This synthesis report of research carried out in India and South Africa builds on two separate country reports that present the findings of studies carried out that examined the policy environment in countries, the structures and mechanisms in place to promote inclusion, and detailed empirical investigation of the practice of inclusion at the school community level.
Drawing on this research, this report focuses on the policy dimensions of 'inclusive' education, framed within the wider international and national policy concerns with promoting 'Education for All'. The study was particularly interested in how schools respond to the challenge of including 'all children', given the diversity of social identities, the prevalence of economic, social and political inequalities, and the challenges of forging coherent educational policies and institutional mechanisms that respond to the interlocking nature of inequalities experienced by marginalised groups (differentiated by race in South Africa, and caste in India). Interlocking inequalities require policies that recognise these multiple and intersectoral concerns, and this study is an attempt to situate education within the wider social, political and economic spheres that impact on educational outcomes.
The report focuses on three sets of issues which shape policies designed to tackle social exclusion. First, there is a focus on the supply side of inclusion policy examining government actions to provide services to the marginalised. In this regard, some of the main issues examined are: the nature and form of the enabling policy environment created; the structures and mechanisms created to promote inclusion; and the extent to which such policies are responsive to and reflect the values and experiences of the excluded. Secondly, the institutional level practices, effects and outcomes of policies of education inclusion are examined. These are viewed through the lenses of institutional ethos and policy, access, governance and curriculum. Third, the report examines the lesson for policy and practice in tackling education exclusion.
Following the introductory chapter, Chapter 2 provides an in-depth analysis of the literature on inclusion and exclusion in education. The discussion focuses on the differences between what is described as a 'northern' as opposed to a 'southern' perspective. The methodology developed and used for the study is described in Chapter 3. The chapter draws attention to the issues involved in researching inclusion and exclusion and raises questions about the nature of the research process in projects such as these. Chapters 4 and 5 contain the findings of the South African and Indian case-studies. Each chapter begins with a policy contextualisation and then outlines the major themes emerging from the research at the school level. The chapters develop a classification of degrees of inclusion which attempts to characterise the differences evident in inclusionary and exclusionary practices in schools. Chapter 6 pays attention to some of the main cross cutting issues which influence the nature, content, and effect of inclusion education policies in South Africa and India. The chapter highlights the similarities and differences in the ways in which race and caste operate in the two countries. Chapter 7 outlines the main policy issues emerging from the research.
Samuel, M.; Yusuf Sayed; Subrahmanian, R.; Crain Soudien; Nazir Carrim; Sarada Balgopalan; Fhulu Nekhwevha. Education Exclusion and Inclusion: Policy and Implementation in South Africa and India. Researching the Issues 72. (2007) 138 pp. ISBN 1 86192 873 4