It is a known fact that children are excluded from many school settings because of disability, race, language, religion, gender, etc. But every child has the right to be educated and thrive in an environment that is inclusive irrespective of the differences. Nowadays, parents are more inclined towards inclusive education, but there isn’t much awareness of this topic.
Keeping this in mind, we are going to try and demystify inclusive education and its importance.
Inclusive Education – What is it?
Education is deemed to be inclusive when students from diverse backgrounds learn side by side in the same classroom. Students with different physical and learning abilities are placed in age-appropriate general education classrooms. They participate in field trips and after-school activities together and attend the same sports meets and plays.
It is the teachers and the school administration who recognize that children with disabilities have equal capacities to learn and perform just like their peers without disabilities. To this end, they provide adequate support, resources, and infrastructure to facilitate their education.
Why Inclusive Education is Important?
Inclusive education is about appreciating each child’s differences. It involves taking cognizance of each child’s unique set of strengths and limitations. Inclusive education enables children to understand and live in harmony in a world filled with people different from themselves. An inclusive school is the perfect training ground for real life as the dynamics of the school imparts children with life lessons, values, and morals.
Some important values that inclusive education imparts are:
Children who grow up in inclusive education dynamics become more sensitive by learning side-by-side with their peers with disabilities. They understand how words can affect a person. They get to practice patience and develop empathy. This also inculcates strong bonds of friendship among the children and helps them learn social skills.
Better Understanding of Strengths and Weaknesses
Children in inclusive schools learn that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This gives all the children a chance to learn to appreciate such differences. Children with disabilities, especially, are able to develop a positive perception of themselves from the get-go. All the children in such a setting, learn the importance of collaboration to accomplish something. As children of different abilities learn and grow together, so do their values of respect and acceptance.
The primary aim of inclusive education is to enable children to learn and equip themselves with skill-sets that fit their interests. Such an approach benefits everyone. Children learn at their own pace and style within a nurturing and supportive environment.
Creation of an Inclusive Society
Introducing inclusive education into the classroom leads to the acceptance of children with disabilities, thereby enabling them to lead their lives in a more inclusive society. When children are exposed to inclusive education, it imparts the values, skills, and knowledge to include others who are different from them. Children start to perceive the differences in a positive way. In the long run, these future adults will be instrumental in ensuring that equal opportunities are made available to ALL.
Inclusive education is of great importance and schools should not exclude students with disabilities. Children with disabilities should be provided with quality education just like children without disabilities.
With continuous exposure, inclusive education not only enables children but also parents and teachers. Also, inclusive education meets the requirements of every child in the system thereby creating a bright future for this approach. With proper training and support, schools can implement inclusive education with ease and success.
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