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KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY NAME

KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY NAME: SAKALA .K NICHOLAS KNU#: 20173782 LECTURER: Dr.PENDA ASSIGNMENT #: ONE (1) COURSE CODE: EDU 110 DUE DATE: 24TH NOVEMBER, 2017 COURSE COMBINATION: GEO/PES QUESTION: The Zambian Ministry of General Education in its National Educational Policy document of 1996 – Educating Our Future – and subsequent policy directives announced the introduction of inclusive Education in ordinary schools. However, many opponents of inclusive education see a child as a problem yet the problem is embedded in the education system which is rigid, exclusive and nonresponsive to the educational needs of learners in Zambian schools. Critically analyze this statement with clear examples. Inclusive education is one dimension of a rights-based quality education which emphasizes equity in access and participation, and responds positively to the individual learning needs and competencies of all children. Inclusive education is child-centered and places the responsibility of adaptation on the education system rather than the individual child. Together with other sectors and the wider community, it actively works to ensure that every child, irrespective of gender, language, ability, religion, nationality or other characteristics, is supported to meaningfully participate and learn alongside his/her peers, and develop to his/her full potential. Els Heijnen-Maathuis (2014). To support inclusive education, it is important to note the following, “All children and young people of the world, with their individual strengths and weaknesses, with their hopes and expectations, have a right to education. It is not our education systems that have a right to certain types of children. Therefore, it is the school system of a country that must be adjusted to meet the needs of all children.” Bengt Lindqvist, UN Special Rapporteur on Disability (1994). All children have the opportunity to learn together, equal access to the general education system, and should receive individual accommodation where needed based on disability or other di?erence. The principle of inclusion is a component of accessibility, availability, acceptability and adaptability. Educational institutions and programs must be accessible to persons with disabilities, without discrimination. Non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation in education requires that education be accessible to all persons, including the most vulnerable persons with disabilities, without discrimination on the basis of 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). The concept of availability in securing the right to education implies that functioning educational institutions and programs 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 is able to accommodate their needs. The concept of acceptability relates to the form and substance of 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 choice of the language of instruction. For children with disabilities this could include, for example, 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. Adding the concept of adaptability as applied to education for persons with disabilities pertains to ?exibility to meet the needs of students with disabilities. At least two aspects of adaptability are essential in order to meet the needs of students with disabilities. These include, the provision of reasonable accommodation, where needed, to meet individual student needs and 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. Sometimes a student maybe a problem in the following manner as thought by opponents of inclusive education, as he/she has special needs, doesn’t respond or cannot learn, speaks the wrong language, needs special equipment, cannot get to school, cannot simply cope, has no need to learn (e.g. sometimes thought of girls and children with disabilities), is too sick, poor or lives too far away, is too old or too young, is different from normal children, needs special environment. However the education system may be the problem at the same time in the following ways; rigid methods and curriculum, prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes against particular individuals and groups, inaccessible and unwelcoming environment, lack of safety, hygiene and privacy, teachers and schools unsupported, many dropouts and repeaters, lack of appropriate teaching resources, families and communities not involved in the affaires. What needs to be addressed for schools to be inclusive are, inadequate data on disadvantaged children which causes information gap, fear, embarrassment, low expectations, social barriers, economic barrier (POVERTY). Furthermore, a conducive environment or accessible school buildings will help every/any child improve academically, hence we should not neglect children with disabilities. For it is wiser to have them learning together both the special and ordinary to reduce the cost of inclusive education. Other needs that need to be addressed are, inflexible education, no home language education, segregated education, lack of learner-centered, cooperative teaching, teacher shortage, and large classes. Mandyata (2002) alludes that, “Overcrowding of classes is the cause to why some teachers refuse accepting children with special educational needs in their classes.” Therefore for every problem there may exist an immediate solution to successfully integrate children in an education system. In addition particular groups and individuals not learning or participating, need assistance in order to promote respect for diversity (gender, disability, minorities, health and social status, poverty) and model behavior valuing diversity. Develop social safety nets, including school scholarship programs for economically and otherwise disadvantaged learners. Sensitize “mainstream” groups and individuals on the meaning of equal rights and opportunities. Poor teaching practice due to theoretical, rigid, poor quality/ quantity of training programs; Invest in practical training and support of teachers from local communities by using teacher training guides. Children are passive and not encouraged to engage in active learning. Many are excluded, repeat classes or drop out. To promote child-friendly schools and active learning based on children’s individual needs involve all children in creating solutions. A social-emotional school environment where violence and disrespect prevent children from fully participating and learning (e.g. physical punishment, bullying); Train teachers, principals, teacher educators and parents on alternative methods of classroom management and discipline based on improved knowledge and understanding of child development Create stakeholder awareness of children especially vulnerable to bullying or abuse, such as those from minorities or children with disabilities Support and monitor the application of new knowledge and skill. The issue of inadequate funding to schools to a great extent hinders implementation of inclusive education in Zambia. For instance inadequate trained teachers in special education, unsuitable infrastructure, and lack of learning resources could all be attributed to inadequate funding by government. Kelly (1991) reported that “the amount of money spent on education had been substantially in real terms to the point that education could account about 2.5% of the gross product compared to 5-6% in the mid-1980s. Individualized education program (IEP) is one aspect which stands out when discussing inclusive education. For classrooms need to be in a suitable arrangement for all pupils including those on wheel chairs can be provided for with trails/ramps for easy mobility, those with hard of hearing can be given hearing aids which can be of great help to them. UNESCO (1994) suggested that teaching and learning materials must be provided where learners with special needs are included. In conclusion there are no “quick fix” solutions, Inclusive education is, and always will be, controversial. Governments have a difficult task in developing services that meet everybody’s needs. References Janet, E. (2012). Guidance Note on Inclusive Education: Law, Policy and Practice. World Bank Group Mandyata, J.M (2002). Teachers Views on Inclusive Practices; a Case of Basic Schools in Kasama District, Zambia: University of Zambia (Unpublished Med Dissertation. Unza). Singal, N. (2008). Working towards inclusion: Reflections from the classroom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24,156-1529. Retrieved from Wiley Online Library. United Nations Department of Economic and Social A?airs, Global Status Report on Disability and Development. (2015). Wearmouth, J., Edwards, G., ; Richmond, R. (2006). Teachers’ professional development to support inclusive practices. Journal of In-service Education, 26(1), 49-61. Retrieved from Wiley