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Inclusion : Concept and Practice

                                                  21                                            Notes

                     INCLUSION : CONCEPT AND


                The Constitution of India states that everyone has the right to equality of
                education and of opportunity. The 86th amendment of the Constitution has
                reiterated the need for free, compulsory and universal elementary education as
                a fundamental right for all children from the ages of 6 to 14 years. The 93rd
                amendment of the Constitution of India has made education a fundamental
                Human Right for all children between the ages of six and 14 years, irrespective
                of caste, class, religion, gender and disability. They need to be brought into the
                fold of education. The National Early Childhood Care and Education Policy,
                2013 stresses the importance of,  “providing integrated services for holistic
                development of all children along the continuum from the prenatal period to
                six years of age. Thus, ensuring a sound foundation for survival, growth and
                development of the child with focus on care and early learning.” (p.1).

                The different education commissions and committees at national and international
                levels have highlighted the pressing need for education of children with different
                disabilities in the general education system. They emphasize that the educational
                needs of children with disabilities should be an inseparable part of the general
                education system. This is in the context of the National Policy of Education
                (NPE, 1986) which spells the need for equality in educational opportunities to
                children with disabilities. It focuses on pre-service training of general teachers
                and orientation of in-service teachers to meet the needs of these children. It also
                highlights provision of vocational training, establishment of special schools for
                severely disabled children and encouragement to voluntary organizations. It has
                suggested several strategies and several schemes for achieving equal opportunities
                and providing the children with disabilities access to quality education
                comparable to other children.  The Government has also taken significant
                initiatives for the educational development of children with disabilities.

               EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION                                                               201
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