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A step towards implementation of NEP

Inclusion in education is the practice wherein students with learning and physical disabilities are integrated into general education classrooms to the greatest possible extent. This model is built on the belief that educational experiences are more rewarding for such children when they interact with their general education peers. They develop better social and community skills.

Inclusiveness is not only about physical disability but also about every difference and uniqueness. Just as general education has excluded children with physical and learning disability, other groups of students have also faced different forms of exclusion.

Dr Vandana Shahi
Principal, BCM School,
Ludhiana

 

 

NEP talks of learning for all but various form of discrimination is the biggest hurdle in its implementation. Continuous exposure to discrimination can lead to low self-esteem, fear, stress and poor health.

Children start learning discrimination as a part of their culture from the day they are born. Schools can play a major role in shifting the mind sets and attitudes of the society by encouraging certain behaviour among children to build inclusive culture. Achieving an inclusive school culture goes beyond having an infrastructure fit for the physically disabled, appointing a special educator or counsellor or adding an ornamental phrase in the school vision and mission statement. Inclusiveness means ensuring students from all backgrounds regardless of socio-economic status, income or gender have an equal access to education.

Inclusiveness triggers from mind. At the heart of inclusion in a school is a committed leader who has the curiosity, courage and cognizance to reflect, practice and focus on ‘culture add’ and not ‘culture fit’. A leader needs to prepare and train all the stakeholders to create the DNA of inclusiveness in his school.

Schools too should have a group of culturally intelligent teachers as a core team to identify the specific needs of children and find ways to bridge the gaps. Teachers should collaborate periodically to design and plan the execution of customized curriculum. A teacher’s appraisal needs to look beyond the academic scores of their students and should include creation of resources for balanced classroom instructions which incorporate all students irrespective of caste, colour, class, disabilities and special needs. Success of any project taken up by the school largely depends on the involvement of the parent community.

Instead of asking their children what did they learn today, they should ask how did they help somebody today. Elders should talk about inclusiveness in the form of short stories and anecdotes. Schools are the playgrounds of values and life skills where children informally catch attitudes and behaviour.

Along with upgrading our infrastructure and resources to accommodate all, teaching acceptance, tolerance, empathy and patience to students will make the society inclusive.

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