Some of the critical aspects of the objective of attaining quality of learning are differentiated curriculum, pedagogical innovation, examination reform and, most of all, teacher preparation. IMPORTANCE OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: THE ROLE OF SCHOOL TEACHERS ¹ R. Mercinah & ² Dr.D.Nirmala (¹ M. Phil. ‘Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design’ (Mace, 1988). • Finally, reading the Acts together, we will consider the UNCRPD concept of Universal Design to make schools inclusive. Inclusive Education is a relatively new concept in the Indian subcontinent, which has been grappling with the enrolment of children into the school system. From an Inclusive Education perspective, Sajan and children like him add another dimension to classroom diversity, one which teachers are ill- prepared for. Collaboration is the cornerstone of Inclusive Education. Disability rights activists ask if social barriers are being overlooked. Does this mean the Quality of Education issue is closer to being addressed? Think Inclusive reported on a 2001 study that examined “academic progress for students with disabilities in general education and self-contained classrooms over two years. A Legal History of Inclusion. • explain the main actors and processes underpinning strategic planning today. Leading SDG 4 - Education 2030 Education is a human right and a force for sustainable development and peace. To close the education gap for children with disabilities, UNICEF supports government efforts to foster and monitor inclusive education systems. Students and their parents participate in setting learning goals and take part in decisions that affect them. Inclusive education and inclusive classrooms are gaining steam because there is so much research-based evidence around the benefits. Respectful dialogue through a participatory engagement that helps to develop sensitised personnel, differentiated instructional strategies, modes of alternative communication, active involvement of parents and the community and an administration committed to the advancement of inclusive education is critical. Alongside school enrolment supported by a ‘Zero Rejection Policy’, the Act provides for improvement in school quality through appropriate teacher training, barrier- free infrastructure and improved pedagogical and curricular adaptations. According to the review, there is evidence to suggest that there is a link between inclusive education and social inclusion in the areas of education… http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/advantages-and-disadvantages... http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/bareacts/rightofchildrentofree/index... http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002324/232424e.pdf. Under the RTE, a child like Fatima, between the ages of 6 and 14 years, has a right to be admitted into a neighbourhood school to access free and compulsory education. The fact that the new law is UNCRPD-compliant is transformative in its philosophical underpinnings and shifts the focus from social welfare to human rights. An important development under the purview of the RPWD Act, which has tremendous significance for formal schools, is the inclusion of 21 different types of disability, fourteen more than the original seven in the PWD Act. Sajan is a reluctant learner who struggles to transition to school every day. To encourage more students with high support needs like Kanika, schools need to create a collaborative culture supporting diversity. Using cross-nationally comparable and nationally representative data from 18 surveys in 15 countries, this paper investigates how disability affects school attendance. Sadly, they end up as school dropouts, given the problems they encounter. Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. Sajan can grow up in a joyful learning environment if the same teaching-learning methods are accessible to him and all the other students in the class. • Examples of successful experiences in different regions of the world in which parents and social organizations have acted in support of inclusive education. Sajan and others like him will benefit from early intervention and plenty of encouragement. (That concept is based on the assumptions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, where adults take into account the children’s capacity to exercise their rights. Disability certificates, which are issued by medical professionals, are irrelevant for admission in schools: the emphasis should be on educational assessments. He might require a teaching assistant’s supervision to help him, for example, make friends or complete a puzzle in time. Business can make long-term strategic investments in education that will lead to a larger, more talented pool of future employees. Scholar, ²Assistant Professor, Dept. The Learning Curve is a newsletter from the Azim Premji Foundation. Fatima had encountered traditional social barriers right at the doorstep. How is Australia sitting internationally in relation to the extent students with Inclusive education/mainstreaming has been promoted on two bases: the rights of children to be included in mainstream education and the proposition that inclusive education is … She had an impressive fund of general knowledge, but with her dysgraphia, writing was near-impossible. Born premature, Kanika was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Dialogue and self-reflection within the school community will lead to a better understanding of the implementation process. She achieved her development milestones (with a two- year delay) with intensive physical and speech therapies. Nearly 50 per cent of children with disabilities are not in school, compared to only 13 per cent of their peers without disabilities. Both Kids Together and the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilitie… But progress comes slowly. The RTE Act is built of the premise that all children should be in school. Under Section 12(1) (c) of the RTE Act, 25 percent of seats in private schools are reserved for children from disadvantaged sections of society. Promoting attitudes of accepting realities and recognising differences for individual needs are vital areas of inclusive education. How do the RTE Act and the RPWD Act work together? Groups with a more narrow purpose are only slightly more current with their information. Yet, children with disabilities are often overlooked in policymaking, limiting their access to education and their ability to participate in social, economic and political life. ‘Access to Quality Education’ implies the creation of environments that enable a child to evolve and grow to full potential. First, through the macro viewpoint of disability rights advocates, who are concerned about the older welfare attitude influencing national programs such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhayan (SSA). Inclusive education differs from the 'integration' or 'mainstreaming' model of education, which tended to be concerned principally with disability and special educational needs, and learners changing or becoming 'ready for' or deserving of accommodation by the mainstream. Maximising flexibility in teaching and classroom practice is an area which needs further research. For example, by contributing to a group discussion, students will build their communication and critical-thinking skills. The website of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has links to documents on ‘learning outcomes’ for elementary schools, a guidebook on index to inclusion, and suggestions for ‘accommodation and modifications’ in assessment. Worldwide, these children are among the most likely to be out of school. Therefore, administrators and teachers can spell out the ‘Reasonable Accommodations’, that is, the adjustments or modifications in the curriculum or school environment in their Inclusive School Development Plan. Worldwide, these children are among the most likely to be out of school. In a truly inclusive setting, every child feels safe and has a sense of belonging. The joint committee met for the first time June 5, 1995 . Positive Psychology, Second Edition, Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd, 2011.17 The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, http://www.ncpedp.org/sites/all/themes/marinelli/documents/Rights%20of%2...(RPWD)%20Act%202016.pdf18 The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 http://thenationaltrust.gov.in/upload/uploadfiles/files/Persons%20with%2... Anuradha, until recently, worked in Hong Kong as an Early Interventionist with children with special needs in the 0-6 age group, under the auspices of an early education centre sub-vented by the Hong Kong Government program serving the non-Chinese-speaking population. Some of the examples that will within the framework of the Act as ‘Reasonable Accommodations for inclusive school development are: • transportation for child with high support needs and attendants, • Accessible buildings, campuses, toilets and other facilities, • Pedagogical support for children with learning disability, • Individualised support to maximise academic and social development, • Modified textbooks: for example, the Barkha Series, a supplementary graded reader services published by NCERT, • Alternative and Augmentative Communication systems for children with speech and language impairments, • Modifications in the examination system: extra time, use of computers, scribes. Unlike the PWD Act, the preamble of the RPWD Act lays down the ‘principles of empowerment of persons with disability’. Without support, conflict-affected children lose out on the chance to reach their full potential and rebuild their communities. Mike Oliver, in a recent interview for the forthcoming book, Doing inclusive education research (Allan and Slee, Rotterdam: Sense), lamented the fact that the social model had remained a source of Like all children, children with disabilities have ambitions and dreams for their futures. 1 This Unit is a slightly shortened and adapted version of two documents: IIEP. Goal 4: Quality education. Worryingly, education has thus far been a very low priority in humanitarian aid to countries in conflict — and less than 3% of global humanitarian assistance was allocated to education in 2016. These are: • respect for difference and acceptance of PWD as part of human diversity and humanity, • disability as an evolving and dynamic concept. Inclusive education is the most effective way to give all children a fair chance to go to school, learn and develop the skills they need to thrive. Five-year-old Odai, who has a speech disorder, attends a UNICEF-supported awareness session in Jordan on the rights of children with disabilities. • The Norms and Standards of the RTE make barrier-free access to class material, classrooms and buildings mandatory. During the same decade, the Indian Government also ratified UNCRPD-2007. Her practice has evolved to reflect this as she constantly strives to weave together therapy, education, and alternative communication into a fun-filled process of learning for her students. Some examples of Universal Design Classroom interventions that can benefit all learners, • Access: ramps, seating, transport, electronic books, • Participation: visual schedules, illustrated vocabulary, working with partners, project work, work experience, outdoor sports, visual and performing arts, • Modes of expression: written, verbal responses, art, drama, multimedia presentations. Disability rights activists are concerned that children with high support needs are enrolled in school, but end up in home-based programs under the SSA. Children with disabilities have the same need to belong as all children do. In encouraging and supporting human diversity in the classroom, schools build on humanistic aspects of life, which lay the foundation for the acceptance of differences. Educators continue to debate and determine the best ways to teach students with disabilities. When kids are found eligible for special education services, it’s common for their families to worry that they’ll be placed in a different classroom than other kids their age.But most kids who are eligible for special education spend the majority of their time in general education classrooms. inclusive education on the ground. http://www.ncert.nic.in/departments/nie/degsn/pdf_files/INDEX%20FINAL%20... https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/pdf/2016/03/Assessing-the-impac... http://www.dsek.nic.in/Misc/learningoutcome.pdf. It reflects a shift in focus from a welfare approach to a rights-based approach and makes it a legal obligation for the State to ensure that a child is in a state-recognised school. Since then, my idea of Inclusive Education has become aligned with the philosophy of the Index, which is: all students and staff have to be valued, and all efforts made to increase their participation and collaboration in school communities. The concept of ‘evolving capacities’ faces a similar fate for children with benchmark disability with high support needs (with 40 per cent disability) who require intensive support to carry out daily activities. This will set the precedent for inclusion of children like Sajan. What appears to be a major in hurdle in the path to finding the proper method for inclusion is the fact that very few major policy making groups have addressed the issue in decades. His mother’s conversation with his teacher showed that he is unable to sit for more than five minutes in class and is a social isolate, making him vulnerable to bullying. ‘We slot people at a particular level based on our understanding of the person’s impairment. Inclusive Education is a relatively new concept, having gained international attention in 2000, following the Education for All campaign. Under the new law, Fatima has been enrolled at a school about a kilometre away from her home. Inclusive education is educating all students in age-appropriate general education classes in their neighborhood schools, with high-quality instruction, interventions, and supports to succeed in the core curriculum. Fatima had been misdiagnosed with mental retardation when she was 5. This discussion paper explains that much more needs to be done for children with disabilities living in situations of armed conflict, and offers evidence-based recommendations. However, such opportunities to learn by doing will shrink if the school authorities continue to follow a one-size-fits-all curriculum. At the school level, teachers must be trained, buildings must be refurbished and students must receive accessible learning materials. Education can help address the mismatch between skills of the available workforce and job vacancies, which is a key problem in many markets. This document provides guidance on what Governments can do to create inclusive education systems. Ensuring that each individual has an equal opportunity for educational progress remains a challenge worldwide. Education of Children with Disability: Historical Entrenchment in Welfare. With curricular adaptation, Sajan could learn to develop his attention span using the activities he loves, working on the same learning outcomes as the rest of the class. 2009. If the curriculum is truly child-centred and child-friendly, as the Act claims it will be and if the environment is free of fear, anxiety and trauma, Fatima can learn along with her peers, irrespective of her inability to write. All these are now listed as interventions in the Act in Sections 17 and 18 under the ‘duties of educational institutions’ and ‘specific measures to promote inclusive education’. Teacher self- reflection goes a long way to create a nurturing classroom. themselves with the problems which children present in the classroom rather than examining the extent to which their own practices exclude. http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/Conflu... http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/Conference-Proceeding... https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ncert-books-to-make-class... http://www.ncert.nic.in/pdf_files/SpecialNeeds.pdf. Inclusive systems value the unique contributions students of all backgrounds bring to the classroom and allow diverse groups to grow side by side, to the benefit of all. Open communication and coordinated planning between general education teachers and special education staff are essential for inclusion to work. Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education and the Education 2030 Framework for Action emphasize inclusion and equity as laying the foundations for quality education.. Inclusive education values diversity and the unique contributions each student brings to the classroom. It is about the teacher, the student and the community coming together to lower barriers and increase access to learning. The ‘right to education’ implies diversity in education. The three cases studies presented in the essay demonstrate that children fall through the cracks of a fragmented system, despite laws recognising disability as an element of human diversity. Inclusion lies at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. Early detection is also a recognised part of the school system, a progressive step considering that childhood disabilities go undetected in the early years. Take a look. provincial education authorities, engaged in a large-scale programme to field-test new ideas and practices towards a system of education that can include all learners, regardless of their diverse needs. Here are some ideas to encourage inclusive schooling: • assess schools using tools like the Index for Inclusion, • create opportunities for teachers, administrative staff, the school community to interact with persons with disabilities, • frame guidelines for collaboration between teachers, special educators and teaching assistants, • develop training programs promoting collaborative teamwork, • allocate resources for assistive technology and communication, • collaborate with disability resource centres to support mainstream schools, • conduct access audits of the school environment, • train teachers through pre-service and in-service programs in differentiated instruction, cooperative learning, curricular accommodations, • encourage co-teaching in the inclusive classroom • encourage teachers to meet regularly to discuss best practices, • adapt curriculums and assessment techniques. References:1 Booth, T and Ainscow, M. Index for Inclusion: Developing learning and partici-pation in schools (2002) http://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/docs/Index%20English.pdf2 Curricular Adaptations for Children with Special Needs, Confluence, February 2016, Vol 18, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/document-reports/Conflu...3 Duncan, R. Universal Design http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/Conference-Proceeding...Perspectives/4 Gohain, Manash Pratim, ‘NCERT Books to make classroom inclusive’, The Times of India, April 22, 2017 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/ncert-books-to-make-class...5 Ikeda, D. http://www.ikedaquotes.org6 Including Children with Special Needs, Primary Stage, NCERT, 2014 http://www.ncert.nic.in/pdf_files/SpecialNeeds.pdf7 Julka, A, Index for Developing Inclusive Schools, NCERT http://www.ncert.nic.in/departments/nie/degsn/pdf_files/INDEX%20FINAL%20...8 KPMG, Assessing the Impact of the Right to Education Act, March 2016 https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/pdf/2016/03/Assessing-the-impac...9 Learning Indicators and Learning Outcomes at the Elementary Stage, NCERT 2014.http://www.dsek.nic.in/Misc/learningoutcome.pdf10 Mohamed Imranullah S. ‘Advantages and disadvantages of RTE Act’, The Hindu, 21 May 2013 http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/advantages-and-disadvantages...11 Naidu, A, Collaboration in the Era of Inclusion, Chapter on Reform, Inclusion and Teacher Education, Ed. An estimated 93 million children worldwide live with disabilities. In this article, we will review the sections relating to Inclusive Education in these legislative initiatives, as well as reflect on the implications for the quality of learning. This will not lead to respecting the evolving capacity of the individual, because we don’t focus on the factors that restrict the development of the person in the given environment,’ says disability rights activist Meenakshi Balasubramanian, Coordinator Projects, Equals: Centre for Promotion of Social Justice. • First, let us look at the RTE Act from the perspective of Inclusive Education, disability and access to quality education. Article 21-A of the Constitution guarantees education as a fundamental right and specifies that the state shall provide free and compulsory education for all children in the 6-14 years age group, although it was not until 2009 that the RTE Act was passed by Parliament. They face persistent barriers to education stemming from discrimination, stigma and the routine failure of decision makers to incorporate disability in school services. Overcoming this requires educational reform and progressive leadership that encourages learning and participation for all. Are teachers today prepared in the basic practices of curriculum adaptation, collaborative skills and Universal Design to build a new inclusive school culture? Similar statistics on learning outcomes in numeracy point out that pedagogy and teacher-student interactions that encourage learning through understanding and application are needed. Attitudes toward children with disabilities, as well as a lack of resources to accommodate them, compound the challenges they face in accessing education. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All, Inclusive Education: Including Children with Disabilities in Quality Learning, Towards Inclusive Education: The Impact of Disability on School Attendance in Developing Countries, Children with Disabilities in Situations of Armed Conflict. Unlike the PWD Act, 1995, the RPWD Act, 2009 provides for Inclusive Education, which it defines as ‘a system of education wherein students with and without disability learn together and the system of teaching and learning is suitably adapted to meet the learning needs of different types of students with disability.’ It also elaborates the basic requirements and the means of implementation. This report draws on national studies to examine why millions of children continue to be denied the fundamental right to primary education. Explain to students how being inclusive can benefit the whole class. Disability is the single most serious barrier to … Finally, the RTE Act makes it obligatory for the state to monitor school bodies, and improve their governance and school development plans. http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/ncert-brings-out-learning-... http://www.ncpedp.org/sites/all/themes/marinelli/documents/Rights%20of%2... http://thenationaltrust.gov.in/upload/uploadfiles/files/Persons%20with%2... Inclusive Education in India From Concept to Reality, Inclusive Education: Challenges in Building a Coherent Understanding. education issues pertaining to: Roles and responsibilities of teachers and teacher assistants; Training programs for teacher assistants; Projects to assist members in dealing with classroom issues . The RPWD Act additionally introduces the notion of ‘barriers’ in its definition of disability. Children with disabilities face multiple forms of discrimination which leads to their exclusion from society and school. For more detailed guidance on programming for inclusive education, please … Given the school’s progressive history, curricular accommodations such as use of teaching assistants, reduced portions, extra time for writing are part of the class routine. The barriers she encountered were attitudinal: the school authorities just could not understand how a child would get through school without being able to write. Following Barton (2008, p6) I believe, that, like disability, the problems caused by inequalities such as exclusion, and the need for an inclusive society and the education system, are public issues “in which discriminatory social structures, social relationships, and social processes need … One of the final barriers associated with inclusion education is a lack of communication among administrators, teachers, specialists, staff, parents, and students. According to Dipti Bhatia, Deputy Director of Vidya Sagar, a disability resource centre, ‘assessments should be done at the time of admission to get the environment ready for the child rather than getting the child ready for the environment.’ She notes that the examination system must also evolve. Fatima secured admission in her neighbourhood school, but could she progress from the special unit to the regular classroom? http://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/docs/Index%20English.pdf. More and better research on the drivers of growth will be needed to improve policy. The guiding principles of the Act also go beyond enrolment to provision of quality of learning. Activists with disability played an important role as stakeholders invested in facilitating social change and claimed their movement was entering a new phase. The most progressive feature of the RPWD Act is the ‘Universal Design’ concept promoted by the UNCRPD. The idea of the child with disability going to mainstream schools, along with other children marginalised by poverty, gender and cultural factors, was gaining momentum. Use electronic portfolio, • involve parents of children with disability. The research basis for inclusive education. The last decade saw a shift in perspective in respect of the education of children with disability - from an approach that emphasises welfare to one that emphasises human rights, following the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (UNCRPD) by the Indian Government. 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