In most education initiatives the goal of delivering child-friendly and quality learning for all children in an inclusive setting remains elusive, unless the most marginalised boys and girls can be reached. While targeted approaches demonstrate the possibility of engaging all children in a meaningful learning process, they remain experimental and sporadic unless efficient and equitable implementation models are developed that embed successful approaches within a sustainable public delivery system. Plan International Bangladesh’s inclusive education project presents such a model, based on the following principles:
- Target 100% coverage with zero exclusion so that the most marginalised boys and girls - the bottom 2-6% of the population are included.
- The catchment area to define this coverage must correspond to a reasonable sized unit of government administration to ensure its replicability in the public system.
- The implementation model should be able to address diverse barriers to meaningful and sustained engagement of boys and girls using universal design principles and incorporate specific accommodations and adaptations in a common setting.
The project is aiming to universalise quality primary education for all children irrespective of ability, religion, sex, socio-economic condition and geographic location. Some of the major components of this project are strong community outreach by parent’s groups, community based early learning opportunity for all children aged three to five, linking school with community resources and planting inclusion for quality education at school and professional capacity building of monitors and supervisors.
Following a social model of inclusion, the project is building on existing policies, structure and facilities for government school and working in collaboration with the Directorate of Primary Education. The project is currently working with 50 government primary schools in five locations, by involving all credible stakeholders to develop a demonstrative model of inclusive education.