Education for all through inclusive education: The role of the principal in transforming the school to reach out to all learners through inclusive education: A case study of a private school.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Nilofar Vazir

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Rashida Quareshi


Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan


The philosophy of inclusive education has developed from the long history of global educational reforms since 1948 that, seek to reinforce the principles of Education as a Human Right. These legislations over the years culminated into the Salamanca Statement (1994) of inclusion, which was signed by 92 nations of the world, with the number having increased over the last 11 years to 164 nations currently (UNESCO, 2005). The target is that by 2015, these nations should have realized basic Education for All (EFA) through their national goals and work plans for Universal Primary Education (UPE). This is a major challenge, especially for developing countries, where progress has been relatively slow (Eleweke & Rodda, 2000). UNESCO (1998) points out that majority of students with special needs, specifically those with disabilities, remain excluded from schools; therefore, a major challenge for these nations to realize the UPE goals by 2015. The World Bank report (2003) on EFA estimates that 40 million children out of the 115 million children, who are out of schools, are children with special needs. Inclusive Education (IE) is seen as the vehicle, through which the goals of EFA can be achieved. Inclusive Education means accommodating all children in mainstream schools regardless of their physical or individual differences. It is within this context of events that I conducted a case study research of a private inclusive school, focusing on the role of the principal in transforming a school to reach out to all learners through Inclusive Education. It is apparent that schools need to change their perspectives so as to recognize, value, and provide for diversity in curriculum. My study revealed that a principal can transform the school to reach out to all learners by restructuring the school philosophy to reflect positive behaviors and support for diversity; change school policies on admission, assessment and curriculum implementation in order to retain learners with special needs; show support for teachers through relevant professional development programs, provision of adequate time and resources; strong partnership and involvement of parents and community; and modeling and reinforcing inclusive education behaviors through hands-on site-management. The background of the study was based on my life story, that is being a parent of a child with special needs, as evidence of an insider’s voice on the challenges of educating children with special needs.

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