Inclusive Education Essay

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CHAPTER ONE Introduction “Every society has some members with disabilities. How the society treats the disabled, takes care of them, and helps them integrate into the mainstream, reflects the kind of society it is. We want ours to be a society that cares for all its members; one that does not ignore the needs of those who are born or afflicted with disabilities. We will bring along all our citizens, the fortunate and the unfortunate, help each of them maximise their potential, and progress together. This is what it means to be a people, and a nation.” (Prime Minister’s Office, 2004). In an announcement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his inaugural speech in 2004, he made explicit reference to envisioning Singapore as an inclusive society. For people with disabilities, this meant having the opportunity to embrace new possibilities for improvements in the current educational and social systems that may have traditionally marginalised or limited the participation of people with disabilities in the mainstream society. As Singapore progresses towards becoming an inclusive society, the Ministry of Education has instituted new measures to promote inclusive education. The ministry is committed to supporting students with physical disabilities and will ensure that they have access to quality education, regardless of their physical challenges (Ministry of Education, 2012). For example, it advocates that students with physical disabilities, who are cognitively able to access the mainstream curriculum, be integrated into the mainstream schools to be educated like their non-disabled peers. However, merely recommending a physically disabled student for placement in a mainstream school does not result in successful inclusion. ... ... middle of paper ... ...mental status with whom there is no family relations (Peterson, 1989). It includes the two constructs of peer acceptance and friendship, which although remaining distinct from each other, work in orchestration to form peer relations on the whole (Bukowski & Hoza, 1989). Definition of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties Exiting literature on the definition of behavioural, emotional or social difficulty has been somewhat inclusive, as many approaches have been undertaken in defining this term. However, a broad definition undertaken by the SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001) states that children who are characterised as having behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, tend to withdraw or isolate themselves, be disruptive and distracted, hyperactive and lack focus. They may display poorly developed social skills and present with challenging behaviours.
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