What are the ways to overcome barriers in inclusive education?
Inclusion means the state of being included. The term is understood as including everyone by giving equal access and opportunities to all without any discrimination whether it is based on their gender, race, ability, or sexuality. It is the act of meeting the academic and social needs of all students regardless of how or who they are. Those children with disability and those without have equal rights of education. It creates a barrier free environment in schools by including all students and providing equal opportunities to everyone.
According to Stephan and Blackhurst,
“Inclusive Education is a set of values, principles and practices that seeks more effective and meaningful education for all students, regardless of whether they have exceptionality labels or not.”
Definitions of Inclusive Education by Various Authors
1). According to Advani and Chadha, “Inclusive Education describes the restructuring of special education to permit all or most students to be integrated in mainstream classes through reorganisation and instruction innovations (e.g., cooperative learning, collaborative consultation and team teaching)”.
2). 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.”
3). According to Uppal and Dey,
“Inclusive Education aims to provide a favourable setting for achieving equal opportunity and full participation for all, thus bringing children with special needs well within the preview of mainstream education. It recognises 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.”
Ways to Overcome Barriers in Inclusive Education
According to Unicef,
“At the school level, teachers must be trained, buildings must be refurbished, and students must receive accessible learning materials.”
“At the community level, stigma and discrimination must be tackled and individuals need to be educated on the benefit of inclusive education.”
“At the national level, Governments must align laws and policies with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and regularly collect and analyse data to ensure children are reached with effective services.”
The several ways to overcome barriers during inclusive education are:
1). Spreading Awareness
Spreading awareness among children about each other’s differences encourages diversity in school and to respect one another. It develops a positive school culture
2). Trained Teachers
Institutions should hire trained teachers or train teachers properly to handle disabled students. Teachers should be adequately trained on what techniques and methods to use for disabled learners for their proper learning.
3). Provide Basic Facilities
Institutions should provide basic facilities to fulfil the needs of disabled students. These children are not able to access various facilities of schools due to their condition. Schools should build structures in a way so that the facilities are accessible by disabled students. For eg: Lifts can be installed so students on wheelchairs can move up and down the other floorsand use the facilities provided by the school.
4). Appropriate Curriculum
The curriculum in schools should be flexible to meet the interests of every student. Every student is different and had individual differences and preferences. Schools should design the curriculum in a manner where learners get to choose the subject they are interested in and have the potential to show their talent.
These are some of the effective ways to overcome barriers in inclusive education and give every student the opportunity to receive the education they deserve.