Inclusive Education : A hope for children with special needs


Dr. Kumar Sanjeev
Lecturer, Patna Training College,

The implementation of Inclusive Education(IE) in knowledge economy of Bihar has brought a rayof hope among the Children With Special Needs(CWSN).Following theinclusion in principle ,there is a conscious shift away from specialschooling to mainstream schooling of education .Mentally retarded,visually impaired, hearing impaired, orthopaedically impaired andlearning disabled children are being included in general class-room. Inpresent article the author has tried to throw the light upon ongoingprocess of inclusion and Government’s initiative.

Biharis reviving but the situation of education for disabled is alarming.Recently it has topped the list of states having highest number(31,76624) of out of school children. Nearly 17 percent of totalchildren of the state is out of school (IMRB-SRI survey, July -September 2005). 5 to 6 percent of them are Children With Special Needs(CWSN).It includes mentally retarded, visually impaired, hearingimpaired, orthopaedically handicapped and learning disabled. PresentGovt. has taken a new initiative to green signaling the inclusion inprinciple . It has brought a ray of hope among CWSN and their parents.Following the inclusion in principle , there is a conscious shift awayfrom special schooling to mainstream schooling of education.

Although, inclusion is not an experiment to be tested but a value tobe followed. All the children whether they are disabled or not have theright to education as they are the future citizen of the country and noone should have to pass any one’s test or prove any thing in researchstudy to live and learn in the mainstream of school an community(Dash,N.2006).

Earlier , CWSN were educated in common schools underIEDC scheme (1974,1984). The education of CWSN has been a part of NPE,(1986) and Programme of Action (1992). Rehabilitation Council of IndiaAct,1992 has came into existence for their educational rehabilitation.But globally, the principle of inclusion 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 theUnited Nation’s Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities forPerson with Disability Proclaiming Participation and Equality forall.

In Bihar, disabled children are being covered either under“Special Schools” or integrated mainstream schools in accordance withthe Person With Disability Act, 1995 or excluded from schools. Theirexclusion and marginalization result in the growth of inferioritycomplexes among them and their parents. But inclusion policy has broughta ray of hope among them, as inclusion is a new approach towardseducating the CWSN along with normal children in mainstream schoolshaving barrier-free access. It includes all the aspects of the educationof CWSN i.e. ,identification ,assessment, enrolment, support through assistive devices, teacher training and barrier-free access.

InBihar, there exist a few schools exclusively for blind and deaf undergovernment sector. But there is not any special provisions in govt.sector schools for education other disabled children like low vision,leprosy cured, hearing impaired, locomotor disabled, mentally retarded,mentally ill, autism affected, cerebral palsy affected , learningdisabled and multiple-disabled. These children with disabilities arenurtured through the special schools of non-government sector. BiharEducation Project (BEP) has taken a new initiative towards this end.Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) provides for Rs.1200/- per child in order tomeet the additional inputs that may be needed for CWSN. Itinerantresource teachers are being recruited and deputed at District ResourceCentre, Block Resource Centre and Cluster Resource Centre. It isexpected that all the schools of the state will become barrier-free andwill have at least one inclusive teachers by 2020.


Pre-Service Training :

The mode of inclusive teacher preparation in Bihar is institutionbased. There is no teacher training institution in state that isimparting any regular teacher training course either at primary andsecondary level or at post graduation level. The teacher training coursecurriculum does not fully equip the teachers and teacher educators todeal with the CWSN, neither it equip them to manage the mild andmoderately disabled children in general class-room. Towards this end, anMOU has been signed between the National Council for Teachers’ Education(NCTE) and the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) leading towards aconvergence so as to sensitize all teachers and resource persons .TheNCERT (2000) has set up a group under the National Curriculum FrameworkReview to examine the pedagogic inputs and classroom reorganization required for CWSN.


At present only two teacher training institutions are imparting B. Ed(Special Education) through distance mode. Both are of non-governmentsector. Recently MP Bhoj (Open) University has launched Post GraduateProfessional Diploma in Special Education (PGPD-SE) course for generalB. Ed degree holders .The successful candidate for this program becomesequivalent to B. Ed (Special Education) degree holders withspecialization in opted disability area.


The Post Graduate Department ofEducation , Patna University ,the only institution of Bihar andJharkhand offering M. Ed. Degree ,has recently strengthened thedisability element in its new curriculum (2006) by including ‘specialeducation’ as optional paper. One may sensitize himself towardsCWSN.


Different kinds of teacher training programs are being implemented underSSA to orient the teachers toward IE. The component IE has beenincorporated as a part of 20 days mandatory training of in-serviceteachers under SSA .This aims at orienting every teacher to the concept,meaning and importance of inclusion. Further, the state SSA program alsotaken up a 3-5 or 5-7 day teacher training exclusively in IE. BEP hasbegan its exercise in empowerment of primary teachers with differentin-service training package. Two training modules Ujala-III (2006) and Samarth(2006)

has been developed with specific focus on initialscreening of CWSN and basic classroom management skills. ThroughUjala-III , BEP intends to sensitize in-service teacher of upperprimary classes (grade 6 to 8) towards integrated education .The issuesundertaken in this module are provisions of educational concession,travel facilities and some other supplementary schemes.

On the other hand , Samarth (2006) , another three daysteacher training module is concentrated exclusively upon IE. The issuesundertaken in this module are : concept of IE, need of its training,sensitization , types and level of disability, IEP, causes ofdisabilities, facilities for CWSN rules and regulations for CWSN.Samarth module is enough for sensitizing in-service teachers.

Besides , the teachers are also being exposed to theconcept of inclusive need based pedagogy through training on principlesof effective teaching such as classroom organization , seatingarrangements , TLM, IEP, evaluation process etc.

Atpresent all the educational schemes of inclusive education tend towarduniversalization of elementary education (UEE). But the secondary andhigher education is at the verge of ignorance. So ,there is an urgentneed to creat an Inclusive Education Department under state’s HumanResource Development Ministry to cater the challenges of inclusionprinciples.