Rural Experiences of Inclusive Education in Bangladesh: What assists and what hinders?

Year: 2016

Author: Anis, Ferdousi

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

With the introduction of the Disability Welfare Act in 2001, inclusive education has become an important agenda for the government of Bangladesh to achieve its policy objectives as outlined in Education For All. This study investigates the implementation of inclusive education in rural Bangladesh and examines the conditions that obstruct and promote its implementation in rural areas. Having no clear guidelines from the government on policy implementation may lead to different interpretations of the process by rural schools resulting in the educational exclusion of children with disabilities. The identification of existing barriers from a rural perspective may produce knowledge that could assist the government in successful implementation of inclusive education in rural Bangladesh and contribute directly to the development of successful practices at the school level. It is important to consider local circumstances in relation to policy implementation since what is appropriate in urban areas may not be applicable in the rural areas. An ethnographic case study will be employed to investigate if children with disabilities are being included in mainstream rural schools. Further, a document analysis and in-depth semi-structured interviews will be conducted with rural people in Bangladesh. The research will examine how inclusive education is perceived, understood, valued and applied using a village located in the Dhaka district as a representative example of the implementation of inclusive education in a rural context. This rural context is a perspective that has routinely been ignored by previous research. The research has relevance for the international context for the global support of inclusive education. It will contribute to debates in the international literature on exclusionary practices of children with disabilities in the rural areas. At the same time, this study will further global understanding of factors that impact on the implementation of inclusive education policies in rural contexts.