Resilience in the continuum of support, juxtaposing inclusive education and special education systems

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    This article reports on the trajectory of educational support within the inclusive and special education system. Reviewed literature on the trajectory of inclusive education confirms that inclusive education is envisaged as a vehicle to achieve and access quality education for all. The 1994 World Conference in Salamanca, Spain, representing international governments from 92 countries and education ministries, endorsed inclusive education as a philosophy for implementing education for all and promulgated for inclusive primary education. Conversely, since the 1930s, with the adoption of the specialised education system in America, education for all was realised. South Africa implemented an inclusive education policy in 2001 and one of the objectives is to strengthen special school access for all children. The 2013 education statistics evaluating access to education indicate a significant milestone and increase (99,3%) in achieving EFA in primary school attendance (7-13 years). The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast using Lévi-Strauss’s model of binary oppositional relationships the dichotomous and oppositions in the phenomena of inclusive mainstream and special education school systems. This article found firstly that the inclusive education system is made of binary oppositional relationships between inclusive mainstream and special education school systems; secondly that both school systems provide a continuum of education support and contribute towards achieving EFA; thirdly that the presumed binary oppositional relationship between the two education systems is contrary to an inclusive education policy; and finally that progress with the implementation of an inclusive education system in South Africa is slow in strengthening inclusive mainstream schools and less focused on strengthening the well-established and flourishing special education system.