upheld by the supreme court as constitutionally valid on April 12th, 2012 are milestones that have served to lean towards inclusion in India. However, research done in India reports that inclusive efforts have not been perfectly inclusive due to discrimination, skepticism, laxity and implementation challenges. Singal (2005) states that government policies focus on resources and physical access or infrastructure and not on processes like pedagogy, curriculum or attitudes. Julka (2005) states that special schools are found in urban areas and the awareness of the development of inclusive education is limited to cities when majority of disabled children live in rural areas. Lai (2005) states that teachers are found to be reluctant to attend special training because it takes place during holidays. Teachers' post remain vacant, even in Delhi, because of lack of qualified personnel, which often leads to state employment of underqualified teachers, further impacting school quality. …

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