Unit V: Collaborations for inclusive education
5.1 Special schools and inclusive schools
5.2 Special educators and general teachers
5.3 Social welfare dept and Dept of education
5.4 Special and general teacher education programs
5.5 Voluntary organizations and Govt. agencies
5.1 Special schools and inclusive schools
The main difference between special education integrated education and inclusive education is that special education is a separate system of education that caters to the needs of children with disabilities outside the mainstream education, while integrated education and inclusive education occur within a setting where students with disabilities learn alongside peers without disabilities.
In special education, the service and the support necessary for one student can vary from the requirement of another student. Special education has an individual-based approach and focuses on giving students the resources they need to make progress in education. The situation within the integrated classroom is quite different, as extra support required will be given to facilitate the student to adapt to the regular curriculum. When it comes to inclusive education, this situation changes further. The inclusive classroom generally accepts the different learning patterns of the students and adapts itself to cater to the unique and individual need of each student.
Special education includes a variety of services in different settings using different methods to meet the needs of differently-abled students, which cannot be fulfilled in mainstream classrooms. Education specialists also use the term “Special Needs Education” as an alternative term for this approach. This approach is based on the assumption that children with disability have some special needs, and they need to study in a different setting with other children having similar needs.
However, this doesn’t mean that the kids with special needs are placed separately in a special classroom round-the-clock. For instance, some students may spend most of their time in a general education classroom. They might just need special accommodations to learn right alongside their peers in regular classrooms. Some may spend just a couple of hours in a resource room under the supervision of a specialist, while others might need to attend a different school that specializes in teaching kids with learning disabilities. In brief, a child’s specific needs determine the nature of teaching (curriculum, setting, etc.).
Within the system of inclusive education, all the special need students, as well as the general students, get equal benefits. Further, it entails clear participation as well. Compared to the special education system, inclusive education focuses not only on the students with special needs but others as well. Therefore, we consider the inclusive approach as ‘education for all.’
Within this system, the students do not have to fit into mainstream education. Instead, the school changes to accommodate the needs of all. Therefore, it welcomes the diverse learning styles and speeds of students. In addition, it employs different techniques to cater to the needs of every student. Furthermore, in comparison to special and integrated systems of education, inclusion is far more progressive as it rejects barriers that hinder the students and encourage all-inclusive participation.
Special education is a system of education that responds to the needs of children with disabilities outside mainstream education. Integrated education is provided within the general classroom where the special needs students learn alongside their peers without disabilities. Inclusive education is a system where all special need students, as well as the general students, get equal benefits, welcoming the diversity of the students and changing accordingly.
The main difference between special education integrated education and inclusive education is that special education system has an individual student-centric approach while integrated education attempts to encourage the students with disabilities to be part of the larger group, and an inclusive system sticks to “education-for-all” approach. Furthermore, in comparison to special education, integrated education and inclusive education are more promising in uplifting the self-esteem and the self-concept of students with special needs.
5.2 Special educators and general teachers
General education teachers and special education teachers share many of the same duties. In fact, they share many of the same students. This is because children with identified special needs often spend a portion of the day in the general education classroom and a portion of the day receiving more intensive services in a separate space. There are, however, significant differences in teaching role. The special education teacher may serve as case manager for children with special needs. Case management includes everything from providing direct services to carrying out administrative duties.
There are multiple special education teaching roles, and these will differ from general education teaching roles in different ways.
A special education teacher may have a self-contained classroom or provide support in a resource room. Some special education teachers team with general education teachers to serve children with special needs in an inclusion setting. The special education teacher may be expected to serve a resource for other teachers, helping them modify the curriculum, management system, and physical environment.
Children with very intensive needs often spend most of their day in a self-contained classroom. These children may have intellectual disability, autism, blindness, and/or multiple disabilities, including physical challenges. The child may use mobility or communication tools and may need assistance with non-academic tasks. A special education teacher will generally have the assistance of instructional assistants who provide academic support and handle other duties like escorting less independent children to the bathroom.
The number of children in a special education room will vary from state to state but will generally be small: eight or so. A teacher will to get to know a small number of children very well. Thus the position may be suited for people who prefer depth over breadth in their relationships and daily routines. A larger percentage of special needs students need intensive support managing their behavior and/ or attention (even in cases where the disability is intellectual). On the plus side of management: A smaller class size means fewer bodies moving through space at any moment in time. Maximizing attention can mean maximizing learning.
A resource teacher may work with many children over the course of a day or week, but will generally work with only a small group of them at any given time. He or she will be expected to be knowledgeable of academic curriculum across grade levels, but academic teaching will be quite different than general classroom teaching at the elementary level. There will generally be less breadth with more of a focus on reading, writing, and mathematics.
Teachers who transition to special education should be prepared for significant changes in pacing. Students in self-contained special education classrooms learn academic skills such as reading. However, the increased need for repetition can give a different feel to teaching. A self-contained intensive needs teacher may spend a significant portion of the day teaching functional skills. Of course teachers of young children also spend some time teaching functional skills. One difference is that the special education teacher will need to teach them in a more systematic manner — and document having taught them.
A special education teacher is responsible for providing and coordinating individualized instruction. Special needs students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have Individualized Education Programs, or IEPs, which guide their learning. IEPs are developed by a team. The general education teacher will often have a few special needs students that he or she must attend IEP meetings for. The special education teacher will not only have more IEP students but will generally have the leadership role in writing and reviewing IEPs. The document often runs more than 20 pages. As a case manager, the special education teacher will be responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations – and will typically be responsible for scheduling and coordinating as well.
Paperwork is an oft cited area of frustration. General education and special education teachers both have significant amounts of paperwork to complete, but again, there are some differences. Special education teachers often find that more of their paperwork is “high stakes” and that less of it is delegable. Special education teachers must maintain detailed records to show that children with disabilities are getting the help they have been determined eligible for. They must also document progress in a manner that would stand up under legal scrutiny. Even those children who are not yet in the special education system are subject to documentation requirements.
All teachers are privy to information that is confidential. Special education teachers, though, find themselves guarding more than their share of confidential information. The need to maintain confidentiality can have bearing on who is allowed to volunteer services in the classroom.
5.3 Social welfare dept and Dept of education
Role of Social welfare dept in inclusion
Scheme of Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP Scheme)
The ADIP Scheme is in operation since 1981 with the main objective to assist the needy disabled persons in procuring durable, sophisticated and scientifically manufactured, modern, standard aids and appliances that can promote their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation by reducing the effects of disabilities and enhance their economic potential. Assistive devices are given to PwDs with an aim to improve their independent functioning and to arrest the extent of disability and occurrence of secondary disability. The aids and appliances supplied under the Scheme must have due certification. The scheme also envisages conduct of corrective surgeries, wherever required, before providing an assistive device. Under the Scheme, grants-in-aid are released to various implementing agencies (Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO)/National Institutes/Composite Regional Centres/District Disability Rehabilitation Centres/ State Handicapped Development Corporations/ NGOs, etc.) for purchase and distribution of aids and assistive devices.
A person satisfying all the following conditions are eligible:
1. Indian citizen of any age
2. Has 40% disability or more (must have the requisite certificate)
3. Monthly income, not more than Rs.20000.
4. In the case of dependents, income of parents/guardians should not exceed Rs.20000.
5. Must not have received assistance during the last 3 years for the same purpose from any source. However, for children below 12years of age, this limit would be one year.
Role of Dept of education in inclusion
Directorate of Education (DoE) is Providing Inclusive Education and need based Educational Supports to Children with Disabilities (CwDs) in its Govt. Schools. The Policy of Inclusive Education is being Implemented in DoE in the Line of the Provisions under the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009 and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPwD), 2016.
Department of Education of Groups with Special Needs was established on 1st September 1995. Since then the department had been working in the area of education of children with special needs and children belonging to socially disadvantaged groups, such as SCs, STs and minorities. Implementation of an inclusive system of education for all assumes greater significance of systemic reforms especially in the context of the socially disadvantaged and the persons with disability. The department focuses on the problems and difficulties faced by children belonging to these groups and takes up projects for developing relevant material for teachers and teacher educators. The department also organizes training programmes for teachers, teacher educators and policy makers to sensitize and train them in appropriate strategies for providing quality education and equal education opportunities for these children in the mainstream schools.
Inclusion in education is a dynamic phenomenon and its postulates for education create a demand on education system to modify itself as per the need of the child, irrespective of his/her abilities/disabilities. Successful and effective implementation of inclusive education requires thoughtful planning and time bound action based on research findings. Keeping this in mind, the department has been involved in various programmes for the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities, children belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and those belonging to minorities, in education. The department has undertaken a number of research, development, training programmes and extension activities for making education accessible to the disadvantaged groups including the learners with disabilities.
Inclusive Education for CWSN has been one of the major interventions of the erstwhile Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) RTE and RMSA schemes. From the year 2018-19, Samagra Shiksha lays emphasis on improving quality of education for all students, including CWSN. Thus, this intervention is an essential component under Samagra Shiksha. The component provides support for various student oriented activities which include identification and assessment of CWSN, provision of aids, appliances, corrective surgeries, Braille books, large print books and uniforms, therapeutic services, development of teaching-learning material (TLM), assistive devices & equipments, environment building and orientation programme to create positive attitude and awareness about nature and needs of CWSN, purchase/development of instructional materials, in-service training of special educators and general teachers on curriculum adaptation, stipend for girls with special needs etc. The component also emphasizes the implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 for children with special needs (within the age group of 6-14 years). In addition, separate resource support (financial assistance towards salary of special educators) is also made available in order to appropriately address the needs of CWSN within the school.
Inclusive Education Programmes
The Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD was previously implementing Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA-RTE) as the main programme for universalizing elementary education for all children from 6-14 years of age. SSA had adopted a more expansive and a broad-based understanding of the concept of inclusion, wherein a multi-option model of educating CWSN was being implemented.
The Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 mandates free and compulsory elementary education to all children including CWSN. This act provides a legal framework that entitles all children between the ages of 6-14 years free and compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education. Section 3 (2) of the RTE Act lays impetus on the elementary education of children with disabilities. As per the Amendment of 2012, it also mandates that, a child with multiple and/or severe disabilities has the right to opt for home based education.
In order to address the educational needs of CWSN at the secondary and senior secondary level, the scheme for Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage (IEDSS) was, implemented. The Scheme aimed at enabling all students with disabilities completing eight years of elementary schooling, an opportunity to complete four years of secondary schooling in an inclusive and enabling environment in the general education system at the secondary level (classes IX to XII).
Presently, Samagra Shiksha aims to cover all children with special needs (CWSN) in a continuum from classes I to XII. Under Samagra Shiksha, in the year 2018-19, an outlay of Rs. 1023.50 crore has been approved for the education of 21,00,918 CWSN (from classes I to XII) including financial support (for the honorarium/salary) of 15,909 Resource Teachers/Special Educators for the year 2018-19. Also, financial assistance of Rs. 300 crore towards salary of 11865 resource persons/resource teachers (for CWSN) working at BRC/CRC/URC levels, has been approved. Therefore, the total number of special educators and resource teachers/persons available to address the specific needs of children with special needs is 27,774.
The objectives of the component are :
· Identification of children with disabilities at the school level and assessment of her/his educational needs.
· Provision of aids and appliances, assistive devices, to the children with special needs as per requirement.
· Removal of architectural barriers in schools so that CWSN have access to classrooms, laboratories, libraries, play/recreational area and toilets in the school.
· Supplying appropriate teaching learning materials, medical facilities, vocational training support, guidance and counseling services and therapeutic services to children with special needs as per his/her requirement in convergence with line departments.
· General school teachers will be sensitized and trained to teach and involve children with special needs in the general classroom.
· For existing special educators, capacity building programs will be undertaken.
· CwSN will have access to support services through special educators, establishment of resource rooms, vocational education, therapeutic services and counseling etc.
Provisions for CWSN included under Samagra Shiksha
· Support has been enhanced from Rs. 3000/- per child per annum to Rs. 3500/- per child per annum.
· Stipend for girls with special needs has been expanded from the previous allocation to girls from classes IX to XII (RMSA), to classes I to XII (Samagra Shiksha) in order to encourage girls for enrolment & retention and complete their schooling. Stipend is provided through Direct Benefit Transfer.
· The provision for home based education covering children with severe/multiple disabilities has been extended for children till class XII under the Samagra Shiksha scheme. In the year 2018-19, the provision for home based education covered 43,996 children with severe/multiple disabilities with an outlay of Rs. 9.22 crore.
· Allocation for resource support through special educators has been made separately in order to appropriately address the learning needs of CWSN from elementary to senior secondary level.
· The financial support for honorarium/salary for existing and new special educators (as per the Samagra Shiksha norms for salary of teachers). This allocation is over and above the norm of Rs. 3500/- towards student oriented component.
From perspective of Convergence
The appropriate Government and the local authorities such as Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Public Works Department (PWD), CPWD, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Skill Development, Ministry of Sports and Youth and Sports Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development, National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) etc. shall endeavor that all educational institution funded or recognized by them provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities and towards that end shall
· Admit them without discrimination and provide education and opportunities for sports and recreation activities equally with others
· Make building, campus and various facilities accessible
· Provide reasonable accommodation according to the individual’s requirements
· Provide necessary support individualized or otherwise in environments that maximize academic and social development consistent with the goal of full inclusion
· Ensure that the education to persons who are blind or deaf or both is imparted in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication
· Detect specific learning disabilities in children at the earliest and take suitable pedagogical and other measures to overcome them.
· Monitor participation, progress in terms of attainment levels and completion of education in respect of every student with disability
· Provide transportation facilities to the children with disabilities and also the attendant of the children with disabilities having high support needs.
Innovative Material developed by NCERT
Promoting Inclusive Education in the Foundational Years - Barkha: A Reading Series for ‘All’
The department has developed Barkha: A Reading Series for ‘All’ as an exemplary, inclusive learning material in the form of a supplementary early reading series. This reading series is available in print and digital formats. Its design is based on the principles of inclusion and the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Barkha: A Reading Series for ‘All’ is exemplary in demonstrating how the principles of UDL can guide the design of inclusive features like tactile and high resolution visuals, text in accessible scripts etc. This exemplar provides a direction and initial guidelines for developing similarly accessible material in the form of textbooks and other learning resources for all school stages.
In tandem with the Digital India Campaign, the department has also developed a digital version of Barkha: A Reading Series for ‘All’. This digital version retains all the inclusive features of the print version and is unique in its functionality because it allows for greater flexibility and has greater scope of appealing to all. Children can access all 40 story booklets through a single device. This also gives them space to revisit any book whenever and wherever they like. The privacy that is afforded by being able to read on one’s own computer or tablet allows one to read comfortably and at one’s own pace therefore promoting reading in a non-threatening environment with meaning and pleasure. An introduction to each story is available in audio-video format both in sign and regular language forms. It helps to introduce sign language as a regular form of communication at an early age to all children in an inclusive setting. The digital version of this reading series is available on NCERT website and the epathshala portal.
5.4 Special and general teacher education programs
Special education is a complex enterprise. Students are classified by disability categories and placed in settings that range from classrooms and resource rooms to self-contained classes and separate schools. Special education teacher education also is complex. Teachers are prepared in specialized programs and often licensed to teach students with a particular disability. Licensure structures are complex and vary dramatically from state to state. Furthermore, how students with disabilities are served in schools has changed dramatically since the early 1980s, with implications for teachers' roles and teacher preparation.
The federal government has played an influential role in special education teacher education. Through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the DoE has invested tens of millions of dollars annually on the preparation of special education teachers. The department has leveraged these funds to promote program development, most notably in early childhood and secondary special education. The government also has taken an active role in support of programs for teachers of students with low-incidence disabilities–severe disabilities and visual and hearing impairments, to name a few. In many states, the number of students with low incidence disabilities is so small as to make teacher preparation costly and inefficient. For example, only thirty programs nationally prepare teachers in the area of visual impairments, and sixteen states have no programs for teachers of the hearing impaired. Because it is inefficient for individual states to prepare teachers in low-incidence areas, by the early twenty-first century the DoE had come to consider program support a federal responsibility.
A survey on the situation of educational provision for children with special needs by UNESCO (2) illustrates the types of programmes offered in different parts of the world. The analysis of information from 63 countries that responded to the survey shows that special day schools, special classes in regular schools and residential schools, in that order, provide special education. Early childhood special education programmes, being of recent origin, are provided by only one fourth of the countries surveyed. Integrated and inclusive education are emerging trends practised in very few countries, in the form of support teaching in regular classes and establishment of resource room facilities. Most countries do not have a separate vocational education programme. However, in another UNESCO report, it is seen that about 11 countries have separate vocational training institutes and 6 have them as part of the upper secondary or secondary schools (3).
Apart from the programmes described above, special education is a major component of community based rehabilitation CBR programmes in developing countries, and requires trained personnel for effective delivery of services. For instance, in countries like South Africa a two year training is provided to people with 10 years of schooling to work as special education teachers in CBR programmes (4) and in Zimbabwe, training is provided to community rehabilitation technicians and volunteers for the same purpose (5). Though the process, model and approach may vary, all CBR programmes world-wide have the common objective of enabling persons with disabilities to receive assistance within the existing structures of education, health and social services. This is expected to promote the participation of people with disabilities in the various developmental programmes, and is an enormous task that requires specific manpower preparation to meet its objectives.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES IN INDIA
The service provisions in India for persons with disabilities are more or less similar to the global scenario. However, a majority of the services, including special schools, are concentrated in urban areas. There are more special schools for school going children than vocational training centres or integrated schools. Of late, a number of CBR programmes have been initiated to deliver services closer to the homes of people with disabilities.
The UNESCO report of 1995 on teacher training was analysed for types of training, duration and the organisations offering them (3). Out of the 63 countries, only 48 have given adequate information on teacher training programmes. An analysis of the available information revealed that in 26 countries, general teacher training included some elements of special education, and that special education training is offered at the diploma level in 7 countries, at the degree level in 15 countries, at both levels in 3 countries. Detailed information on the availability of special education training programmes is not available, but the criteria for becoming a special education teacher are reported by 15 countries. Thirty nine countries have reported in-service training programmes on special education for both regular and special education teachers on a regular basis.
In India, a majority of the teacher training programmes are one year diploma courses after high school education, run by non-governmental organisations. There are about 6 university level programmes in the country leading to the B.Ed. degree after graduation. In the past, great variations were noted in the content, process and evaluation of the teacher training programmes run by the non-governmental organisations in India. The constitution of the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) brought about some changes in these aspects of teacher training programmes. RCI is currently making efforts to streamline the teacher training programmes in terms of syllabus, infrastructure and staff pattern, to assure the quality of training. It is now essential that higher level programmes also have uniformity in content and process, according to the directives of RCI in collaboration with Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. The syllabus for university level programme (B.Ed. - Special Education) has been already standardised by RCI, while the M.Ed. syllabus is in the process of standardisation.
People with disabilities are provided education and training in different settings such as regular schools, special classes in regular schools, special schools, vocational training centres, CBR projects, and so on. Hence the staff involved in these programmes, including the special education teachers, are required to have different skills and knowledge depending on their client's needs, to provide individual based training. It is questionable whether the pre-service programmes to train special educators prepares them to function effectively in all the above these programmes. Hence a short in-service programme can be planned to help the staff to gain expertise in the areas that have not been covered in the pre-service training programme. A study by Narayan, Rao and Reddy (6) showed that special teachers of visually handicapped children could acquire the skills to identify children with mental retardation and to train them in basic skills, with one week's intensive training. This short training also instilled confidence in the teachers to handle children with mental retardation in addition to children with visual handicap.
Training of teachers in a single disability as against multi-category disability, is a point of discussion in many fora. Many question the quality and adequacy of training people in more than one disability. However, as reported in the National Policy on Education (7) both have their merits and demerits. Gartner and Lipskey (8) pointed out that non-categorical teacher training equips teachers to deal with more than one disability, which in turn bridges the boundaries between general education and special education. However, single disability training is also needed on a limited scale because the children with severe and profound disabilities cannot be easily integrated, and need special education in segregated settings.
A majority of the training programmes in India focus on a single disability. But a single disability teacher training programme is not economically viable since appointing special educators for small groups of 4 to 5 children with single disabilities would be very expensive. Hence, it is necessary to have a teacher training programme which enables the teacher to manage all disabilities. As the current trend in special education is integrated education and inclusive education, there is also a need for reorienting the general teacher training courses. Jangira (9) states that the assumption among most professionals is that general teachers cannot be trained to meet the educational needs of children with disabilities. He points out that this assumption is baseless as there has been no research conducted in this area. However, in order to provide training effectively to children with disabilities in different service programmes, single disability teachers, multi-disability teachers and regular teachers with special education skills would all be required. Therefore, different types of teacher training programmes will need to be planned, with variations in content, process and duration.
Training for master trainers
To train the teachers at various levels with diverse needs, well qualified and experienced master trainers are required, apart from well equipped departments of special education in universities. It is essential that master trainers are certified special educators in the respective disability, who further have higher qualification to be at a faculty level, in order to ensure quality in teacher preparation. The current scenario in India reveals that there are few universities which have departments of special education, not all of them have suitably qualified staff, and some have positions that have been vacant for a long time due to non-availability of trained persons. The world trend is towards universities having departments of special education training, and this trend needs to be followed in India as well. All universities must have departments of special education with courses at degree and post-graduate levels to enable preparation of master trainers in special education. This would also automatically lead to research in special education through M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes. The national institutes should collaborate with the universities with this aim, to upgrade the quality of special education on the whole.
In-service training programmes
The field of special education has grown tremendously in the past few years, demanding frequent updates for the professionals. Periodic in-service training programmes for teaching professionals to keep them abreast of the developments world-wide and to equip them to face the challenges of changing trends, is of paramount importance. Such programmes are needed for all levels of staff from classroom teachers to master trainers. Periodic short term programmes varying from 2 weeks to 3 months, based on the need, should be made mandatory for all trained professionals.
THE TASKS AHEAD
1. Keeping in view the diverse needs of children with disabilities and the different models of service delivery systems, there is a need for reorienting the existing pre-service programmes in general education from pre-school to university levels and to plan in-service and pre-service programmes in special education at all levels.
2. To implement the current concept of inclusive education, pre-school teachers should have in-service training on disabilities, and future training courses should include education of children with disabilities.
3. In-service training programmes of two to three weeks' duration for general educators and special educators in all the disabilities and in specific areas of disability, are essential to effectively teach children with disabilities.
4. Pre-service programmes at degree and post-graduate levels are necessary to improve the quality of teacher training and to promote research and development activities in the field of special education.
5. All universities should have a department of special education to promote education of children with disabilities.
6. There should be separate training programmes for staff working in CBR programmes. The preparation of teachers for rural special education programmes should be planned differently, as the aim of these programmes would be to integrate disabled persons in their own environment and community.
7. Periodic evaluation of the training programmes and constant updating to meet the challenges of changing trends in special education should be part of the planning of teacher preparation.
8. The curriculum for each of the above programmes should be carefully developed by an expert group which includes practising special teachers. The feedback from the teachers is imperative in making the correct decisions about the content.
The discussions here reveal only some of the problems, which require much more study to help ensure quality in preparation of teachers for children with disabilities.
5.5 Voluntary organizations and Govt. agencies
The main objective of the scheme is to secure extensive, as well as, intensive involvement of voluntary sector in the endeavours of the Government to promote functional literacy, skill development and continuing education, particularly in 15-35 age group, under the over all umbrella of National Literacy Mission (NLM). The Scheme will, thus, strive to achieve, through voluntary effort, the overall objectives of NLM, which include:
The Scheme encompasses of 3 components, namely, State Resource Centers, Jan Shikshan Sansthan and Assistance to Voluntary Agencies.