Table of Contents
In its broadest and all-encompassing meaning, inclusive education, as anapproach, seeks to address the learning needs of all children, youth and adults with a specific focus on those whoare vulnerable to marginalisation and exclusion. It implies all learners, young people with or without disabilities being able to learn together through access to common pre-school provisions, schools and community educational setting with an appropriate network of support services.
The National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 and the Programme of Action (1992) give the basic policy framework for education, emphasising the correcting of existing inequalities. It stresses on reducing dropout rates, improving learning achievements and expanding access to students who have not had an easy opportunity to be a part of the mainstream system.
The NPE, 1986 envisaged measures for integrating the physically and mentally handicapped with the general community as equal partners, to prepare them for normal growth and to enable them to face life with courage and confidence.
- Recognising education for all children as a fundamental right.
- To ensure the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in all available mainstream’s educational settings.
- By providing them with a learning environment that is available,accessible, affordable and appropriate to help in developing their learning and abilities.
- To provide for home-based learning for persons with severe, multiple and intellectual disability.
- To promote distance education for those who require an individualised pace of learning.
- To emphasise job-training and job oriented vocational training.
- To promote an understanding of the paradigm shift from charity to development through a massive awareness, motivation and sensitisation campaign.
- Inclusive education results in improved social development and academic outcomes for all learners.
- It leads to the development of social skills and better social interactions because learners are exposed to real environment in which they have to interact with other learners each one having unique characteristics, interests and abilities.
- The non-disabled peers adopt positive attitudes and actions towards learners with disabilities as a result of studying together in an inclusive classroom.
- Inclusive education lays the foun- dation to an inclusive society accepting, respecting and celebrating diversity.
- Infants and children with special needs in the age group 0-6 years.
- Children with special needs in the age group 6-14 years
- Young persons with disabilities in 14-21 years, the age group who are a part of the educational stream.
Disability would refer to sensory, physical and intellectual impairments, communication, emotional and behav-ioural disorders, mental health difficulties and multiple disabilities.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan provides for district-based educational planning and implementation for all children of the age group 6-14 years. It will be ensured that district level plans focus on all aspects of the education of children with special needs, including enrolment, support through assistive devices and the availability of trained teachers.
The persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 provides for access to free education in an appropriate environment for children with disabilities till they attain the age of 18 years. It further provides for 3% reservation in all institution re- ceiving funds from governments for persons with disabilities.
All the schools in the country will be made disabled friendly by 2020 and all educational institutions including hos- tels, libraries, laboratories and buildings will have barrier-free access for the disabled. Special attention will be given for the availability of study material for the disabled and talking text books, reading machines and computers with speech software will be introduced progressively in addition to an adequate number of braille books.
The National Policy on Education, 1986 is a landmark in the history of Indian education. It lays special emphasis on the removal of disparities and equalise educational opportunities by attending to the specific needs of those who have been denied equality so far,i.e., girls and women, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, other educationally backward section and areas, minorities and the handicapped.
Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH)
- The Critical Period Hypothesis states that the first few years (sometime between age 5 and puberty) of life constitute the time during which language develops readily and after which language acquisition is much more difficult and ultimately less successful.
- The critical period hypothesis was proposed by linguist Eric Lenneberg in 1967.
- The CPH was developed further by Pinker (1994), who proposed that language acquisition is guaranteed during childhood, progressively jeopardised until puberty ends, and is improbable thereafter.
- The theory has often been extended to a critical period for second language acquisition.
- Older learners of a second language rarely achieve the native-like fluency that younger learners display, despite often progressing faster than children in the initial stages.
- Second language acquisition will be relatively fast, successful and qualitatively similar to first language only if it occurs before the age of puberty.
A mental block is either a repression of a painful thoughts, or an inability to continue a train of thought. Mental block can be caused by physical disabilities or simply a lack of focus. Mental blocks are also often used to describe a temporary inability to recall a name or other information.
Metalinguistic awareness refers to the ability to objectify language as a process as well as a thing. The concept of metalinguistic awareness is helpful to explain the execution and transfer of linguistic knowledge across languages. Metalinguistics can be classified as the ability to consciously reflect on the nature of language, by using the following skills:
- An awareness that language has a potential greater than that of simple symbols.
- An awareness that words areseparable from their referents.
- An awareness. that language has a structure that can be manipulated.
Metalinguistics awareness is also known as ‘metalinguistic ability’. As metalinguistics awareness grows, children begin to recognise that statement may have literal meaning and implied meaning. Between the ages of 6 and 8 most children begin to expand upon their metalinguistic awareness and start to recognise irony and sarcasm.