Thesis on Determining the Status on Inclusive Education at Non-formal Primary Education in Bangladesh

The right of education to every child is proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Right; besides, education is also a fundamental human right. It is clear that large numbers of children who struggle daily with additional hardships are not getting the chance to improve their lives through education. So the current world needs a system of Education which provide quality education to the underprivileged section of the society. So, the phenomenon ‘IE’ may be the most reliable solution. The study was focused on to find out the barriers of inclusion in NFPE and to outline a more effective technique for the development of inclusive education in Bangladesh. Qualitative approach was used in the study. This study was conducted in three contexts: interview schedule for NGO’s classroom teachers to determine their attitude towards inclusive education, classroom observation schedule and document analysis of NGOs.
It was reveled that IE in Bangladesh is not spread out so far in large due to some socio-psycho-economical reason. Even the Govt. is not playing the key role for advancing this ideology. Some non government organization are trying to make CWSN self reliant through IE, but their contribution are far away than the actual needs. Besides this by analyzing the observation report, it was found that required facilities of inclusive education were insufficient in schools. Later document analysis revealed that the NGOs have made some progress, but the benefits have not reached all marginalized sections uniformly.
Finding of the study lead to some recommendations which will provide guidelines to future researchers, policy makers and professionals who are engaged in this field.

It is a great challenge to the world to bring out the disadvantaged people to join with the mainstream world. One reason is obviously failure of ensuring quality education among the disadvantage student. Inclusive education is a smooth, effective and suitable pathway to ensure the quality education to the disadvantaged people. This may disseminate to themselves about the value of their life by the light of education.

Though Bangladesh is a signatory country to the World Declaration on Education for All, a vast majority of children do not have access to education. Among these children, children from ethnic minority, children living in extreme poverty, refugee children, abandoned and street children etc are part of it.

In the National Education Policy, 2000, it was declared that every child will have access in the education system. No citizen shall be discriminated grounds on any thing. That means we have to reach every children, it does not matter how different they are. But for the implementation of this declaration is not that easy. To establish different educational institution for children with different need is too expensive. Besides we are in lack of experts. So the most reliable solution is establishing Inclusive Education settings.

So, it is very crucial and the need of time for the decision maker to think about the present situation of inclusive education for the student of Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) in Bangladesh. Because government’s initiative in primary education is not enough. Overall the goal of inclusion is to help individuals to be fully integrated into the greater communities in adult life. Inclusion helps develop an accepting attitude to children for their future.

1.2 Conceptual Framework
1.2.1 Definition of Inclusive Education:
Inclusive education is a approach seeking to address the learning needs of all children, youth and adults with specific focus on the children like financially poor, drop out from school, discriminated due to gender, ethnicity, geographical isolated and detached from the mainstream education who are vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion.

Working definition of IE adopted in the Consultative Workshop on IE in Bangladesh, 2001
IE is an approach to improve the education system by limiting and removing barriers to learning and acknowledging individual children’s needs and potential. The goal of this approach is to make a significant impact on the educational opportunities of those: who attend school but who for different reasons do not achieve adequately and those who are not attending school but who could attend if families communities, schools and education systems were more responsive to their requirements.

“Inclusive” is
Including All children who are left out or excluded from school;
Children with disability; children who do not speak the language of the classroom;
Children who are at risk of dropping out because they are sick, hungry, or not achieving well;
Girls and boys who should be in school but are not, (e.g. children who work at home, in the fields or who have paying jobs to help their families survive).
Children who may be enrolled in school but may feel excluded from learning in the classroom e.g. the ones who sit at the back of the room, and who may soon leave the classroom altogether (dropout) because they are not from the same community.

By definition inclusion means that students with disabilities are receiving their instruction in the general education classroom with any special accommodations being made available to them on-site. The vision of inclusion emerges out of a belief that all students should be educated in their neighborhood schools in the general classroom with individuals their own age (O’Nell, 1994/1995 cited in Karen, 2000).

Mainly it is an approach to improve the education system by limiting and removing barriers to learning and acknowledging individual children’s needs and potential.

1.2.2 Definition of Related Terms
Various new terms those were used in the study that required to be defined.
A disability is the functional consequence of impairment. If a child with polio (impairment) can not walk because of this impairment, (s) he has a disability. However, if impairment is corrected (e.g. short sightedness can be corrected with glasses), than the person has no disability (WHO, 1992). Disability is a permanent condition of a person.

Educational Placement
Selecting the appropriate educational provisions (Special education, Integrated Education, Inclusive Education or Home service) for school-age children on the basis of screening of their special needs (i.e. disability), aptitude and learning performance.

Registration of school-age children into any educational provision.

Integrated Education
The pedagogic concept of integration refers, it involves the admission of children with special educational needs in ‘ordinary’ or ‘regular’ schools and may be described as ‘pedagogic integration’. This may be mandatory under legislation, or it may take the form of statements of policy which aim to encourage such integration” (UNESCO 1996).

Those practices and measures in the sphere of education, which maximize a person’s (potential) participation in the mainstream of their culture (Vvolfensberger, 1972). Educational integration refers to measures taken to provide education within the regular education system with some extra support (i.e. resource room, resource teacher etc.) for children with special educational needs.

Learning Performance
Academic performance of children with disabilities in particular subjects according to primary curriculum.

Mainstreaming means that children with disabilities are placed in mainstream general schools provided they are able to follow the mainstream curriculum without problems. Mainstreaming occurs for children who suffer from (chronic) illness, which have no impact on their cognitive ability. For example: Children with epilepsy are normally mainstreamed, but also children with mild visual or hearing impairments or those who only have a physical disability (Jbnsson, 1994).

Regular/ Formal Education
Regular education means the type of education, which follows national curriculum and every school eligible (considering age, background of education etc.) citizen has equal right to get access there. This type of education is comparatively rigid in timeline or age limit, goal-oriented, planned, state controlled and stratified. However, it is the core initiative of any government of any country regarding educational activities.

1.2.3 Characteristics of Inclusive Education
(i) Acknowledge that all children can learn.
(ii) Acknowledges and respects difference in children: age, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, HIV & TB status etc.
(iii) Enables education structures, systems & methodologies to meet the needs of all children.
(iv) Is a part of wider strategy to promote an inclusive society.
(v) Is a dynamic process that is constantly evolving.
(vi) Make sure each and every student feels welcome and is learning.
(vii) Embrace the understanding that every student is unique and, therefore, learns differently.
(viii) Understand that all children-students with and without disabilities, English language learners, those with special talents-learn better if teaching is tailored to their abilities and interest.

(ix) Collaborate with families.
(x) Hold high expectations for student success.
(xi) Keep improving.

1.2.4 Understanding the Inclusive Education
Inclusive education is a strategy to improve education systems, by challenging and changing exclusionary policies and practices. IE is concerned with minimizing and removing barriers to access, participation and learning for all children, but especially for those who have been socially discriminated because of poverty, child labour, disability, gender, ethnicity or other differences.