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Inclusive Education

This image shows a woman sitting on the floor of a pre-school in India, surrounded by small children.
© Robin Wyatt 2014: see www.robinwyatt.org
India- Through the Chamkol programme's Early Years' Clubs, anganwadi (pre-school) workers like Jayamala (centre) will play more of a role in the lives of the youngest children with special needs, like Madhushree (far left), who has autism.

Historically, CBM has considerable special educational expertise. We are expanding and improving our work - with like-minded partner organisations - by promoting inclusive education in low and middle income countries worldwide.

What is Inclusive Education?

Inclusive Education is our primary goal towards building an inclusive society. Education is the main pillar in human development, conditioning success in life, hence aiming for a disability-inclusive development through inclusive education is an important step to take. In inclusive education CBM believes that all children should be in school. Inclusion begins at birth. Therefore early identification of disability or the preventable causes of disability and access to inclusive early education and care is essential for any child, particularly for the most marginalised: boys and girls with disabilities. Where there are no early education and early intervention programmes available, they need to be developed. 

Inclusive education as a human right

CBM takes a human rights based approach to disability and inclusive development. This approach means that CBM’s work includes initiatives aimed at ensuring that its development work is disability-sensitive, i.e. takes persons with disabilities into account and supports their inclusion and full participation in society. CBM supports its partners to provide access to quality education by supporting them with technical support through our network of education advisors. CBM also works with like-minded organisations to promote inclusive education in national and international policies and programmes. CBM supports the UN CRPD General Comment 4 based on Article 24 (2016) in its approach towards Inclusive Education and SDG 4 towards the provision of quality life-long learning for all. In order to achieve this, CBM recognises the need for a multi-sectoral and disability inclusive budgets to support the realisation of inclusive education. CBM supports the transformation of special schools towards developing into Inclusive Education Resource Centres. 

Inclusive Education benefits society

Inclusive Education benefits all learners, as it is based on accepting and valuing the diversity of learners. This approach ensures that all children can attend their local community school. In order to achieve this goal, the development of local skills, resources and capacity is required. This is where CBM steps in through supporting capacity development of:
  • community based disability inclusive personnel to provide early identification, early intervention, early childhood education and inclusive education
  • educators, including persons with disabilities and parents of boys and girls with disabilities
  • ministries of education to run pilot programmes suited to their own country and cultural contexts which can be scaled-up nationally and provide inclusive education for teachers (pre; in and specialist training)
  • ministries of education to develop transition planning throughout education from early years through to tertiary and higher education
  • Departments involved in data collection to ensure that a better overview of the incidence of disability within the community and in turn improve financial planning for improved budget allocation for disability inclusive education.

Sian Tesni says -

‘All individuals want to achieve their potential as contributing members of the society in which they live; quality inclusive education is a key towards an equitable, diverse society. Inclusive education is ‘quality’ education for everyone, reaching the most marginalised, including learners with disabilities. Inclusive education does have a cost, but it’s also a right and worth the investment’ - Sian Tesni, Senior Education Advisor at CBM.


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