Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality 
Improve Your World Home | About Us | Sitemap | Search | Contact Us 

Home >> NPOs >> Nilam Patel Bahushrut Foundation >> Nilam Patel's Thesis


Inclusive Education is a development approach seeking to address the learning needs of all children, youth and adults with a specific focus on those who are vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion. The principle of Inclusive education was adopted at the world conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality (Salamanca, Spain, 1994) and was restated at the World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal, 2000). The idea of inclusion is further supported by the UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities proclaiming participation and equality.

An increasing number of publications, workshops, policy papers etc. are in clear support of these ideas. Some organizations and people, however express reservation as to whether the ordinary classroom in regular schools can provide optimal quality education for handicapped children. This debate is historical and has been on-going ever since people began to question the old segregated institutions, and to struggle for the equality of handicapped children and their Integration in to society and in to education.

Educational intervention and support designed to address special educational needs should be viewed from three indicators. Community, Equality and Participation.

The philosophy of education that caters to the needs of all children can be said to rest on three factors. 
1) Handicap seen in relation to demands from environment
2) A holistic view of the pupil.
3) The principal of non-segregation measure.
The objectives of Inclusive education are
1) To educate all children together for their mutual benefit
2) To change attitudes towards different children by forming the basics for a ‘just and non-discriminatory’ society which encourages people to live and learn together.

The Salamanca statement, 1994, of the World Conference on Special Needs Education Access and Quality states that “Regular schools with an inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes and improve efficiency and ultimately, the cost effectiveness of the entire education system”. 
The right to education is proclaimed in Universal Declaration of human Rights.
It has also been reaffirmed in the World Declaration on Education For All. The
Policy statement and framework for action on special education needs, adopted by UNESCO in 1994, stated that schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other condition. It further states that, the schools have to find ways of successfully educating all children including those who have serious disadvantages and disabilities. It is high time that special schools encourage integration and function more as resource and training centers for personnel of ordinary schools for identifying disabled children and adopting the curriculum and teaching methods to suit individual need of their pupils

In special educational set up, a child is brought up in a world that does not exist, because when any handicap child leaves a special school, he enters a world of normal people. The blind enters a seeing world, deaf enters a hearing world and physically handicap child enters a mobile world. In 1998, The Harvard Education Review carried summary of 15 years of research, which found that special schools result in low self esteem and feeling of social inadequacy. Fewer products of special schools opt for higher education or get jobs later in life. 

The literacy rate in India increased from 18.3% in 1951 to 62.2% in 1991. The country has witnessed phenomenal expansion of educational opportunities in the post independence period. But disabled children however have not benefited substantially from the growth in educational facilities. Kothari Commission recommended in 1964, integration of the handicapped in the regular school programs and in 1986 NCERT formulated Project Integrated Education for the Disabled (PIED). PIED had been designed to strengthen implementation of the centrally sponsored scheme of Integrated Education for the Disabled Children. (IEDC).This was formulated in collaboration with UNICEF. The major objective of the project is to achieve the goal of Education for All. It aimed to reduce the isolation of handicapped children, to promote the psychological acceptance of these children by the normal school going population and to equip them with the competencies to face life with courage and confidence. 

Deafness was not included in the Indian censuses till the National Sample Survey Organization’s 36th round in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons. 
The second count was carried out in the 47th round of the NSSO which estimated 6.5 million deaf Indian populations in 1991. In both the surveys, Hearing Disability was defined as “The deaf are those in whom the sense of hearing is non functional for ordinary purpose of life. Generally a loss of hearing at 70 db or above at 500, 1000 and 2000 frequencies will make residual hearing non-functional.” Hearing disability was judged taken in to consideration the following categories.
1) Profound - Who could hear only loud sound or thunder.
2) Severe - Who could hear shouted words or could hear when speaker was sitting in front.
3) Moderate – Neither profound nor severe.
During survey conducted in 2001, a person who could not hear at all or could hear only loud sound was considered as having hearing disability. Also a person who could not hear through one ear but other ear was functioning normally was considered as having hearing disability.
Ministry of Welfare, Govt. of India defines – Hearing handicap refers to hearing loss of 70db or more in the better ear for vocational purpose and 55db or more loss for educational purpose.

In recent years, the appropriateness of having separate system in form of special schools has been questioned, both from the human rights perspective and from the point of view of effectiveness. Do disable children have to remain segregated all their life? Do they have to be onlookers always, for no fault of theirs?
There is a cry in the disability sector today for inclusive education where the disabled child can go to the same neighborhood school as his friends, sit at the same desk, play the same games and do everything else that other children do, keeping in mind his limitations, weaknesses and strengths.

Severe delays in acquiring language and communication skills block deaf children from the informal avenues of learning that hearing children use to extend their social environment and develop life skills. Studies abroad and at home have indicated that there are clear advantages for a hearing impaired child who integrates well in to a hearing environment. There is ample evidence to show that those hearing impaired children who have been mainstreamed in to their local schools develop better life skills in coping with their surroundings.

These advantages would be possible only if the hearing impaired child was given great deal of special attention from the beginning to cope with the pressures of hearing environment. This means special training which includes developing language, auditory, lip reading and speech, perceptual, cognitive, motor and social skills. Success of mainstream education depends on various factors like age of onset of impairment, extent of impairment, use of adequate amplification, early intervention, parental and teacher support and child’s ability to lip read and develop oral skills that a hearing impaired child develops sufficient language and communication skills to be able to socialize, develop relationships, learn to trust, share and relate.


Previous | Next