Everyone should have equal access to education. Because education is not limited by space and time, and the process takes a lifetime.
As a fundamental human right, education must belong to everyone. The same applies to children with special needs, namely those who have physical, psychological, or intellectual disabilities.
According to Law No. 20 of 2003 on the National Education System, Article 5(2), every citizen with physical, emotional, mental, intellectual, and/or social disabilities is entitled to special education.
To fulfill this right, the Indonesian government has enabled various educational services for children with special needs, such as B. Special schools, special schools, and inclusive education.
Inclusive education offers students with special needs the opportunity to learn alongside students in general. Thus they receive equal rights, justice, and access to education.
Inclusive education is an education system that offers students with special needs the opportunity to participate in learning in the same educational environment as students in general.
Furthermore, inclusive education can also be interpreted as:
- innovative and strategic approaches to expand access to education for all children with special needs.
- Forms of education reform that focus on anti-discrimination, equal rights and opportunities, equity, and increasing access to education for all.
- the process of responding to the diverse needs of all children through increased participation in learning, culture, and society.
Classification of children with special needs
Although there are differences, students with special needs are not given special treatment by the teacher. You have the same rights and responsibilities as other students in the class. However, they are supervised by a special escort.
In other words, inclusive education teaches diversity and tolerance among students. You have to respect each other despite existing differences.
Through this educational system, each student can receive educational services that meet their particular needs. This gives them the greatest possible access to quality education without discrimination.
Inclusive educational goals
Inclusive education is an education system where children with special needs can study with their peers in public schools. Nevertheless, the implementation of this educational system is aimed not only at students but also at teachers and schools.
For children with special needs, inclusive education aims to:
- Children feel part of society in general and are seen as equal.
- Children receive various resources to learn and grow.
- Increase the child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
- have the opportunity to learn and communicate with peers.
Meanwhile, inclusive education for teachers aims to:
- Help teachers appreciate differences between students and recognize that students with special needs also have strengths and abilities.
- Raising awareness of the importance of education for students with special needs.
- provide challenges in developing new learning methods and developing collaborative problem-solving.
Finally, the goals of inclusive education for schools include:
- Gaining experience in dealing with differences within a class.
- Develop an understanding that each student is unique and has different strengths.
- Increase empathy and sensitivity to students’ limitations.
- Improving the ability to help and teach all students in the class.
Inclusive education is not just aimed at students with special needs. In this educational system, every school member has their own goals and tasks.
Five Principles of Inclusive Education penyelenggaraan
The principle of equity and quality improvement
Inclusive education is an effort to equalize educational opportunities and improve the quality of education that enables all children to have equal access and respect for differences.
The principle of diversity
Understanding individual differences in students’ skills, talents, interests, and needs so that learning can be tailored to their needs and characteristics.
The principle of meaningfulness
Inclusive education must create and maintain teaching environments that accept and respect differences and that are relevant to student independence.
Inclusive education is implemented sustainably in all types, paths, and levels of education.
The principle of commitment
All related educational components such as students, teachers, curricula, learning activities, assessments, and facilities and infrastructure must be involved in the implementation of inclusive education.
implementation of inclusive education
Inclusive education in Indonesia has been developed for a long time. This is evident in the period 1980-1990, education for children with special needs was specially grouped. The government also began opening special schools for each district or city.
Between 1990 and 2000, there was a growing understanding among people around the world that education is for everyone. Since then, public schools have gradually begun to admit children with special needs.
Inclusive education continues to grow. By August 2004, Indonesia announced that its education was moving towards inclusion. One of the concrete forms is the presence of the Master’s program in Inclusive Education and Special Education at the Indonesian University of Education (UPI), Bandung.
So far, the promotion of children with special needs has continued to be realized through the construction of special school units and the establishment of inclusive schools in the regions.
Unfortunately, according to the Department of Education and Culture’s Director of Community Building and Special Education, Dr. Samto, 35% of special needs children in Indonesia did not receive the best educational services in 2021.
Based on data from the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2021, there are 2,250 schools for children with special needs at different levels of education. There are now only around 124,000 inclusive schools that can accommodate children with special needs, not counting the number of special schools.
In addition to paying attention to the availability of educational facilities for children with special needs, there are several things we need to pay attention to. The aim is for the implementation of inclusive education to be optimal. These include:
- Schools plan, organize, direct, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate all educational components involved.
- The school is preparing a classroom management system capable of accommodating the diversity of students’ special needs, including the provision of facilities and infrastructure.
- Teachers have learning competencies for all students, including those with special needs.
- Teachers can optimize the role of parents, professionals, professional bodies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and school boards in planning, delivering, and evaluating learning activities in schools.