Principles of Inclusive Education: Access, Equity, Relevance, Participation and Empowerment

UNESCO has stated inclusion as

“a dynamic approach of responding positively to pupil diversity and of seeing individual differences not as problems, but as opportunities for enriching learning.” 

M. Manivannan defined,

“Inclusive Education implies bringing together the educational needs of the normal children and the educational requirements of the children with special needs, so as to evolve a common curriculum with a view to provide education to all in regular schools itself. It is a flexible and individualised support system for children and young people with special educational needs. It provides an integral component of the overall education system and is provided in regular schools committed in an appropriate education for all.”

Uppal and Dey claimed,

“Inclusive Education aims to provide a favorable setting for achieving equal opportunity and full participation for all, thus bringing children with special needs well within the preview of mainstream education. It recognizes the diverse needs of the students and ensures equality education to all through appropriate curricula, teaching strategies, support services and partnership with a community and parents. In simple words, it means that all children with or without disabilities learn together.”

According to Stainback and Stainback,

“Inclusive Education is the implementation of policy and process that allows all children to participate in all programmes. Policy means that disabled children should be accepted without any restrictions in all the educational programmes meant for other children. The process of inclusion denotes the ways in the system  makes itself welcoming to all. Inclusive Education is nothing but making the programme for disabled children as an integral part of the general educational system rather than a system within general education.” 

Principles of Inclusive Education 

1). Access

• The Indian Constitution states every child has the right to avers knowledge, skill, and information. 

• All children have access to education regardless of their condition or disability. 

• The disabled students have the right to access all the facilities provided by the institution.

• Institutions should build structures in a way that the school facilities are accessible by disabled students. 

2). Equity 

• All students whether disabled or not should be treated equally and given the same level of disability education. 

• There should be no discrimination among students on the basis of disability. 

• To provide equal and equitable opportunities of education to all students. 

• To enable all groups of children to learn and live together with equality. 

3). Relevance 

• The curriculum in schools should be flexible to meet the needs and interests of every student.

• Schools should design the curriculum in a manner that is relevant for disabled students as well. 

• The subjects, chapters, and topics taught in school should all be relevant in the livelihood of all students. 

4). Participation 

• To allow disabled students to actively and fully participate in all school activities without any discrimination. 

• To provide opportunities for students with disabilities for equal active participation. 

• To motivate students with disability for participation in every events and programmesin school. 

• To provide disabled students with opportunities where they can participate and showcase their abilities and talent. 

5). Empowerment 

• To empower the disabled children by giving them the opportunity of learning. 

• To promote the overall development of all learners that makes them realise their potential and feel empowered. 

• To help the children with disabilities become stronger and confident in themselves and their capabilities.