Challenges and opportunities in efforts towards inclusive education: reflections from India
Across the globe, the Salamanca Statement has provided the strongest impetus for drawing attention to the education of some of the most marginalised groups. In India, it has had a significant and specific impact on the provision of schooling opportunities for children with disabilities. This paper provides a critical analysis of key developments in national policies and programmes and how these have shaped provision at the classroom level. Drawing on Nancy Fraser’s conception of justice as an analytical tool, efforts towards inclusive education in India are explored through the interlinked ideas of redistribution, recognition and representation. Over the last two decades, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of children with disabilities being enrolled in schools, driven by factors including positive legislation, and the increased provision of aids and appliances, etc. However, little attention has been paid to the quality of teaching and learning, experienced by children with disabilities. Instead, efforts remain focused on assimilation into a mainstream system fraught with different challenges. Despite these issues, India is a powerful example of how the vision of inclusive education, as outlined in the Salamanca Statement, is feasible, especially if efforts build on contextual realities.
Online Publication Date