Readiness of Urban Primary Schools for Inclusive Education in Pakistan

Readiness of Urban Primary Schools for Inclusive Education in Pakistan

Dr. Shaheen Pasha's recent article published in Journal of Research and Reflections in Education, December 2012, Vol.6, No.2, pp116 -133

Abstract

This survey based, cross-sectional descriptive study, conducted on 300 teachers of 75 public & private primary schools within the city limits of Lahore (Pakistan), is aimed to explore the educators’ readiness for inclusive education and inclusion practices in mainstream primary schools. The study reveals that mainstream primary schools in Pakistan are not ready yet for inclusive education and facing enormous challenges, including lack of commitment towards inclusive education in schools’ mission statement, lack of professional development opportunities for teachers and administration, lack of inclusion supportive admission policy, lack of school administration’s knowledge about current researches, lack of collaborative planning practices, lack of encouraging family-schools & community partnerships, unfriendly school infrastructure for disabled pupils, non-availability of written information about teachers’ roles, responsibilities and required skills to teach and support all students including disabled pupils. However, the study also reveals some encouraging indicators of teachers’ readiness towards inclusive education: teachers’ positive approach towards meeting a variety of learners needs through adopting appropriate pedagogy; appreciation to diversity, openness, trust, collaboration and positive relationship among teachers; stakeholders’ awareness of disability and related special needs; teachers’ positive attitude towards technology integration; teachers’ knowledge about global activities of inclusive education in general classrooms. Some evidences of inclusive education in private schools have also been observed, but cannot be considered a common practice. However, it is a positive trend and must be encouraged. It can create a long term impact on the national education system. It is believed that teachers have the potential to implement inclusive education if opportunity is provided. The study recommends for serious efforts for the promotion of inclusive education in mainstream schools.
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