Inclusive Education is an approach to educate all students with special educational needs. All students are welcomed by neighborhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. Inclusive education values diversity, the unique contributions for each student bring them to the classroom. The school staff have the training, support, flexibility, and resources to nurture, encourage, and respond to the needs of all students.
The journey to becoming an Inclusive School may be long and challenging, but ultimately this journey can strengthen school communities and benefit all children. “Inclusion” does not simply mean the placement of students with disabilities in general education classes, it is a way to involve disabled children with other children. Such effective models of inclusive education not only benefit students with disabilities but also create an environment in which every student, including those who do not have disabilities, has the opportunity to flourish. Inclusion include common classroom activities, studies, co-curricular activities, competitions, celebrations etc.
The purpose of education is to ensure that all students gain access to knowledge, skills, and information that will prepare them to contribute to different communities and workplaces. The central purpose becomes more challenging as schools accommodate students with increasingly diverse backgrounds and abilities. As we strive to meet these challenges, the involvement and cooperation of schools, teachers, parents and community is vital for the creation of better and more inclusive schools. Inclusive education has been found to have equal or better outcomes for all children – not just for children who experience disability. This includes better academic and social outcomes.
Benefits of Inclusive Education includes developing individual strengths and gifts, with high and appropriate expectations for each child, working on individual goals while participating in the life of the classroom with other students their own age, involve their parents in their education and in the activities of their local schools, foster a school culture of respect and belonging. Inclusive education provides opportunities to learn about and accept individual differences, lessening the impact of harassment and bullying, developing friendships with a wide variety of other children, each with their own individual needs and abilities. Effectively, inclusive education provides a nurturing venue where teaching and learning should occur despite pros and cons. It is evident that students with disabilities benefit more in an inclusive atmosphere because they can receive help from their peers with diverse abilities and they compete at the same level due to equal opportunities given.
“Children who learn together, learn to live together”