Group of young children in Lilongwe Malawi
Group of young children in Lilongwe Malawi

Inclusive education is when all students, regardless of any challenges they may have, are placed in age-appropriate general education classes that are in their own neighbourhood schools to receive high quality instructions, interventions, and support that enable them to meet success in core curriculum.

However, inclusive teaching and learning practices are instrumental in creating and maintaining a learning environment in which all participants are fully engaged and respected and in which all participants are open to ideas, perspectives and ways of thinking that are distinct from their own.

The question maybe, is inclusive education important? Yes! It is of significance or important to the society, teachers and most importantly to the students. In this case, the importance of inclusive education to students is what I will base much on.

Nigerian School Girl
Nigerian School Girl

Academic gains in literacy (reading and writing), maths, and social studies both in grades and on standardised tests, better communication skills, and improved social skills and many more is a very important benefit that students with disabilities gain through inclusive education.

Through inclusive education, students are able to have greater success in achieving individualised educational programme goals than those in traditional. This is because the students are able to share time, resources, and skills with their friends specifically classmates that are not disabled.

Students also benefit from inclusive education in a way that they are able to gain self-esteem, acceptance by class mates and social skills. This is to say that most students that are disabled lack confidence whenever they are with their normal classmates. So because of inclusive education, these students gain more confidence and high self-esteem hence being accepted by everyone around them.

Primary school children eating porridge before school
Primary school children eating porridge before school. Picture by Michael Tembo

Despite the above benefits or importance, inclusive education is also important because students are able to reduce fear of human differences and increased comfort and awareness which is essential for growth in social cognition.

Getting assistance from those without disabilities on academic and social behaviours is also an important thing to students through inclusive learning because it leads in allowing the students to access the general curriculum with their counterparts.

Successful inclusive education happens primarily through accepting, understanding and attending to student’s differences and diversity, which can include the physical, cognitive, academic, social, and emotional. This is not to say that students never need to spend time out of regular education classes, because sometimes they do for a very particular purpose.

Regina Maere

I was born in Mangochi and educated in Dedza at Umbwi Secondary School, Following Secondary School I attended The Institute of Journalism, Lilongwe. Inspired by great writers, with a passion for writing it is my ambition to inspire others too through writing.