Inclusive Education Essay

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INTRODUCTION TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION One of the major features that will characterise classrooms of the new century is learner diversity. This will be a notable advance from past practices and indicates an awareness of the important role inclusive education has to play in the future. In order to give all learners access to quality education, a dramatic shift from exclusivity to inclusivity is required. At the Salamanca Conference held in Spain from 7 to 10 June 1994, more than 300 representatives from 92 governments and 25 international organisations, committed themselves to promoting Inclusive Education. The Salamanca Conference Statement reaffirms the right to education of every individual, as stated in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and renews the pledge made by the world community at the 1990 World Conference on Education for All. This framework stems from the messages of the Jomtien World Declaration on Education for All (1990) and was reaffirmed in the Dakar Framework for Action (2000): “… In order to attract and retain children from marginalized and excluded groups, education systems should respond flexibly… Education systems must be inclusive, actively seeking out children who are not enrolled, and responding flexibly to the circumstances and needs of all learners…” (Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments. Expanded Commentary on the Dakar Framework for Action, Para 33) UNESCO's action in the field of inclusive education has been set explicitly within the 'inclusive education' framework adopted at the Salamanca Conference: "... Schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, linguistic or other conditions." (Article 3, Salamanca Framework for Action) "Regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating

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