Managing inclusive classrooms in light of NEP 2020

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Managing inclusive classrooms in light of NEP 2020
Managing inclusive classrooms in light of NEP 2020


In most cases, children with special needs perceive problems with social interactions. They expressed that their “disability” was a cause of social isolation. They wanted to have more friends and participate in normal activities with their friends. However, they expressed dissatisfaction with their relationships with their peers without disabilities.

Interviews with regular teachers revealed that teachers did not have adequate exposure to working with children with special needs during their pre-training and therefore lacked appropriate attitude and sensitivity. Teacher training courses in India are diverse and approach inclusive education from a ‘deficit perspective’.

Apart from an optional document on “children with special needs”, there is no official data on inclusive education that can prepare teachers to deal with diversity in classrooms. The standard Bachelor of Education program includes a course on teaching children with special needs in India.

However, when faced with the practical challenge of teaching in inclusive classes, teachers lacked the skills to deal with the situation and most often neglected children with special needs as the sole responsibility of resource teachers.

The teacher training curriculum may include a specific training module on inclusive education. This module can also provide an extended period of placement in inclusive schools. The Directorate of Distance Education of the University of Kashmir in collaboration with the Department of Home Science may start a core course in Disability Studies and offer it in hybrid mode.

Peers can be sensitized by regular and resource teachers through group sessions where they learn about disabilities and empathy. NEP 2020 talks about reforming teacher training programs. Sensitivity, early intervention, support and special pedagogy for teaching children with disabilities to be an integral part of teacher training programs (NEP 2020, Part-I, Section 6.14).

The constant efforts of school personnel to include the child with special needs in the normal activities of the school could certainly lead to a change in the behavior of peers without disabilities towards their classmates with disabilities.

The main recommendations include recruiting resource teachers, special pedagogues in proportion to the number and needs of children with special needs enrolled in school; pre- and regular training of regular teachers on issues related to the management of inclusive classrooms, peer sensitivity; and introducing suitable alternative activities for children with special needs.

A change in the status of examinations whereby students with special needs will have some relaxation in the minimum pass rate (36% for physically disabled category and 40% for general category), especially at the college and university level. Students with physical disabilities should have the option of taking classes or sessions online where offline classes are mandatory for all.


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