Topics of Interest Editorials
Raj Kumar Parashari 02 Aug, 2018 Views: 991
The Constitution of India guarantees ‘free and compulsory education’ to all the children between 6 to 14 years of age. The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2012 allows the children with special needs* to pursue the mainstream education. Unfortunately, most of them have to go to special schools, away from their peers who attend regular schools. It creates a divide and badly influences young minds. It instills inferiority complex and doubt about their own abilities. Mainstream students also deprived of chances to
(a) appreciate the Almighty “how kind He has been to them?”
(b) understand the needs of specially abled friend and to act empathetically. Else young ones grow as insensitive to issues like empathy, equality, appreciation … and I see all these as important threads of healthy and progressive society.
Inclusive education promotes same curriculum and co- curriculum for all students. Thus students with special need are treated as a full member. However, they occasionally leave the regular classroom to attend smaller, more intensive instructional sessions in a resource-room to receive specific services like speech and language therapy.
Inclusive Education is not a recent phenomenon in India. We find several instances in ancient scriptures on this approach (Atharva Ved 6-64-1 & 6-64-2), which emphasizes upon same set of instructions for all the students from the same educational platform. It should give you all same opportunities without any discrimination. It should inculcate sense of mutual respect and appreciation. It shows the importance and relevance of inclusivity in the field of learning together in ancient India.
Inclusion rejects the use of special schools or classrooms to segregate the differently abled children from other students. Sad part of the story is that most of the schools use the inclusion model only for the selected students with mild to moderate special needs. To some extent it seems to be okay, after all we do not have special classes for the meritorious students or special sports facilities for students having inclination in sports.
Anti-discriminatory climate has resulted into change in policy and statute both nationally and internationally which mainly include:
a. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 which mandates children’s rights in respect of freedom from discrimination.
b. The Convention against Discrimination in Education of UNESCO which prohibits discrimination, exclusion or segregation in education.
c. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006 which calls on member countries to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels.
d. In India, Section 26 of 'The Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995' mandates the provision of free and compulsory education to be offered to all children with disabilities up to minimum age of 18 years.
* As per the Census 2011, there are 2.67 Crore persons with disabilities in India who constitute 2.21 % of total population. The census data shows that 70% of them live in the rural areas