Inclusive: Definition, Benefits, and the Concept of Inclusive Education

Inclusive – Sinaumed’s must have often heard or read the word “inclusive”, both in the mass media and on posters stuck somewhere. Usually, the word “inclusive” is attached to an invitation for society to embrace and respect differences. Since our country is multicultural, of course the invitation to create an inclusive environment is very important.

The existence of this inclusive environment is also implemented in an educational concept which is also supported by the state through the Constitution. Then actually, what does inclusion mean? How is it applied in the concept of education that has been proclaimed by this country? So, so that Sinaumed’s isn’t confused, let’s look at the following review!

Definition of Inclusive

The word “inclusive” comes from English, namely “Inclusion” which means ‘to invite in’ or ‘to include’. Meanwhile, the opposite of “inclusive” is “exclusive” which means ‘to exclude’ or ‘to separate. If you look at the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), this word has a definition of ‘including’ and ‘counting’. So, it can be concluded that “inclusive” is an attempt to accept as well as interact with other people even though that person has differences from us. In short, this is almost the same as tolerance which must be applied in a multicultural society.

This attitude indirectly invites us to understand the problems experienced by other people, so we don’t just judge . Therefore, this attitude can be applied in a multicultural society, starting from the family, school, and community environment. Simple examples of this attitude include respecting someone who is older, respecting other people’s worship time, and many others. The existence of an inclusive attitude should be taught by families and schools from an early age, so that it can “stick” into adulthood. Because later when we grow up, we will meet many people with different ethnicities, cultures, backgrounds, statuses, and mindsets, so we must respect these differences.

The application of this attitude is actually simple, it is even possible that Sinaumed’s often does it but does not know that even this action is included in an inclusive attitude. Here are some examples of the application of this attitude in everyday life.

  • Doing mutual cooperation to clean up the village or housing complex.
  • Make friends with everyone regardless of their ethnicity, race, or religion.
  • Do not just patronize others who are being hit by problems and calamities.
  • Provide priority seats for the elderly and pregnant women when taking public transportation.
  • Help crossing the elderly on the road.
  • Not ridiculing other cultures and traditions, even if they seem “foreign” to us.
  • Don’t just speak rudely when chatting with other people.
  • Be friendly to everyone, not just certain people.

Inclusive Benefits

The application of this attitude certainly provides various benefits to us, especially those living in a multicultural society. Even as much as possible, this attitude should be taught from an early age. If Sinaumed’s has children, younger siblings or nephews who are still young, it is very important to teach them this attitude, right ?

  1. Reducing discriminatory attitudes, because basically all human beings have the same position and should not be differentiated.
  2. Can respect yourself as well as others who have differences with us.
  3. Participate in developing a society with an open and intelligent mindset.
  4. Develop productivity to build a better life.
  5. Knowing the obstacles to social problems.
  6. As an attitude of respect for cultural differences and traditions that exist in the surrounding environment.

Education Concept

Sinaumed’s needs to know that this attitude has been implemented in an educational concept which was proclaimed by our country itself. Yep, the term education was actually coined by UNESCO which was then echoed by many countries in the world, one of which is Indonesia. Basically, this inclusive education is child-friendly, because the target is children with special needs so that they can continue to study at school just like other children.

The term inclusive education or inclusive education was coined by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) aka the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization with its jargon in the form of Education for All . That is, this education must be friendly to everyone and reach everyone without exception. Everyone has the same rights and opportunities to get the maximum benefit from education. These rights and opportunities are not differentiated based on physical, mental, social, emotional, even socio-economic status, so that everyone, whoever it may be, can access education.

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Well, this is of course in line with our country’s national education philosophy, which does not limit students’ access to school with any background. The term “inclusive” in inclusive education is not only inclined to those who have special needs, but all children.

According to a professor of inclusive education from Syracuse University named Sapon Shevin, inclusive education is an educational service system that requires children with special needs to study in nearby schools with friends of their age. Usually, the school education institution that runs this school is able to accommodate all students to be in the same class. This school will also provide educational programs that are appropriate and challenging, but still adapted to the abilities and needs of each student. Not only that, inclusive schools also provide assistance and support from teachers so that their students are successful.

On this basis, the concept of inclusive education is an education service system that includes children with special needs to study together with their peers in regular schools around their homes. The aim of this school is that all children can access the widest possible education without discrimination.

Since inclusive education “unites” children with special needs and regular children, the school that organizes it must also adapt the needs of students, starting from the curriculum, educational facilities, to the learning system. For educators, efforts are made to those who are trained and professional in their fields so that they can objectively develop educational programs.

History of Educational Development

The beginning of the existence of this inclusive education was in Scandinavian countries namely in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. At that time in the 1960s, the President of the United States, JF Kennedy sent Special Education experts to Scandinavia to study mainstreaming and Least Restrictive Environment , which turned out to be suitable for application in the United States.

Then in 1991, England began to introduce the concept of inclusive education which was initially segregative to integrative. Segregation is the separation of racial or ethnic groups by force. The demand for implementation of inclusive education to be implemented throughout the world has increasingly been realized since a world conference on children’s rights was held in 1989. Furthermore, in 1991, Bangkok, Thailand, succeeded in declaring the “Education for All” campaign. The conferences and campaigns bind all its members so that children without exception (including children with special needs) can obtain adequate educational services and without discrimination.

As an effort to follow up on the previous campaign declaration held in Bangkok, in 1994 an educational convention was held in Salamanca, Spain. In the education convention stated that inclusive education is needed, hereinafter known as “The Salamanca statement on inclusive education”. Since countries in the world have been trying to develop inclusive education, Indonesia is also doing it.

In 2004, the Indonesian government held a national convention and produced a Bandung Declaration which stated that Indonesia was committed to moving towards inclusive education. Followed in the following year, an international symposium was held in Bukittinggi to produce a Bukittinggi Recommendation. The recommendation contains many things, including emphasizing the need to develop inclusive education programs as a way to ensure that children receive quality and proper education and care.

Managerial Implications of Inclusive Education

A regular school that implements this inclusive education program will have implications or involve the following:

  1. Regular schools will provide class conditions that are friendly, warm, while accepting diversity and respecting the differences of their students.
  2. Regular schools must be prepared to manage heterogeneous classes, namely by implementing a shared curriculum and learning.
  3. Teachers who teach in class must implement interactive learning.
  4. Teachers are required to involve parents in the process of organizing their education.

Inclusive Education Goals

This inclusive education is held in Indonesia not only because other countries also do it, but because there are goals that affect the Indonesian people, namely:

  1. Providing the widest opportunity for all children, including children with special needs, so that they can access proper education according to their needs.
  2. Help accelerate the 12-year compulsory basic education program.
  3. To help improve the quality of primary and secondary education, by reducing the number of school leavers and dropouts.
  4. Realizing the mandate of the 1945 Constitution, especially in article 31 paragraph 1 which reads “Every citizen has the right to education”, while paragraph 2 reads “Every citizen is obliged to attend basic education and the government is obliged to finance it.”
  5. Realizing Law No. 20/2003 concerning the National Education System, especially in article 5 paragraph 1 which reads “Every citizen has the same right to obtain quality education”. While in Law No. 23 of 2002 Article 51 concerning Child Protection, it reads “Children with physical and/or mental disabilities are given equal opportunities and accessibility to obtain ordinary education and special education.”
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Basic Principles of Inclusive Education

The basic principle of inclusive education emphasizes openness and respect for children with special needs. Through this basic principle which is directly related to guaranteeing access and opportunities for all children in obtaining education regardless of their background in life. According to Usman Abu Bakar (2012), there are two principles in education, namely:

a) The Principle of Equal Rights in Education

In this principle, inclusive education accommodates all children so that they get proper and quality education, respecting diversity and recognizing individual differences.

b) Principles of School Quality Improvement

In this principle, inclusive education will always strive to improve its quality and quality, starting from the provision of facilities and infrastructure, the ability of teachers and education staff, changing schools’ views regarding children’s needs, collaborating with other institutions as partners to improve school quality, to creating a child-friendly school.

Meanwhile, in a book entitled Inclusive Education Training Module written by the Ministry of National Education in collaboration with the Australian government through the Australia-Indonesia Partnership, explains that there are five principles in implementing inclusive education, namely as follows:

a) Principles of Equality and Quality Improvement

In this principle it becomes one of the efforts to equalize opportunities to obtain education because through schools providing inclusive education, a number of children with special needs are not reached by Special Schools.

b) The Principle of Individual Needs

Since every child has different abilities and needs, education must be endeavored to adapt to the child’s condition.

c) The Principle of Meaningfulness

Inclusive education must create and maintain a friendly class community, accept diversity, and respect differences. This principle requires that no party is harmed by the existence of inclusive education.

d) Principles of Sustainability

Inclusive education must be carried out in a sustainable manner at all levels of education, from elementary school to senior high school.

e) The Principle of Engagement

In implementing inclusive education, it must involve all related components. Especially by collaborating with fellow teachers and non-teachers in order to get quality learning that suits their individual needs.

Pros and Cons of Education

Even though inclusive education has been recognized throughout the world as an effort to accelerate the fulfillment of the right to education for every child, its existence actually raises pros and cons. So, here are the pros and cons of inclusive education.

Pro Education

  1. There is no strong evidence yet that Special Schools are the only best system for fulfilling the education of children with special needs.
  2. The cost of implementing inclusive education is much more expensive than regular schools.
  3. The implementation of Special Schools has implications for the labeling that children who attend these schools are ‘disabled’ children so that many people do not want to send their children to these schools.
  4. Many children with special needs who live in areas cannot attend special schools due to the long distance and unaffordable costs.
  5. Through inclusive education, there will be a process of educating the public about how to respect the differences that exist.
  6. There is a lot of evidence in regular schools, that there are children with special needs who do not get appropriate services.

Counter Education

  1. Many parents whose children do not want to attend regular schools.
  2. Many regular schools do not yet have full preparation for implementing inclusive education, because it is related to limited resources.
  3. Special Schools are considered more effective for children with special needs to attend.

So, that’s a review of what is inclusive and its application to the concept of the education system that exists throughout the world, especially in Indonesia. Has Sinaumed’s ever seen how this inclusive education system works?

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