Inclusive basic education in south africa: issues in its conceptualisation and implementation

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6 Conclusion

Inclusive education has been accepted as the appropriate approach to the education of children with disabilities both at the international level and in South Africa. It is apparent, however, that despite a common basis for inclusive education, that is, to ensure the right to education for children with disabilities, there are significant variations in the conceptualisation and implementation thereof between the CRPD and the South African policy framework. For instance, while the goal of equality in the education of children with disabilities is acknowledged in both the CRPD and WP 6, there are apparent differences in the nature of the envisaged state obligations for the realisation of the right to basic education and for inclusive basic education. Hence while it is generally accepted that the duty to provide free and compulsory education is an immediate one, inclusive education as provided for in both the CRPD and WP 6 is susceptible to an interpretation that subjects it to progressive realisation. However, it has been indicated in this article that such an interpretation conflicts with the core purpose of achieving equality for children with disabilities. It is particularly essential that the implementation of WP 6 takes into account the rights approach to inclusive education, especially the need to give effect to the wishes of the child in respect of a choice between education in the mainstream and in the special education systems.

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