What is Inclusion, Need and importance of inclusive education in the Indian context

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion involves keeping special education students in general education classrooms and bringing the support services to the child, rather than bringing the child to the support services.

Inclusion is a term which expresses commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students).

What is inclusive education –

Inclusive education means education of all students, where all students are equal participants in the learning process. Provision of inclusive education involving students with disabilities is based on the belief that those with disabilities should not have to depend on specialized services alone, to benefit from educational resources, activities and practices that are otherwise available to all. Inclusivity is maintained when all members of a group are able to participate in its activities, which means, provisions made are considerate of all members and not just those from specific groups or, with special abilities, disabilities, and/or needs.

Need and importance of inclusive education in the Indian context

India is a country with abundant human capital. This important human resource should be tended properly through education and training to engage it successfully in the nation building activity. But unfortunately more than half of our youths are out of the school system due to various reasons. This is in violation to Human Rights issue which stresses upon upholding human dignity. The main goal of Right to Education Act is make education available to each child irrespective of his location, class, cast, religion, status and standing mental and physical limitations and other disadvantages the child may be suffering from.

Education policies for children with special needs

Different educational policies have been made from time to time for making different educational provisions for children with special needs.

As early as 1944, the Central Advisory Board of Education (Sargent Report) made provisions for mainstreaming education of students with disabilities as far as possible.

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Types of School- Mainstream, Special, Integrated and Inclusive

Mainstreaming appeared as an alternative to traditional approaches to overcome the above mentioned disadvantages. Mainstreaming is an educational approach designed to end the segregation of exceptional children by keeping these children in the mainstream of educational system and providing them with broad range of educational alternatives.

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Use of basic education introduced by Mahatma Gandhi

Basic means that which comes first in time. Gandhiji evolved the theory of Basic Education and its contribution is seen in the following areas – Co-education – Boys and girls are taught together.
Pragmatism – Learning by doing where time should be spent on manual work and activities under teacher’s supervision.

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National Policy on Education For Persons with Disabilities

Outlining the steps for ensuring equal education opportunity for the handicapped, the NPE states that the objective should be “to integrate the physically and mentally handicapped with the general community as equal partners, to prepare them for normal growth and to enable them to face life with courage and confidence.

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National Policy for Persons with Disabilities

The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities was released by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in February 2006. It has been realized that every child with disability has access to appropriate pre-school, primary and secondary level education by 2020.

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