Inclusive Education Around the Globe During COVID-19
Education is a human right that every person deserves. Every child, including those with special needs, is entitled to a proper education. Inclusive education is a term that ensures that quality education is accessible to all students by responsively meeting their diverse needs (Unesco, 1994). This is considered a progressive step for students, teachers, and parents with special needs children to develop their education in a better direction. Children with physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and linguistic disabilities are part of the criteria for children who can be categorized as students who are a part of inclusive education. School-based learning that was initially carried out offline was eventually forced online, harming children with special needs. They are among the most vulnerable groups and will suffer from serious degradation if distance learning is prolonged (Hamidaturrohmah & Mulyani, 2020).
Based on a survey conducted on children with special needs in India by Swabhiman (2020), around 56.5% of children with disabilities experience difficulty attending classes regularly. Meanwhile, as many as 77% of these children have trouble follow the curriculum well, so lagging behind on lessons is a risk they face every other day. Some other negative effects include getting bored quickly, becoming easily distracted, possessing a lack of self-confidence, and a lack of resilience when studying for a relatively long time, which is observed by parents with special needs children. The same observation was found by Aimua & Paul (2021) in parts of the African country, Nigeria. Quality education, regardless of everyday challenges and socio-economic background, is the principle of inclusive education, but it is not something that is widely applied in Nigeria. Poor funding from the education sector, an inadequate electricity supply, immense poverty, the intricacies of the various social levels of the Nigerian community, and the inability of parents to support the implementation of online learning at home are some of the challenges faced by Nigerian inclusive education. Not to be missed, a study conducted in Kosovo by Duraku & Nagavci (2020), also found that the biggest impact felt by special needs children and their parents was in regards to their welfare. With changes in daily routines, both children and parents feel that a lack of socialization, emotional support, and changes in learning tools are their biggest concerns, especially during online learning.
As a handling action, the academic community of inclusive education is competing to make changes in the world of education. The principle of "education for all" is becoming the basis for changes in the learning design, so that it can be more flexible and adapted to the current world situation. Collaboration carried out by important parties such as parents, teachers, and education policymakers are able to have a positive impact on the development of an inclusive school system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing government-funded education to schools, adding electricity networks in places far from the city, improving communication between schools and parents, and providing training for parents during a pandemic period of online teaching are some solutions offered by both the government and education providers. Every child is entitled to an education, but the pandemic has only made this experience more difficult for special needs children. Plans to improve the learning design are hopefully moving special needs children in the right direction.
Inclusive education is a term that ensures that quality education is accessible to all students by responsively meeting their diverse needs.
Across the globe in places like India, Nigeria, and Kosovo, children with special needs and their family members are suffering during online-based learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collaboration between important parties and educational funding is provided by the government to either parents or schools.