Dr Pratik Mungekar shared his thoughts on "Inclusive Education "

DR. PRATIK RAJAN MUNGEKAR awarded Certificate of Recognition for being the PLENARY SPEAKER during the 12th Global Virtual Conference on Multidisciplinary Trends in Academic Research with the theme: "Converging and Diverging Paradigms and Approaches: Academic Research in a Changing World," organized by LEAD Philippines Global - Qatar held virtually on March 11 to 13, 2022 via Zoom. Given this 13th day of March in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twenty-Two in Qatar.






He exhaustively presented the topic Inclusive Education


Inclusive Education

As We all know Education is not only a fundamental right but has also been declared as one of the human rights. This means that every child has the basic right to education. Each and every child should get admitted to the school. After the child gets admitted to the school, who has to take care of imparting education to the child? Yes, you are right. It is the teacher who has to shoulder this responsibility. We as teachers know that every child is unique and so, the education we impart should be meaningful. You know that each child is unique. Can you identify a few areas of uniqueness?


Key Elements of Inclusive Education

Inclusion: All children should have the opportunity to learn together, should have equal access to the general education system, and should receive individual accommodation where needed based on disability or other differences. Inclusion in the CRPD favours transition from separate, segregated learning environments for persons with disabilities to schooling within the general education system with the necessary supports to make inclusion meaningful. The principle of inclusion is a component of accessibility, availability, acceptability and adaptability.


Accessibility: Educational institutions and programmes must be accessible to persons with disabilities, without discrimination. Accessibility, reflected in Article 9 of the CRPD, has three overlapping dimensions, including non-discrimination together with reasonable accommodation; physical access; and economic access.

Non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation in education require that education

be accessible to all persons, including the most vulnerable persons with disabilities, without discrimination based on disability. Non-discrimination also requires that persons with disabilities be accommodated in accessing their right to education at all levels (primary, secondary and university education, along with tertiary education.



A reasonable accommodation is defined in the CRPD as “necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”7 In the context of education, an example would be developing an independent education plan that lays out the reasonable accommodations needed by a particular student.




Physical accessibility as applied to education means that schools must be within safe physical reach and they must be accessible for persons with disabilities, both in terms of getting to the school, and moving around within the school building and all facilities. Physical reach may mean access through attendance at some reasonably convenient geographic location (e.g. a neighbourhood school) or, provided not used as a means of segregation, it can encompass access via modern technology (e.g. access to a "distance learning" programme provided by a university).


Education must be economically accessible in the sense that it must be affordable to persons with disabilities. International law requires that primary education be available "free to all," which must apply equally to students with disabilities. In the case of secondary and higher education, States are required to achieve access based on progressive realization.


Availability: the concept of availability in securing the right to education implies that functioning educational institutions and programmes for students with disabilities must be available in sufficient quantity within the jurisdiction of a State. This is often a problem for students with disabilities who may need to travel to a distant urban area to find a school that can accommodate their needs.




Acceptability: The concept of acceptability relates to the form and substance of education. As emphasized by the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the realization that socialization is a key element of an acceptable education means that inclusiveness is highly prioritized over segregation. Other aspects of acceptability include a choice of the language of instruction. For children with disabilities, this could include, for example, the provision of sign language. It could also encompass the provision of instructional materials in alternative formats such as Braille or plain language or easy-to-read formats.


Curricula and teaching methods must be provided in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual student. This might include, for example, teaching in sign language for students who are deaf or providing educational materials in Braille or audio formats for students who are blind.


Adaptability: The concept of adaptability as applied to education for persons with disabilities pertains to flexibility to meet the needs of students with disabilities. At least two aspects of adaptability are essential to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

These include: (1) the provision of reasonable accommodation, where needed, to meet individual student needs; and

(2) the provision of support within the general education system to facilitate education. Adaptability also requires responsiveness to the changing nature of education. For example, in the transition to inclusion, adaptability would mean recruiting teachers with disabilities.


Meaning & Concept of Inclusion:

Inclusion is the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. It also means the act of including someone or something as part of a group, list, etc. There is a lot of debate and discussions regarding the meaning of the term ‘Inclusion’ in Education. For some, it means, “Mainstreaming” students. Under the concept of mainstreaming, students with disabilities are taught in resource programmes until their academic skills increase to the same, or very nearly the same level as their same-age peers in regular classrooms. Students with disabilities will then be “mainstreamed” into the general education setting. Thus, the emphasis is on changing the child to better fit the “regular” system of education.

 

Need and Importance of Inclusive Education
There have been efforts internationally to include children with disabilities in the educational mainstream. To achieve truly inclusive education, we need to think about and incorporate children with special needs into regular schools. Especially, because these kids face some sort of barriers to learning and participation in the classroom. As general education classrooms include more and more diverse students, teachers realize the value of accepting each student as unique. In effective inclusive programs, teachers adapt activities to include all students, even though their individual goals may be different. We have learned that inclusive education is a better way to help all students succeed. Researches show that most students learn and perform better when exposed to the richness of the general education curriculum. The growing body of research has shown that children do better academically when in inclusive settings and Inclusion provides opportunities to develop relationships.


Some of the benefits include friendships, social skills, personal principles, comfort level with people who have special needs, and caring classroom environments.


The most important function of friendships is to make people feel cared for, loved, and safe. In an inclusive educational setting, low-achieving students can get extra help even though they did not qualify for special education. Classmates of students with disabilities also experience growth in social cognition, often can become more aware of the needs of others in inclusive classrooms. An interesting side effect is that these parents report that they also feel more comfortable with people with special needs because of their children‟s experiences. Students with disabilities can create long-lasting friendships that would not be otherwise possible, and these friendships can give them the skills to navigate social relationships later on in life.


Conclusion

Right to Education Act 2009 ensures education to all children irrespective of their caste, religion, ability, and so on. It is essential to build an inclusive society through an inclusive approach. In doing so, we have challenged commonly held beliefs and developed a new set of core assumptions. Inclusion is more than a method of educating students with disabilities. It stresses that each child, regardless of the intensity and severity of his or her disabilities, is a valued member of society and is capable of participating in that society. A good inclusive education allows all the students to participate in all aspects of the classroom equally or close to equal. To meet the challenges, the involvement and cooperation of educators, parents, and community leaders is vital for the creation of better and more inclusive schools. The Government of India is trying to improve its education system focusing on the inclusive approach.


The challenges can be overcome by raising awareness of human rights in communities and publicising positive examples of disabled children and adults succeeding in inclusive education and Every life beyond school as a result. We need to develop an inclusive design of learning to make the education joyful for all children so that the education for them is welcoming, learner-friendly and beneficial and they feel like a part of it not apart from it. Therefore, Inclusion arose as a good solution to the question of how to educate these children more effectively.