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ERIC Number: EJ875302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3116
The Education for All and Inclusive Education Debate: Conflict, Contradiction or Opportunity?
Miles, Susie; Singal, Nidhi
International Journal of Inclusive Education, v14 n1 p1-15 Feb 2010
This paper begins with an exploration of the history of the international Education for All (EFA) programme and its tendency to overlook some marginalised groups of children, in particular those seen as having "special educational needs" or impairments and disabilities. The exclusion from "mainstream" education programmes of the estimated, though unreliable, figures of 90 or 98% of children in Southern countries has, until relatively recently, been largely unchallenged. The explanation lies in the still prevalent view that some children are "ineducable" and that overcrowded and under-resourced schools would not be able to cope. Consequently, a largely parallel, international debate has developed about "inclusive education", within which many conflicting positions exist. We suggest that there is an unhelpful and wasteful polarisation between EFA and inclusive education. Although inclusive education is defined by some writers in terms of overcoming barriers to learning and development for all children, in the context of Southern countries it tends to fill the gap left by EFA and so focuses almost exclusively on disabled children. This paper challenges some of the rhetoric, but also highlights the opportunities created by the current international interest in, and apparent commitment to, delivering quality education for all children. The paper concludes by offering a re-conceptualisation of the relationship between EFA and inclusive education, argues for greater collaboration and synergy between these currently parallel initiatives, and suggests ways in which practitioners and policy makers can develop more sustainable, and context-appropriate, policies and practices. (Contains 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A