Okafor (1981) Defines education as all those experiences of the individual, through which knowledge is acquired, the intellect, enlightened or the will strengthened. Pete (1981), Education is the transmission of what is worthwhile to individuals to make them knowledgeable and contributing members of the society.
Special Education: As the name implies special education is a type of instruction or education specially designed, planned and implemented for special set of people known as the exceptional children and adults to develop and equip them skillfully, socially, intellectually and academically to be useful to themselves and the society at large.
Inclusive Education by EENET (1998).
Inclusive education acknowledges that all children can learn, acknowledges and respects different (age, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, Hiv status, etc) enable education structures, systems methodologies to meet the needs of all children is parts of a wider strategy to promote an inclusive society is a dynamic process which is constantly evolving need not be restricted by large class sizes or shortage of materials resources. Inclusive Education happens when children with and without disability participated and learn together in the same classes. Research shows that when a child with disabilities attends classes alongside peers who is not, they must be a positive changes. People now got the idea of special education which means separate education. So, inclusive education occurs which there is ongoing advocacy, planning, support and commitment.
According to Hackney (2003-7) Inclusive education means developing children and young and adult people so they have opportunity to participate fully in a educational, employment, consumer, recreational, community and domestic activities that typify everyday society.
Principles that Guides Quality Inclusive Education
- All children belong: inclusive education is based on the simple idea that every child and family is valued equally and deserves the same opportunities and experiences.
- All children learn in different way: it helps children need to learn and participate in meaningful way, specially designed materials or technology can help.
- Children with special educational needs should be offered full access to a broad, balanced and relevant education, including an appropriate curriculum for the foundation stage, and the national curriculum.
- The views of such child should be sought and take into account.
- It is every child’s right to be included: inclusive education is a child’s right, not a privilege. Act clearly states that all children with disabilities should be educated with non-disabled children.
The Relevant of Inclusive Education in the Nigerian Educational System Are:
- There was commencement of training programmes for special teachers. The following institution were established;
- University of Ibadan-Diploma in special education (1974) and bachelors’ programme in (1976).
- University of Jos masters in (1978).
- The Federal Advanced Teachers College (FATC) established by government in (1977) now College of Education in the whole of black Africa.
- National Policy on Education (NPE) was released in (1977) which was a significant turning point in Nigeria’s special education programme.
- Inclusive education help Nigerian government to establish a federal teacher training college for special education at Oyo in Oyo State, to produce the needed manpower for the school to the handicapped.
- It provides adequate education for all handicapped children and adults, in order that they may play their roles fully in contributing to the development of the nation.
- The great importance is the training and retraining of special educators and also the need for proper deployment of available trained special educators of primary and secondary school levels.
- Inclusive education universalizes educational system to access free basic education, engender a conducive learning environment and eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria education system (by Ahmed A. 2001).
- Inclusive education has been long identified as a major vehicle for political, economic and social advancement. To this extent, governments of the countries of the world desire education, for their subject. It is equally important to note that the whole world has embraced education as a veritable tool for total developments persons and the society.
- Inclusive education is relevance in educational system because;
- It promotes equality of opportunity between disabled and non-disabled persons.
- Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the law.
- Eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their impairments.
- Promotes positive attitudes towards disabled people.
- Encourages participation by disabled people in public life.
- Take steps to take account of disabled persons more favourably than other persons (Disability Discrimination Amendment Act 2005).
- The momentum for the inclusive education movement derived from the united Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaim and emphasizes that regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building and inclusive society and achieving education (UNESCO 1994).
- There was provisions of policy administration, integration, provision and management of facilities and identification of children with special needs, for the purpose of enrollment for services, exists mostly on paper.
- Inclusive education supports and promotes a broader vision and society where all people included, regardless of their impairment, a special education approach runs the risk of creating a complex and parallel system that is ultimately for costlier than providing education in the mainstream.
- Inclusive education helps Nigerian educational system to promote inclusion and the fundamental right of her citizens to quality education. Such as; Education for all, The millennium Development Declaration and goals, The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEED 122). The United Nations Decade for Literacy (UNDL). The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). The National Policy Education 2004 and the UBE Act 2004.
- Inclusive Education promote professional development programmes organized or facilitated by the state Universal Educational Boards, Federal Ministry or Education and the National Teachers institute.
2. Federal Government should provide policies that address specific needs and challenges of inclusion education which includes; National Policy on HIV and AIDS for the Education Sector in Nigeria.
The National Policy for Integrated Early Childhood Development in Nigeria 2007, The National Policy on Gender in Basic Education (2007). The Guidelines for the identification of Gifted Children (2006) and the implementation plan for Special Needs Education Strategy (2002).
The implementation of the Education Sector reform began in earnest in 2006 with the three other crucial initiatives.
3. Federal Ministry of Education should set up eleven taste teams to critically examine three pillars of the inclusive education, reform process. The tasks are for education, economy and competitiveness, curriculum, instruction and teacher quality.
The reform is all embracing and covers a wide range of chronic issues and challenges in early childhood or pre-school, basic post-basic and secondary, tertiary including open and distance learning, special needs education including the normadic cattle rearing or fish communicates, the gifted and the challenged, and the disadvantaged youth including women and girls.
4. Federal Government should approve a total restricting of the Federal Ministry of Education and its Agencies and parastatals to reposition them for the new vision 2020.
5. Inclusive Education should provide conducive environment for learning in the school is basic to the success of an educational programme. The environment must be attractive and suitable for effective teaching and learning to take place for stimulation of intellectually.
Nigeria is just an Egalitarian Society; which means that Nigeria is a free society where everyone is equal and should bear equal rights be he rich or poor, normal or abnormal. Everybody should get what he deserves. It is however, very disheartening that in reverse is the case in a just an egalitarian society, equality before the law is not practice per say. According to Adeyinka (1994-75) one of the most disturbing issues in Nigeria Education today is the obnoxious quota system which tends to favour the weak against the strong. Nigerians are being treated like aliens in their own land.
The broad aim of education under the system is to provide all Nigerians learners a wide variety of educational and vocational opportunities to ensure the potential evidence indicate that the implementation of the 6-3-3-4 system in Nigeria schools, including schools for the disabled children remains satisfactory.
- EENET. (1998) seminar in Agra India, Enabling Education Network.
- Hackney (2003-2007)-strategy for sustainable inclusion.
- Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation journal, 192, Vol 14. No2. 2003.
- Ahmed .A. (2001) Early Childhood Special Education, A strategy of enhancing the Educational Prospects of the young child with handicaps.
- Omolema .M. (2004) major issues facing literacy development initiative in Africa Region.
- International journal of disability, development and Education, vol.46 No. 2 (1999).
- Disability discrimination Amendment Act (2005).
- International Electronic journal of Elementary education vol.1, issues 3 June, 2009.