Equity and inclusion in education refer to the involvement of people from diverse communities, backgrounds and experiences in all aspects of education. It is an action plan which is successful when students feel that they belong in education whether they are a boy or a girl, black or white, and from any place in the world. Equity and inclusion in education include access to educational programs and materials, curriculum, facilities, guidance and all resources. At the same time, full social participation of all the students in an educational institution should take place.
All students should be experiencing the best possible learning environment. Educational institutions should therefore have all the necessary resources, programs, facilities and guidelines that can help disadvantaged and poor students gain access to quality education. These students should be provided with the right instructional materials that will help them in progressing in their studies. Learning should not be denied or compromised in any manner. It should be made fun, exciting, enjoyable and interactive for all.
An inclusive curriculum will enable students to learn without being divided by differences. Emphasis should also be placed on meaningful discussions, active involvement, and group work. An inclusive learning system should take into consideration the learning styles of different learners and their respective needs and limitations. Such education systems should be designed in such a way that they will be easily applicable to all and provide quality education at all levels.
Students can understand and appreciate the importance of diversity through an inclusive curriculum. Equity and inclusion in education require inclusion of all cultures, ethnicities, religions, socio-economic status, disability, physical appearance and identities. All these factors should be taken into consideration while developing a learning system. The professionals involved in education should be experts in different fields dealing with students’ specific needs. Educational institutions should ensure that they are well equipped to deal with all such educational problems, which may arise. Education should be more than just about learning; it should be an experiential learning experience.
Equity and inclusion in education should also incorporate physical education, emotional health, and ecological health. Such a system could be achieved when physical activities, skill development, problem solving, and co-curricular activities are included in the curriculum. Emotional and psychosocial well-being should be given special attention in any education system. The learning system should be designed in a manner that provides holistic development of the student.
An inclusive learning system will promote unity, solidarity and equality within schools, and throughout society as a whole. It will also promote teamwork and inter-generational communication, through its mechanism of mutual understanding, support and feedback.