“Inclusive good quality education
is the foundation of equitable societies “
Earlier, in our education systems across the world, we used to give preference to the perceived talented ones, skillful ones and paid more attention to capable ones. And habitually or conveniently ignored or refused to acknowledge the emotional plight of the differently abled. Our teaching systems had become cozier and comfortable in just making the brighter ones succeed, while brushing the existence of ones with difficulties under carpet, labeling them as abnormal, lazy, stupid and incapable.
Inclusive Education – The Revolutionary Idea
The concept of Inclusive education has opened the doors to equal attention and opportunities to all. There is enough research to prove that bringing the differently abled under one roof with their abled peers is but a win-win for all, not just the differently abled. Inclusion offers an opportunity to nurture relationships and develop long lasting friendships. It is friendships that make people feel loved, cared and safe. They render the skills needed by the differently abled to maneuver through social relationships smoothly later in life. Similarly, their abled peers show increased awareness, tolerance and positive attitude towards others and ultimately learn to live cohesively in the society, while respecting the existence of others. The good news is that schools and government have started to take the right to education seriously. It has become an international phenomena more so and schools across the globe and in India have already started implementing policies around it.
Inclusive Education – The Progressive Change
Learning challenges, differently abled, deficit in intellectual capacity or emotional-behavioral problems and myriad neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism hamper easy acquisition of academic and life skills. Inclusive education has paved the way for such children with special needs, to be given a fair chance like all other students to participate in education and school. It has enabled us to look beyond the blindfold of academic scores, at multiple intelligences to foster varying capacities in different children. Now, a child can take help of a special educator and work around his/her reading writing difficulties to acquire knowledge and go on to pursue a successful and happy life. Special educators, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers and parents now work together to attend to the unique needs of every child in the school.
The Road Ahead
The road to inclusive education for all, is not a cake walk for sure, primarily considering the humongous population of India, besides other complexities around implementation of this concept. The implementation is in process but at a very micro level today. Well, to meet the challenges surrounding it we as educators, parents as well as community leaders need to get involved and cooperate whole-heartedly.
Perhaps, Inclusive education is more of a journey than a destination. Come let’s contribute towards building a world free of disorders or disabilities… a world full of equal opportunities and endless possibilities.
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*Sourced from the Internet