Right to Inclusive Education

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By Swetha Sukumar

Posted on January 3, 2023


7 min read

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Right to Inclusive Education  

Inclusive education is one of the rights of persons with disabilities. The Right to Education Act and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act mandate an education system that is inclusive of all students, regardless of their abilities or needs. Inclusive education training is the subject matter training that brings people with disabilities to the mainstream  by ensuring equal opportunity and equal participation as any child in all areas of preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary vocational studies.

Every child has the right to education.The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) recognizes the right to inclusive education for all persons with disabilities. Let us understand the problems of inclusive education.

Why is inclusive education important?

The first is that all children receive an effective education. For example, a differently-abled person does not need any other consideration to have the courage to face anyone in his normal life as his school life becomes part of the general school community.  Apart from this, another important change is that every child in the school community they belong to has the sense that he is living in a society that includes differently abled people, moulding them into citizens with a broad perspective. Through this, it is possible to get education which is the fundamental right of any student.

What is included in inclusive education?

Inclusive education is transforming the entire education system. For this, it is necessary to adapt all activities like law making, policy formulation, education delivery, education monitoring, financial assistance, administration, restructuring of schools etc. This involves spreading awareness about the rights of differently-abled people in the right way.

For inclusive education to be possible there must be commitment and resources across ministries of education and schools. Inclusive education implementation progress should be continuously evaluated. An inclusive school environment should have a continuous access to the necessary services of trained teachers. A good support system should be ensured to enable all teachers to work and students to learn. Equal participation of all children should be ensured while respecting diversity. Full cooperation and participation of parents, teachers and differently abled organisations should be made possible.

Right to inclusive education

The right to inclusive education applies to all children. It is a broad framework that ensures the maximum development of the child by treating each child as a unit, providing due care and support. This right should be realised for the differently abled by having access to schools without any discrimination. Equality should be ensured. All physical, intellectual, legal, communicative, linguistic, socio-economic and attitudinal barriers should be removed.

The aim of education is the full development of children’s skills and abilities. The law stipulates that this should be made effective in the case of differently-abled persons as well. The government should be able to ensure the rights of all human beings with tolerance and cooperation while fostering understanding and respect for diversity. Children with disabilities should never be excluded from the general education system. Any law making in the country should be done considering them. Education of the differently abled should be ensured in all areas of preschool, primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational studies. The Education Act mentions that there should be an adequate number of schools across the country and provision of quality education.

How much support systems need to be improved?

The Act stipulates that school buildings and transport, as well as playgrounds, sanitation and toilet facilities, communication, curriculum and learning materials, teaching methods, assessment and support services should all be disability friendly and non-barrier. Schools must adapt to the needs of students with different learning needs. Additional services with the help of special teachers should be regularly provided in the school for adaptations to help the differently abled to get education on an equal basis with others and to overcome the discrimination in getting education. Reasonable accommodations should be made according to the wishes of persons with disabilities. What constitutes a reasonable accommodation should never be determined by a child’s medical diagnosis, but rather by looking at the barriers to education that the particular child faces.

Classrooms should be relocated as needed to accommodate all children. Communication in the classroom should be respectful of the needs of the differently abled also. The government should ensure that large print books, such as like in Braille etc are made available to those who need them. Children who need it should be provided with a tutor or writing assistant as appropriate during the study phase and assessment. Additional time and use of technology shall be allowed as required by law during the assessment.

Be mindful of children with sensory issues and adjust background noise levels to ensure sensitivity. Alternative assessment approaches or emphasis on specific elements of development should be tailored to the child. We have come to know that all this is not a gift but a right for the differently abled. Students with disabilities deserve general support from governments to enable their rights. Especially during most of their educational period.

For example, the services of specially trained teachers, school counsellors, psychologists and other relevant health and social welfare professionals need to be secured to provide specific training and support. They also need support in accessing financial resources and information, such as scholarships. Individual education plans should be developed with the help of special teachers, class teachers and parents after understanding the unique situation of the child.

Its progress should be evaluated and necessary additions should be made. A personal education plan should be formulated with support in all areas. If such support is not received, the disaffected have the right to file a complaint. Some special categories such as those with intellectual challenges and autism may require an individualised education plan. By getting all kinds of support in this way, communication and social development is possible in their lives. This leads to better social conditions. The government needs to remember that all this is a right and not a bounty they should get.

The right to education and other human rights are interrelated. Other rights go unrecognised if education is not effectively achieved. If the right to education is fulfilled, a person is brought to the realisation of other rights.

What should the government do to ensure inclusive education?

It should be the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to provide quality education to every child in schools. Other ministries need to be involved in helping to create inclusive education. For example, planning transport to enable children to go to school and buildings to be disabled-friendly. Child Protection Unit Ensure that children are safe. The Finance Department should also ensure that adequate funds are available for this. In this way, the government can easily implement this great thing by providing joint support.

Proper laws and policies should be in place to support inclusive education. End discrimination and ensure equal education through inclusive education. It is also the responsibility of the law to listen to the voices of the differently abled and protect their fundamental rights by giving them full support. It should ensure that all schools have access to the differently abled and ensure that the health sector is prepared to recognize the difficulties of children at an early age.

The government needs to prepare action plans with a broad perspective while implementing inclusive education. This includes many things like how many children in a school, how much money to make available, how barrier-free buildings are, and time frames for when to achieve the goals set are all necessary.

All teachers need to be trained to teach in schools with differently abled children. Teachers should be able to teach and assess such children with very different abilities, with the support of special educators. Special assessment tests are also required to assess and record the progress of differently abled children. The government needs to make special teachers who have received all the training for this a part of the school.