Do future teachers in compulsory education (primary and secondary schools) have to attend a compulsory training/course on inclusive education in their curricula before being allowed to teach?
In order to offer quality compulsory education at mainstream schools it is essential to have specialized training for teachers and staff so they can provide an adequate and flexible curriculum for the needs of children with disabilities.
In many countries there exists some kind of compulsory teacher training – but respondents mentioned this to be very limited (Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Madagascar, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Niger, Afghanistan, Pakistan). The responsibility lies with the school or institution and is not nationally organised – therefore the level of training in inclusive education for teachers at mainstream schools varies depending on the provider (Pakistan, Afghanistan; Bangladesh; New zealand, USA). Only a limited number of experts (17 percent) responded positively – stating that compulsory training on inclusive education exists in their country. The reasons why in 48 percent of the countries covered this is not the case are multiple – either it is only compulsory for some schools or levels of education (primary education in Togo) or because only limited funds are available to train the teachers (Canada).
Paula Booth, New Zealand: “However it is only a “core course”. This means that it is not an in-depth course on inclusive education.”
Dan Pescod, United Kingdom: “This is in place in initial teacher training but is minimal. The government is currently reviewing this to improve coverage”
Ralphine Razaka, Réseau National des Femmes Handicapées, Madagascar: “Handicap International provides some training for teachers but insufficient”.
Article 24 Education
- States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning directed to:
- The full development of human potential and sense of dignity and self-worth, and the strengthening of respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and human diversity;
- The development by persons with disabilities of their personality, talents and creativity, as well as their mental and physical abilities, to their fullest potential;
- Enabling persons with disabilities to participate effectively in a free society.
- In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that:
- Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;
- Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;
- Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided;
- Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;
- Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.
- States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. To this end, States Parties shall take appropriate measures, including:
- Facilitating the learning of Braille, alternative script, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication and orientation and mobility skills, and facilitating peer support and mentoring;
- Facilitating the learning of sign language and the promotion of the linguistic identity of the deaf community;
- Ensuring that the education of persons, and in particular children, who are blind, deaf or deafblind, is delivered in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual, and in environments which maximize academic and social development.
- In order to help ensure the realization of this right, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to employ teachers, including teachers with disabilities, who are qualified in sign language and/or Braille, and to train professionals and staff who work at all levels of education. Such training shall incorporate disability awareness and the use of appropriate augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, educational techniques and materials to support persons with disabilities.
- States Parties shall ensure that persons with disabilities are able to access general tertiary education, vocational training, adult education and lifelong learning without discrimination and on an equal basis with others. To this end, States Parties shall ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided to persons with disabilities.