5.1 Stakeholders of Inclusive Education & Their Responsibilities

In education, the term stakeholder typically refers to anyone who is invested in the welfare and success of a school and its students, including administrators, teachers, staff members, students, parents, families, community members, local business leaders, and elected officials such as school board members, city councilors, and state representatives. Stakeholders may also be collective entities, such as local businesses, organizations, advocacy groups, committees, media outlets, and cultural institutions, in addition to organizations that represent specific groups, such as teachers unions, parent-teacher organizations, and associations representing superintendents, principals, school boards, or teachers in specific academic disciplines (e.g., the National Council of Teachers of English or the Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics). In a word, stakeholders have a “stake” in the school and its students, meaning that they have personal, professional, civic, or financial interest or concern.

However, to make inclusive education a reality, a number of pieces in the system have to fall in place. It is true that the Government of India has made a significant fund allocation to achieve ‘Education for all’ through SSA. But to make it happen we need to have the stakeholders suitably prepared and involved. Some of the stakeholders include the regular teachers, special/resource teachers, school administrators, parents of children with special needs and parents of their peers who may not have special needs, children themselves with special needs, and those without special needs. In short, all sections of society who have a stake – directly and indirectly – in children’s education. The success of inclusion lies in the coordinated and collaborative efforts of all of the stakeholders.

Special Educators: With inclusive education initiated as a major step, a changing role of special educators is seen to be emerging. The educational programmes of special educators approved by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) prepare the special educators to become special teachers to cater to the needs of children with special needs in special schools. SSA has opened doors for them to be resource teachers in the inclusive education settings, where they are expected to visit regular schools periodically and function as partners to the regular educators in meeting the needs of children who have special needs. We cannot confidently say that they are equipped with skills for this task. As the roles change, the teacher preparation needs to undergo a change too. Perhaps, a short-term in-service programme may prepare them for this purpose, which can be offered by the Continuous Rehabilitation Education (CRE) programmes of RCI.

Class and subject teachers: In inclusive schools, though the responsibility of education of all children lies with the regular teacher, the resource teachers are expected to facilitate inclusive education by supporting the children and the teachers in regular schools. In some instances, it is seen that the regular teachers consider that children with special needs are the exclusive responsibility of the resource teachers. It is also observed that the resource teachers often do not communicate effectively or sufficiently with the regular teachers with regard to the education of children who need support. This results in lack of coordination between the teachers, ultimately defeating the purpose of inclusion. Many a time, the regular teachers are not prepared for inclusion. Therefore, their lack of knowledge and skills result in their resistance to change. It is essential that all the stakeholders are prepared suitably to have a smooth, seamless inclusion.

Peers: Children with disabilities and their peer group without special needs are to be prepared for inclusion so that the experience is not overwhelming for either of them. Children with special needs who are used to a protective environment with a small class strength of 8 to 10 children may be shocked when placed in a large class of 40 children. And those children who have not seen a child with a disability can react to the situation with varied emotional and behavioural responses ranging from pity and sympathy to bullying and making fun of their peers with special needs.

Parents: Parents also can have apprehensions if not suitably prepared. Parents of a child with disability may prefer the protective special class to the large regular class where their child may not get attention from the teacher. There have been occasions where the parents of a child without any special needs were afraid that their child might ‘behave’ in an odd manner by being with children with special needs. These are but a few examples of the many issues related to inclusion that need to be addressed, so that inclusion is realized in its true sense.

School Administrators: The school administrators are another important component to make inclusion a success. Accessibility to classrooms by providing ramps for wheelchair users, having brightly lit and ventilated classrooms so that children who cannot hear can see the teacher clearly when she talks and the children with low vision will be able to see better, having curtains in class so that a child with attention deficit does not get distracted and look outside while the teacher is teaching… all these are the responsibility of the school administrator, so that accessibility and barrier free environment is ensured. More importantly, the attitude of the administrator will impact the other stakeholders. Therefore, by ensuring that the administrators have a positive attitude towards inclusion, a major milestone towards successful inclusion can be achieved.

In short, the Government of India has taken a major step towards inclusive education. To make it a success, all the stakeholders need to do their best so that inclusive education will be achieved in its true sense. After all, it is the right of the child to get the best education. Let us make it happen and bring out the maximum potential in every child – the future leaders of our nation!


5.2 Advocacy & Leadership for Inclusion in Education

Advocacy is a difficult process to define; there are no internationally agreed upon definitions of advocacy so therefore defining advocacy is often a process in itself.

However, general advocacy activities in the context of development typically relate to a process where individuals, groups or communities try to influence policy and decision-makers.

Advocacy is a means to achieving equity and social justice through the empowerment of disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities, so they actively participate and are directly included in decision making processes affecting their lives. Advocacy activities typically cover a broad range of activities such as awareness-raising, lobbying, public relations and influencing specific legislation.

The term ‘advocacy’ highlights several key principles:

·        Advocacy is change-oriented

·        Advocacy is about engaging constructively with those we seek to influence

·        Advocacy is evidence-based

·        Advocacy is built on partnerships

To have any developmental impact through advocacy, you will need to bring about change in a number of related but different areas at the same time. These are sometimes called the different dimensions of change. It is only when these changes occur in concert with each other, that the benefits in people’s lives start to be seen. You need to look for evidence of making progress in each of these different areas. The clearer you are about your intentions for change, the easier will be your search for evidence.

Advocacy is key to challenge barriers to inclusion and improve policy, environmental and attitudinal factors so people with disabilities are fully supported, enabled, included and empowered to participate fully on an equal basis in society.

Leadership for inclusion means seeking out an understanding of the fundamental tenets of inclusion and constructing an administrative approach that complements the execution of those tenets by teachers.

In the last three decades, the right of children with exceptionalities to be

included in the “regular” classroom has become accepted, at least philosophically if not practically, but we are still struggling with how to include these children while delivering appropriate programs designed to meet the individual needs of each child. There is scant but significant evidence that the success of such inclusive programs is largely attributable to the leadership of the principal and the ability of that administrator to create an inclusive school environment.



5.3 Family Support & Involvement for Inclusion


Involving parents is an important principle of quality, both in and out of the classroom. It is even more relevant in the case of inclusive education, which is much broader than formal education and should not only take place within the four walls of a classroom.

·        Parents’ collaboration is not only of benefit for children: there are also possible gains for all parties, for instance:

·        Parents increase interaction with their children, become more responsive and sensitive to their needs and more confident in their parenting skills.

·        Educators acquire a better understanding of families’ culture and diversity, feel more comfortable at work and improve their morale.

·        Schools, by involving parents and the community, tend to establish better reputations in the community.

Parental Involvement in Schools

        An important role to play – visiting the school, observing during classroom therapy sessions, participating in meetings

        Often have to overcome some teacher perspectives eg. feeling parents are intrusive

        Physical presence of the parents in the school is important

        Improved communication with teachers will positively affect development of social, academic and developmental skills of the child.

Here are some specific ways that schools can involve more parents, families, and communities in education:

        Survey educators and families to determine needs, interests, and ideas about partnering.

        Develop and pass family-friendly policies and laws [i.e., leaves of absence for parents/caregivers to participate in school or education-related activities; flexible scheduling to encourage participation by diverse families].

        Provide professional development on family and community engagement for school faculties.

        Offer training for parents and community stakeholders on effective communications and partnering skills.

        Provide better information on school and school district policies and procedures.

        Ensure timely access to information, using effective communications tools that address various family structures and are translated into languages that parents/families understand.

        Hire and train school-community liaisons who know the communities’ history, language, and cultural background to contact parents and coordinate activities.

        Collaborate with higher education institutions to infuse parent, family, and community involvement in education into teacher and administrator preparation programs.

        Develop an outreach strategy to inform families, businesses, and the community about school and family involvement opportunities, policies, and programs.

        Families do not have enough information about their child’s particular disability, its effects and its impact on their child’s capacity. This often leads to a sense of hopelessness. Early identification and intervention initiatives sensitize parents and community members about the education of children with disabilities.

However, the recognition that family engagement in education benefits children does not make clear how the involvement becomes a positive force. The first step for families to become involved in a collaborative way with schools is to promote a social and educational atmosphere where parents and partners feel welcomed, respected, trusted, heard and needed.

5.4 Community Involvement for Inclusion

The United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006 declared the need for countries to facilitate the right of individuals with disabilities to their full inclusion and participation within communities across the globe. The community clearly plays a necessary role in the overall preparation and quality of life of students with disabilities and their families. The present chapter will specifically address the role of the community within instructional programming and parent advocacy.

Participation can be interpreted in various ways depending on the context that clarifies different degrees or level of participation, and provides possible definition of the term, including:

·        Involvement through the mere use of a service (such as enrolling children in school or using a primary health care facility;

·        Involvement through contribution (or extraction) of money, materials and labors;

·        Involvement through ‘attendance’ (e. g. At parent meeting at schools), implying passive acceptance of decisions made by others;

·        Participation in the delivery of a service, often as a partner with other actors;

·        Participation as implementers of delegated powers; and

·        Participation in ‘real decision making at every stage’, is including identification of problems, study of feasibility, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Community participation in Teaching Learning Process 

·        Setting of teaching standards, recruitment, teacher training, teacher’s salary, condition of  service, promotion and discipline are important factors that always comes under debate. Involvement of community in selection of teacher can play vital role in the selection of excellent teacher as per their need. The teacher selected by the community shows the responsibility towards the children of the community. Teacher salary is one of the factors that affect the performance of teachers and teacher’s performance directly related to the quality of the education. Thus, the salary and condition of services could be shared by the community. Role of Community in Pedagogical Supervision and Support. Quality education system is one that succeeds in meeting its own goals, one that is relevant to the needs of children, communities and society; and that fosters the ability of children to acquire knowledge and critical learning skills.

·        Global campaign for education stated that high dropout rate in school is not only result of poor quality, but if effective learning is not taking place in school, parents are more likely to withdraw children school early or not sent them at all. Improving quality of education is therefore essential to achieving goal of Universal access to education. Without active involvement of the community in school management quality improvement is not possible. Project work in community could be one of the good pedagogical approaches in teaching learning process in school. Community is the foundation of this approach. Providing the facts, feeling and experiences of the community people to the students could be the best help in the teaching learning process for to increase the deeper understanding of students while at project work. 

·        Community people can play as an actor of promoting quality education in this sense. Successful schools build connections to parents and communities as a way to strengthen relationship in support of the students, and as a way to better understand students so that teaching can be tailored to them as individuals communities offer a wide range of resources that are valuable to school and the families they serve.

5.5 Resource Mobilisation for Inclusive Education

A resource is anything we can use to achieve something else. Tangible resources are things we can touch and feel with our hands like money, land, materials, equipment etc. Intangible resources are things we can’t touch with our hands like time, energy, ideas, spirit, relationships, networks, status, skills, information, support and endorsements, etc.

Effective human rights activism involves the people for whom it advocates -- whether the focus is on civil and political or economic and social rights. Mobilization or organizing is the process of motivating and coordinating people for a purpose. Human rights mobilization involves working with affected populations to amplify their needs and concerns. The stronger the links between an organization and a community, the greater the organization's ability to advocate for the community's needs. The relationship of an organization to a community is stronger when people in the community see that their issues and grievances are presented through mobilization efforts in a way that is shaped by them and when responses, reactions or results are, in turn, shared with the community.

Resource mobilization is all the means that an organization should acquire to implement its action plan. It goes beyond fund raising. It entails obtaining various resources from a multitude of partners, by different means. Thus resource mobilization could be seen as a combination between: Resources: elements necessary for the running of an organization. Mechanisms: means which make it possible to obtain resources directly. Partners: persons and/or institutions providing resources.

Importance of Resource Mobilization

·        For maximum use of domestic capital and skills

·        For sustainability of the Organization and program.

·        To decrease dependency on others.

·        To spend in the program of the Organization's liking.

·        Resource Mobilization helps to formulate an independent budget.

·        To diversify and expand resources.

·        To enhance the dignity of one's Organization

·        To develop new thinking and challenge the old traditions.

·        To disseminate the good practices of the Organization.

·        To run programs based on the genuine needs of the community.

·        To fulfill responsibilities towards the community.

·        To clean the image of the Organization and expand relations.

·        To expand deep relations with the stakeholder and community.

A resource mobilization plan becomes effective when the organization analyzes the existing resources at its disposal and run programs on the basis of a plan on the type and quantity of resources essential to achieve the strategic objectives (mission). In this manner, strategic plan, state of resources, analysis of mechanism/instruments to receive resources and skills etc. are essential for resource mobilization. So, the meaning of Resource Mobilization is to collect resources from more and more resource providers, which will in turn brings down the financial risks and give sustainability to the organization.