Inclusive Education means providing quality education to all children especially those who have been excluded from main stream education. It welcomes all children regardless of their gender, physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other characteristics. It benefits not only students with disabilities but provides a variety of benefits for students without disabilities, teachers, schools and communities.
Most children with disabilities or special needs are not enrolled in regular schools. They are kept apart from society by tagging them with different names and educated in separate special schools, where there are few opportunities for them to develop and get valued in our community. By including them in regular education, they are given opportunities to learn from their peers. They observe the ways in which other students are successful and practice these behaviour. A student who has difficulty communicating can learn effective strategies by being with students who use language all day long. Mobility skills can be addressed while students come back to classes after recess. A student having problem in reading can work side by side with other readers. At times, all students may find their best teachers among their peers.
International Research Shows that:
- Approximately 10% – 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability.
- Persons with disabilities constitute the world’s largest minority.
- An estimated 80% of persons with disabilities live in developing countries.
- An estimated 15% – 20% of the world’s poorest people are disabled.
- Only 5% – 15% of persons with disabilities can access assistive devices in the developing world.
- Children with disabilities are much less likely to attend school than other children.
- Persons with disabilities tend to experience higher unemployment and have lower earnings than people without disabilities.
We can never teach Real World Skills by isolating a student from the Real World. This is the goal of Inclusive Education i.e. is to teach students how to be successful in the real world, not in the world of special education.