According to UNESCO, Inclusive Education is based on the right of all learners to a quality education that meets basic learning needs and enriches lives. Focusing particularly on vulnerable and marginalised groups, it seeks to develop the full potential of every individual. The ultimate goal of inclusive quality education is to end all forms of discrimination and foster social cohesion.
After attending a lecture about it last Friday, I realised that the professors who hold Doctor’s Degrees on this subject have no idea of how different theory and practise are. The lecturer seemed very proud showing a student with a mental disorder’s works as proof of how possible it is to make such a child learn. It’s obvious you can have great results with a student who has any syndromes or mental disorders when you can work with them individually, in a special classroom, with all the support material that child’s needs require.
I’d like to see those professors try to help children like that in groups of about 35 students, in which there are some hyperactive children, others with Down’s Syndrome and the so-called normal ones all mixed, with no assistant teacher, no special resources, no books, (not even books); only chalk and a blackboard in a poor school located in a slum.
Unfortunately, children who need special assistance do not receive the quality education they have the right to in our state schools. Inclusive Education here, in practise, is putting those children in the middle of a classroom among other children, who may have other not-so-severe problems – because we do not know what ‘being normal’ means nowadays – under an unprepared teacher’s supervision and say they have been included in society.
What are they learning and what is the real benefit for everyone after all?