The Dakar Framework for Action adopted a World Declaration on Education for All (EFA) in 2000, which established the goal to provide every girl and boy with primary school education by 2015. It also clearly identified Inclusive Education (IE) as a key strategy for the development of EFA. The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action endorsed by 92 governments and 25 international organizations at the World Conference on Special Needs Education, June 1994 in Salamanca, Spain proclaims that every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities, and learning needs and that “those with special education needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them with a child-centered pedagogy capable of meeting those needs.” The Salamanca Statement also asserts that educational systems that take into account the wide diversity of children’s characteristics and needs “are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all; moreover, they provide an effective education to the majority of children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system.”

Author SUSAN J. PETERS

Associate Professor in the College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA. She has been an educator and disability scholar for the past 20 years and has published in various international journals. She is the co-author and editor of two books: Education and Disability in Cross-Cultural Perspective (NY: Garland Publishing. 1993) and Disability and Special Needs Education in an African Context (Harare: College Press. 2001). She may be contacted at [email protected].

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