Table of Content
Inclusive Education Policy in Nepal
Situation Analysis of the Disabled Children
Inclusive Education Practices
Inclusiveness is Multiculturalism
Challenges of Inclusive Education
Barrier to the inclusive education in school leads unrest and underdevelopment in the society. The paper focused on the ongoing process of education system in Nepal after the advent of democracy in 1951AD, to till the Peoples Movement of 2004 AD. Six decades political unrest brought drastic change in the socio-economic and education in Nepal. Though, it was unknown, people followed social pattern in the education system. SSRP was implemented with inclusive education along with the policy of mother tongue approach; led fully fledged democratic norms and the principles in education policy in Nepal. Now the time has come, planners, educators, researcher felt the need of inclusive education in the context of Nepal to promote and preserve cultural diversity.
Education is the strongest weapon to change the whole world (Nelson Mandela). Of course yes whole set of development starts from the base of education. Society we live today is heterogeneous in nature. It is the post modern era, having the ideology of rethinking of thinking; defamiliarity of familiarity, deconstruction of construction in every field of development. In this context the present day education is overemphasized in technique rather than the feeling of oneness. Nevertheless, technical education is necessary for physical development too. Education begins with value judgment and belief in reality of life. It begins in the hands of educator, who must understand oneself, and come up against established pattern. It is way to postmodernism era in education which gives diverse education to all with value judgment in each individual’s life. It is the era of openness and the way to expose individual talent through education process. I am in great dilemma regarding the kind of education prevailing in our country. The policies are better but, implementation part is very weak, it is due to lack of monitoring process. The right kind of education cultivates true relationship between not only individual but, also between the individual and the society; above all, help the individual to understand oneself and their responsibility in the society (Krishnamurti, 2009, p. 34). Culturally diverse society needs inclusive education to overcome social problem. Nepal is in need of inclusive education in a sense that those children who are disabled in one way or other has right to get according to their capability. Still today, 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. This means, of course, they are caught in a spiral of low expectation, low esteem and low income (UNICEF, 2003). Who are normal children to get education? Nevertheless, all of us are not able to perform every things at a time that’s why we are also disabling in one way other. Of course yes, brailed which are useful for the visually impaired children are not for the normal children. In these sense normal children seems abnormal for disabled. It’s very serious matter for those who work in this field. In next paragraph I have pointed out the inclusive education policy Government of Nepal from the critical perspective.
Inclusive Education Policy in Nepal
The reconstructions theory advocates that the school should take the lead to change the society. Schools have more responsibility to transmit knowledge; they have the mission to transform society as well. The theorist think critically and with full of skill in this system, students learn to handle controversy and recognize multiple perspective. It is hard to implement inclusive education which construct the knowledge of diversity in schools The end of Rana regime in 1951 AD is the beginning of new era in the history of Nepal. The democratic system prevailed with much more enthusiasm and paved the way in the field of building infrastructure. The then Government adopted some policies in favor of educating people. Nepal National Education Planning Commission, (1954), was set up as the historic achievement as it was the first ever foreign influence Wood Commission in Nepal. It gave system. Nonetheless, the policy acknowledged the role of education for social transformation and decentralization. But, this policy was unable to recognize to grab the spirit of political change, as well as failed to recognize the multilingual education and education for the disabled; instead it imposed linguistic restriction which discouraged the spirit of multilingualism. It was unable to recognize children’s management and teaching. The conservative policy made the extinction of number of language from our country. Later on All Round National Education Commission, (1962), was set up and during sixties expansion of private school system was introduced with English language teaching. It was suggested for implementing free and compulsory primary education. However, the policy failed to support neither the diversified education system nor the policy of special education to the special children. It was in 1971-75, New Education System Plan was implemented, and the school came directly under the management and ownership of Government. It means the centralized system was adopted with the restructuring primary school from 1-3 grades. The text books were developed but, not according to the cultural setting of a nation. However, emphasized was given to use Nepali language in school. It is said that Nepali became a part of the nationalistic movement across the country. Similarly National Education Commission, (1990), the policy focused on non- Nepali language in the school. The priority was given to those children with multilingual rather than the integrated system of education. Similarly National Education Commission, (1990), was introduced with the policy focused on non- Nepali language in the school. The priority was given to those children from multilingual committees to learn their local languages. The Government has focused on diverse languages but, not the priority for disabled children. By, 2004, vulnerable community development plan was introduced the social inclusion and integrating disadvantaged children in primary school. The plan also emphasized the need for targeted interventions for girls, children from dalit, indigenous and ethnic minorities in the school. Society having diverse ethnic communities like that of Nepal must come forward for bridging social relations with democratic governance and acceptance of the ethnic groups to be part of the social fabric are relevant to manage conflict through inclusive education. When the diversity is treated as the neglected dimension, there is deprivation of the specific communities which finally create injustice in the society. This is the serious matter in the context of Nepal and deprived communities may not have the feeling of nationality, which threaten the nation. Furthermore, we need to analyze the policy adopted in the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007, it has declared education as the right of a citizens and primary education in the mother tongue was emphasized with the idea of three language policy, they are- mother tongue, Nepali and English. To meet the learning activities School Sector Reform Plan (2009-2015), prioritized on meeting diverse learning needs of children of different social and cultural settings. It has found that the concept of ‘entitlement’ to support the education of marginalized communities the provision for ‘minimum enabling condition’ for every school. The ground reality in education system is totally different, still there is need to do lot in this field to bring inclusiveness in multiculturalism. When we talk about the education, there we find two types of education for children; they are special education and integrated education. The special education was started I1964 AD in Nepal at the school situated at Chet Bhawan Lajimpat for the visually impaired children. After the world conference at Salamasscer in Spain in 1994 AD, the new concept of inclusion education started in the different part of the world. The inclusion education is the process of addressing and responding to the diversity of the need of all learners in the classroom in the school and in the society and here by reducing exclusion within and from education no matter what causes the exclusion could be (Inspired by UNESCO 2000).
Today the diversity cultural education is referred as the inclusion education; it does not mean the special education only. During the BPEP 2nd phase special education project (1993-1999), was to establish resource classes with residential facilities for children and different disabilities. It is obvious that the children with disabilities were segregate from main society and from families. The special education section had to change, not the vision, but strategies for the special education programme (Holst 2001). There are several international discussion for nearly eleven years among the INGO, NGO regarding the interest of disability issues. The UN Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Person with Disabilities was adopted by all the UN member states in 1993. The concept of definition was suggested regarding disability. The genuine clarification has been given in term of disability, which should not be understood as a defect of individual but as a relation between a person and the environment that restrain equal opportunities. It is true to say that in certain situation a person can be disabled while in other situation the same person is not disabled at all (UN 1994). In the same manner the Dakar Declaration of 2000 AD gave the concept of Education for All (EFA). It is further more steps towards the inclusion education pattern.
Education is in inclusive in nature if it is able to accept holistic approach of functional structuralism. The theory like Information Processing is relevant in this context. Disabled children in the school learn through their sharp mind. The mind makes meaning through symbol processing structure of fixed body of knowledge. It describes how information is gathered, proceed received, stored and retrieved from the mind. As far concern the education to disabled have become challenges to the Government of Nepal. The Government of Nepal has ratified the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989), and is a signatory of the declaration Education for All (1990) and the Salamanca Declaration (1994). These documents call for the provision of public education to all children, regardless of their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, linguistic, or other conditions. The Department of Education had taken up the challenge of initiating inclusive education in Nepal. Governmental agencies such as the National Planning Commission Secretariat, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Local Development and the Social Welfare Council are working for disability in various ways. Several initiatives to provide integrated and inclusive education for children with disabilities have also been taken by charity organizations, religious institutions, local NGOs and international organizations. The vision for better world only comes through diversity education system. There are certainly too many problems while implementing world concept in the local level. We have not studied deeply to introduce inclusive education system. I have been teaching in the school level since last eighteen years though it is difficult to find out the root cause of snail’s pace in the education policy of the Government. There is misconception among the teaching staff about the inclusiveness. The idea is about the ethnicity only, it is not the reality, and physically disabled are also the part of school education. The curriculum must be suitable for multiple disable and for the normal children. For that we have to go shortly through the situation analyses of disabled children. If they are excluded from the school we have to face more and more problems in society.