With wide ranging collaborations, the office of Nagaland State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities has been conducting training programmes on Inclusive Education and Universal Design for Learning, Improving Learning Outcomes by Enabling Inclusive Education and Rights of Children with Disabilities related to education.
The primary goal of Inclusive Education is to ascertain that no child or student is excluded, including all persons with disabilities. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the UN has produced a ‘General Comment’ on education that explains what Inclusive Education means and sets out in detail what governments must do to make sure it happens. The UNICEF describes Inclusive Education as an education system that includes all students, and welcomes and supports them to learn, whoever they are and whatever their abilities or requirements. This means making sure that teaching and the curriculum, school buildings, classrooms, play areas, transport and toilets are appropriate for all children at all levels. UNESCO (2009) defined Inclusive Education as a process aimed to offering quality education for all while respecting diversity and the different needs and abilities, characteristics and learning expectations of the students and communities, eliminating all forms of discrimination. Through the involvement and attention from global unions, Inclusive Education has gained the acceptance as a process to reform education systems for ensuring quality education for all children in the same schools.
Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs is an essential component under Samagra Shiksha, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, GoI. From the year 2018-19, Samagra Shiksha lays emphasis on improving quality of education for all students, including Children with Special Needs (CWSN). Towards attaining Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs, the Nagaland Education Mission Society (NEMS), Samagra Shiksha, Nagaland under the Learning Enhancement Package 2022-23 is finding ways to train and empower the District Inclusive Education Coordinators and Inclusive Education Resource Persons. The chairman of Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) has mentioned that the policies of the government opened up avenues for integrated education, now referred as Inclusive Education to provide education to every child in need. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act 2016 defines Inclusive Education as a system of education wherein students with and without disabilities learn together and let system of teaching and learning is suitably adopted to meet the learning needs of different types of students with disabilities. In Inclusive Education, all students regardless of any challenges are placed in age appropriate general education.
To take forward the intervention of Nagaland State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and other stakeholders of Inclusive Education would require acceptance and understanding that all children can be part of the learning community and with training and support regular teachers can successfully implement Inclusive Education. The principle of inclusion always generates value, kindness and respect and thus, promotes a sense of belonging irrespective of background, capability or any dissimilarity.
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