Over the recent past, there has been an aggressive campaign aimed at sensitizing people about the disabilities affecting different people in society. In part, such efforts have been driven by a history of mistreatment of disabled people. In the education sector, the trend has been similar with disabled students suffering the brunt of the misconstrued education system. Ideally, there is controversy as to the best way to handle disabled students in terms of their education. While the normal practice in the past was the segregation of the students in special schools, the trend has changed to incorporate more holistic approaches. As thus, most disabled students are integrated in the regular schools and study hand in hand with their normal peers (Jobe et al, pp 148). This development is not without controversy however as different suggestions have been floated both for and against the new development. Although inclusion of disabled students has its challenges, it remains the most viable option in the holistic development of disabled students.
It is no doubt that every child is entitled to basic education in most of the world countries; a right which extends to disabled children. However, the contentious issue is whether children with special needs should be segregated from the rest in delivery of education. Taking the disabled children in special classrooms only exacerbates the problem further as “they do not have contact with many children thus leading to feelings of loneliness and lack of self esteem” (Interview with friend). On the other hand, integrating the disabled children in regular classrooms increases contact with other children (Salend & laurel, pp 117). This contract is important in the development of the disabled children as they can learn language skills useful in their interaction with the normal world. Further, the mere interaction helps the disabled children to reach their full potential in terms of education and social interaction. Obviously, this development is important because the disabled children have minimal intelligence and vocabulary and compounding them in segregated schools can only worsen their situation. In cases where the children are slow and cannot keep up with the normal children, they can be offered special and modified classes within the same schools.
The concept of inclusion banks on the fact that the students need the interactive atmosphere presented by regular classrooms. In addition, the concept allows for the partial segregation in which case the disabled students receive some of the support in special classrooms within the schools. Through the advancement of this concept, the disabled children benefit in both spheres as they maintain contact with regular students even when they get specialized lessons in other classes. In addition, the concept of inclusion helps in the sensitization of other students and the general public about the common disabilities in society (Schumm et al, pp 62). In fact, students who have related with disabled children have been found to be more understanding to other disabled people in the society.
By interacting with the regular students, disabled children get to acquire skills that they wouldn’t have attained in the special classrooms. In fact, most of the disabled students have an identified need in their social skills that require improvement. Inclusion of the students in regular classes therefore helps in the solution of these social skills and the general betterment of the disabled students. The mere knowledge that these students are in regular classes with diverse individuals is also helpful in the improvement of their self esteem. The social stigma of being different is still existent and can only be defeated through acceptance. Education inclusion is one way in which acceptance of one’s disability can be achieved. The benefit of this is twofold as it also helps the regular students learn how to work with individuals who are different from them.
Academic advantage also forms part of the benefits of inclusion because the students receive the same curricula regardless of their abilities. In fact, the disabled students get to learn what everyone else is learning albeit with some curricula modifications and accommodations. This incidence ensures that the disabled students learn of things that they probably wouldn’t have learned in their special classrooms. The inclusion of disabled students helps in the exposure of all children to diverse individuals (Salend & Laurel, pp 118). The benefit of this is that it helps in the development of tolerance among the children with respect to people of different forms.
Even with the visible benefits of having full or partial inclusion of disabled children in normal classrooms, some people still think “segregation is the best way to help them” (Interview with my friend). One of the reasons why the idea has been floated by academicians and even lawmakers ins in the fact that most schools have little resources, training as well as support to cater for the special needs of disabled students. In this respect, the disabled children do not get enough specialized attention as evidenced by the many instances in which they are left behind by their peers in terms of content comprehension. Despite this revelation, inclusion is still far better because the disabled students are given a chance to be normal. In so doing, the children are accorded better opportunities to interact with the world therefore improving their social development. The cost of having slower learning for the regular children is offset by their ability to interact with disabled people in the society (Jobe et al, pp 148). In fact, some researchers have attributed this development to a form of social skills that regular students can boast of having. Moreover, some social disadvantages have been cited as reasons against the full inclusion of children with disabilities into regular classrooms. In particular, antagonists of the development argue that some disabled students have behavioral issues that often need to be addressed in the classroom. The incidence of behavioral issues is not in itself a drawback but its potential to cause social disruptions presents an argument against the inclusion of disabled students. Although the aforementioned is true with respect to behavioral issues among the disabled, it can be offset through inclusion. In particular, the behavioral issues can effectively be handled in the classroom through informal education. Some case studies have tested the suitability of having some of the subjects taught in different classes and the results have been positive. Ideally, the disabled students can be taught social topics in distinct classrooms within the same school thereby enhancing their social skills. The result is not only reflected in higher self esteem but in the social integration of the two groups of students.
Salend, Spencer J., and Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney. “The impact of inclusion on students with and without disabilities and their educators.” Remedial and special education 20.2 (1999): 114-126.
Jobe, Deana, James O. Rust, and Jane Brissie. “Teachers attitudes toward inclusion of students with disabilities into regular classrooms.” Education 117.1 (1996): 148.
Schumm, Jeanne Shay, and Sharon Vaughn. “Getting ready for inclusion: Is the stage set?.” Learning Disabilities Research & Practice (1995).
Interview with a friend. 2016
Wang, Huei Lan. “Should all students with special educational needs (SEN) be included in mainstream education provision?-A critical analysis.” International Education Studies 2.4 (2009): 154.
Aron, Laudan, and Pamela Loprest. “Disability and the education system.” The future of Children 22.1 (2012): 97-122.
Madan, Ankur, and Neerja Sharma. “Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities: Preparing Schools to Meet the Challenge.” Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education 3.1 (2013): 4.
Ford, Jeremy. “Educating students with learning disabilities in inclusive classrooms.” Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education 3.1 (2013): 2.
 Education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights. It promotes individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development benefits. Education is a powerful tool by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and participate fully as citizens.
 Ford, Jeremy. “Educating students with learning disabilities in inclusive classrooms.” Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education 3.1 (2013): 2.
 Inclusion does not simply mean the placement of students with disabilities in general education classes. This process must incorporate fundamental change in the way a school community supports and addresses the individual needs of each child.
 Madan, Ankur, and Neerja Sharma. “Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities: Preparing Schools to Meet the Challenge.” Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education 3.1 (2013): 4.
 Aron, Laudan, and Pamela Loprest. “Disability and the education system.” The future of Children 22.1 (2012): 97-122.
 Wang, Huei Lan. “Should all students with special educational needs (SEN) be included in mainstream education provision?-A critical analysis.” International Education Studies 2.4 (2009): 154.
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