The regular classroom as battleground for inclusive special needs education in the Commonwealth Caribbean



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Office of the UNESCO Representative in the Caribbean


The monograph explores the possibilities of the implementation of inclusive special needs education as educational philosophy and innovative strategy in the Commonwealth Caribbean. This exploration is based on prevalence data of special needs students in the primary and special education system, data on service delivery to special needs children, and the availability of teachers both for special education and for a support delivery system. On the basis of these data, it looks at the different implications for the primary and special education system. The exploration leads to the conclusion that implementation of inclusive special needs education would be feasible if there was a support and resource system in place for the primary education system. The most feasible model for full implementation of inclusive special needs education is the use of the principle of placing special needs children in the least restrictive environment within the framework of a continuum of educational services; the existing special education system should be part of this continuum of educational services. In order to develop and implement a non-segregated, inclusive special needs education system, a comprehensive approach and strategy, with a great deal of ingenuity and persistence on the part of all those involved, is necessary, especially the ‘active agents” in this process, namely, the management of the schools, the teachers, and parents, who should be part of the decision-making process.


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Regular class placement