There has been historical discrimination against disabled children in the normal education programs, which has been partially eliminated by the increase in the fight for the rights of disabled people. A fair education system is that which avails the possibility of each person making their choice according to their talents, abilities, and development potential and not based on discrimination, expectations of the environment, prejudice, or educational stereotypes. The system must open up economic and social opportunities regardless of the person’s social status, ethnicity, race, age, or gender (European Commission, 2002b; qt. in Fairness of the Education System, n.d.). A fair education system is necessary to enable every child to not only have access to education but also perform well concerning special needs like health, physical and mental challenges among others. There is a need to have a policy that aims to reduce those not attending school or dropping out because of social inequality. The education policy should solve discrimination based on gender, age, tribe, physical being, and social group among other groupings.
The idea of fairness in education goes hand in hand with the development of human rights and the democratization of the whole society. Two principles are worth consideration when determining or developing a fair education system. These are equality and participation. The principle of equality will seek to introduce the possibility of availing education opportunities equally in terms of services and facilities regardless of the social or another status of an individual child. In this respect, disabled and children with special needs must be provided with the chances and opportunities, and essential facilities required for education as much as their colleagues. The principle of participation would seek to ensure that children with disabilities and special needs are offered freedom of expression relating to participation, choice, participating in the decision-making, and assuming of responsibilities.
To ensure fairness, it may be necessary to ensure that laws are developed to tailor the education plans and system to suit the needs of the disabled and challenged. For example, the provisions of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have the intentions to have disabled children in the United States provided with the necessary support to succeed at school (Murphy & Murphy, 2009). Special education programs must be made available to cater for the groups of children with different interests about the principle of equal treatment in addressing education matters which states that in any given circumstances, similar treatments should be given to people who are the same in those respects relevant to how they are treated in those circumstances. In addition, those who are different should be treated differently (Strike et al., 1988; qtd. in Culp, 2000).
The development of a fair education curriculum requires the identification of the unique cognitive, affective and kinesthetic needs of the disabled, and segregation of them from the society through departmentalization of instruction has resulted historically (Perkinson, 1995; qtd. in Culp, 2000). With the increase in awareness, the disabled viewed themselves as victims of social injustice and inequality and championed their rights. It can be perceived that the catering of the special needs for the disabled seeks to increase the overall average of the society in terms of development by eliminating the handles present in the current settings. Removal of these handles must not establish handles to the rest of the members of the same society because the overall average may decrease.
Culp Robert. (2000). Is Special Education Fair? Web.
Fairness of the Education System. Web.
Murphy & Murphy. (2009). Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Web.
Perkinson, H. J. (1995). The imperfect panacea: American faith in education. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Strike, K. A., Haller, E. J., and Soltis, J. F. (1988). The ethics of school administration. New York, N.Y.: Teachers College Press.