Children with disabilities should be given every opportunity to be part of the mainstream. To do this, it is necessary that our education system does not marginalise them, even with good intentions

Inclusive education refers to education for all. The concept includes everyone who is on the margins, and aims to bring them into the mainstream. We no longer talk about integrated education; today, it’s about inclusion.

The case for inclusive education is this: No amount of community awareness can change the attitude of people. It’s only when young people are exposed to each other, see their friends’ assets as well as their weaknesses that they become better human beings. It’s difficult for older people to change their mindset; this is not so for children. When they mingle with those from diverse backgrounds, they develop into more open-minded people, accepting of differences. And as adults, they grow into that culture of acceptance, to say, “I have no issues hiring a person with special needs in my factory, or in my business”.

Overall, I’d like to see more acceptance. You can’t just call it ‘inclusive’. You’ve got to be inclusive. You can’t just say, ‘We need an inclusive environment.’ We have to create it, at a day-to-day level, by practicing inclusiveness. When you talk about something at a cognitive level but come from a different place in your heart, it doesn’t work. You must believe it will happen.

By: M. Mobin Uddin (Chief Editor)

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