Short Note on Mainstreaming of Disabled Children

Education of children with disabilities in India, as all over the world, has moved from segregation, special schools to integrated education. There is a great challenge before India, to make necessary changes to build a more inclusive and generous society. The call of the day for India is to create a society which enables children from all sectors and classes of the society to come together and have a barrier free education. It’s time to examine the relationship between disabled children and analyse a particular form of knowledge production in order to create an understanding of disability and the struggle for a more inclusive and equitable society.

In this direction many actions and steps of implimentation are in progress. Cooperative planning is an educational programming and monitoring arrangement between special and regular educators on behalf of learning disabled students. Without effective cooperative planning between the learning disabilities teacher and the regular classroom teacher, the probability of successfully mainstreaming an learning disabled students into the regular classroom is greatly reduced.

The practice of mainstreaming students with disabilities in regular classrooms is required by law as long as its “conducive to learning.” Teaching students with disabilities in regular classrooms is a complicated and challenging task. In some schools, mainstreaming of students with disabilities is used only for those classes in which the child has ability to keep up with peers, In fact, severely disabled students are being placed in regular classrooms where they are integrated only in their physical presence and not in their participation in the classroom learning, where disruption is often evident, and where isolation from other students is not uncommon. Are schools doing this because of an uncritical application of the reigning ideology—the inclusion of all children in mainstream classrooms, irrespective of their specific abilities and needs? Obviously, many academically weak students recognize their own difficulties when they are in classrooms where most of the other students are ahead of them. And strong students are sometimes prevented from progressing at a pace that challenges them because their right to an appropriate education is considered, even by some educators, to be less important because they are gifted and it is assumed that they can cope on their own. Moreover, excellent teachers experience considerable frustration and despair with the wide variability of knowledge, skills, and proficiencies of the students in their classrooms. Lastly it is the combined efforts of teacher and parents to work hand in hand to uplift the disabled children in mainstreaming society.

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