Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action, 1994

Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action, 1994

Salamanca Statement 1994 (Framework for Action) is in the subject of "Creating and Inclusive School".
Organized by the Government of Spain and UNESCO, the Conference adopted the Salamanca Statement on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Needs Education and a Framework for Action.

Salamanca Statement 1994 (Framework for Action)
(1) In June (7 to 10), a representative from 25 internationals and 92 government organisations formed the "World Conference on Special Needs Education" and it was held in Salamanca (Spain).

(2) Conference reaffirmed that education is the right of every individual as per the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948".

(3) Government of many countries have done many activities in next ten years and big changes had been seen.

(4) The conference adopted a new "Framework for Action" the guiding principle through which the ordinary schools should accommodate all children, regardless of their physical, social, intellectual, emotional, linguistic or other coditions.

(5) The framework suggested that every educational policies should include a provision for disabled student to attend neighbourhood school.

(6) All the delegates at the conference agreed on new statement on education for all disabled children and schools must follow Inclusiveness.

(7) The world conference called several groups to support inclusiveness in the school and these groups are: Government, the International community and UNESCO.

The Salamanca Statement says that:
(1) Every child has a basic right to education

(2) Every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs

(3) Education services should consider these diverse characteristics and needs

(4) Those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools

(5) Regular schools with an inclusive ethos are the most effective way to combat discriminatory attitudes, create welcoming and inclusive communities and achieve education for all.

(6) Such schools provide effective education to the majority of children, improve efficiency and cost- effectiveness.

The Salamanca Statement asks governments to:
(1) Give the highest priority to making education systems inclusive.

(2) Adopt the principle of inclusive education as a matter of law or policy.

(3) Develop demonstration projects.

(4) Set up ways to plan, monitor and evaluate educational provision for children and adults k.

(5) Encourage and make easy the participation of parents and organizations.

(6) Disabled people invest in early identification and intervention strategies.

(7) Invest in the vocational aspects of inclusive education.

(8) Make sure there are adequate teacher education programs.

Role of International Communities
International organisations like UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP and World Bank endorsed the approach of inclusive education in schools.

Role of UNESCO
(1) Inclusive education must be discussed in every education policy of the nation.

(2) Enhance the education of teachers in this field.

(3) Stimulate the research for Inclusive Education.

(4) Use the fund from 1996 to 2001 to create programs for Inclusive Education.

Framework For Action On Special Needs Education
(1) The purpose to implement this by government, NGO and national agencies on Special Education.

(2) School should accommodate all the children regardless of their physical, social, emotional, economical background, etc.

(3) Schools have to ensure all the necessary steps to be taken for children with disabilities and learning difficulties.

(4) Proper support should be provided in terms of the classroom, infrastructure, furniture, transport, textbooks, etc.

(5) The role of the community is also important to support inclusive education.

(6) Technology to support inclusive education like teaching aids, school curriculum, mobility and learning aids, etc.

(7) Teachers training is also important steps towards inclusive education.

(8) Research and development in the field of infrastructure, assistive aids, transport, etc. to enhance inclusive education.

(9) Healthy partnerships should be maintained between school administration and parents as parents are active partners in decision making.

(10) The parent should be encouraged to participate in school as well as home activities.

(11) Monitoring should be done from time to time.

(12) The proper legislature should be there to protect the right of every child, individual at each level of their life.

Read In Detail
With the proclamation of human rights and impact of the philosophy of humanism, there has been a worldwide call for providing humane treatments to the disabled and stop their isolation and give up the policies and provisions of seclusion for their education and development. For this purpose, a number of organised attempts have been made by the world society and nations from time to time under the banner of the UNO in the form of a number of joint international conventions and conferences. It has resulted into useful declaration of statements, framework for actions or provisions and policies for shaping the education of the disabled.
(i) Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action, 1994, and
(ii) UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), 2006.

Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action, 1994 
An international document and declaration in the name of ‘The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Disability Education (1994)’ has come into existence as a result of deliberations held in June 1994 in a World Conference on Special Needs Education. More than 300 participants representing governments of the 92 countries of the world, including India and 25 International organisations, met in Salamanca, Spain in this conference jointly held by the Ministry of Education and Science Spain and UNESCO. 

The conference through its four days deliberations (7–10 June) came up with a report and resolutions in the form of Statement and Framework for Action in implementing the policy of inclusive education for the education and welfare of the children with special needs, particularly the disabled. 

The Salamanca Statement (on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Needs Education) 
The statement in original runs as under: 

(1) We, the delegates of the World Conference on Special Needs Education representing ninety-two governments and twenty-five international organisations, assembled here in Salamanca, Spain, from 7–10 June 1994, hereby reaffirm our commitment to Education for All, recognising the necessity and urgency of providing education for children, youth and adults with special educational needs within the regular education system, and further hereby endorse the Framework for Action on Special Needs Education, that governments and organisations may be guided by the spirit of its provisions and recommendations. 

(2) We believe and proclaim that:  
(a) every child has a fundamental right to education, and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning; 

(b) every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs; 

(c) education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs; 

(d) those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them within a child-centred pedagogy capable of meeting these needs; 

(e) regular schools with this inclusive orientation 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. 

(3) We call upon all governments and urge them to:  
(a) give the highest policy and budgetary priority to improve their education systems to enable them to include all children regardless of individual differences or difficulties; 

(b) adopt as a matter of law or policy the principle of inclusive education, enrolling all children in regular schools, unless there are compelling reasons for doing otherwise; 

(c) develop demonstration projects and encourage exchanges with countries having experience with inclusive schools; 

(d) establish decentralised and participatory mechanisms for planning, monitoring and evaluating educational provision for children and adults with special education needs; 

(e) encourage and facilitate the participation of parents, communities and organisation of persons with disabilities in the planning and decision-making processes concerning provision for special educational needs; 

(f) invest greater effort in early identification and intervention strategies, as well as in vocational aspects of inclusive education; 

(g) ensure that, in the context of a systemic change, teacher education programmes, both pre-service and in-service, address the provision of special needs education in inclusive schools. 

(4) We also call upon the international community; in particular, we call upon:  

(a) governments with international co-operation programmes and international funding agencies, especially the sponsors of the World Conference on Education for All, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank:  – to endorse the approach of inclusive schooling and to support the development of special needs education as an integral part of all education programmes; 

(b) the United Nations and its specialised agencies, in particular, the International Labour Office (ILO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNESCO and UNICEF;  – to strengthen their inputs for technical co-operation, as well as to reinforce their co-operation and networking for more efficient support to the expanded and integrated provision of special needs education; 

(c) non-governmental organisations involved in country programming and service delivery:  – to strengthen their collaboration with the official national bodies and to intensify their growing involvement in planning, implementation and evaluation of inclusive provision for special educational needs; 

(d) UNESCO, as the United Nations agency for education:  

– to ensure that special needs education forms part of every discussion dealing with education for all in various forums; 

– to mobilise the support of organisations of the teaching profession in matters related to enhancing teacher education as regards provision for special educational needs; 

– to stimulate the academic community to strengthen research and networking and to establish regional centres of information and documentation; also, to serve as a clearinghouse for such activities and for disseminating the specific results and progress achieved at country level in pursuance of this statement; 

– to mobilise funds through the creation within its next Medium-Term Plan (1996–2002) of an expanded programme for inclusive schools and community support programmes, which would enable the launching of pilot projects that showcase new approaches for dissemination, and to develop indicators concerning the need for and provision of special needs education. 

(5) Finally, we express our warm appreciation to the Government of Spain and to UNESCO for the organisation of the Conference, and we urge them to make every effort to bring this Statement and the accompanying Framework for Action to the attention of the world community, especially at such important forums as the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) and the World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995). 

The Framework for Action (on Special Needs Education) 
(1) This Framework for Action on Special Needs Education was adopted by the World Conference on Special Needs Education organised by the Government of Spain in co-operation with UNESCO and held in Salamanca from 7 to 10 June 1994. Its purpose is to inform policy and guide action by governments, international organisations, national agencies, non-governmental organisations and other bodies in implementing the Salamanca Statement on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Needs Education. The Framework draws extensively upon the national experience of the participating countries as well as upon resolutions, recommendations and publications of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organisations, especially the Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. It also takes account of the proposals, guidelines and recommendations arising from the five regional seminars held to prepare the World Conference. 

(2) The right of every child to an education is proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and was forcefully reaffirmed by the World Declaration on Education for All. Every person with a disability has a right to express his wishes with regard to his education as far as this can be ascertained. Parents have an inherent right to be consulted on the form of education best suited to the needs, circumstances and aspirations of their children. 

(3) The guiding principle that informs this Framework is that schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions. This should include disabled and gifted children, street and working children, children from remote or nomadic populations, children from linguistic, ethnic or cultural minorities and children from other disadvantaged or marginalised areas or groups. These conditions create a range of different challenges to school systems. In the context of this Framework, the term ‘special educational needs’ refers to all those needs of children and youth that arise from disabilities or learning difficulties. Many children experience learning difficulties, and thus, have special educational needs at some time during their schooling. Schools have to find ways of successfully educating all children, including those who have serious disadvantages and disabilities. There is an emerging consensus that children and youth with special educational needs should be included in the educational arrangements made for the majority of children. This has led to the concept of the inclusive school. The challenge confronting the inclusive school is to develop a child-centred pedagogy capable of successfully educating all children, including those who have serious disadvantages and disabilities. The merit of such schools is not just that they are capable of providing quality education to all children, but their establishment is a crucial step in helping to change discriminatory attitudes, in creating welcoming communities and in developing an inclusive society. A change in social perspective is imperative. For far too long, the problems of people with disabilities have been compounded by a disabling society that has focused upon their impairments rather than their potential. 

(4) Special needs education incorporates the proven principles of sound pedagogy through which all children may benefit. It assumes that human differences are normal and that learning must accordingly be adapted to the needs of the child rather than the child fitted to preordained assumptions regarding the pace and nature of the learning process. A child-centred pedagogy is beneficial to all students, and as a consequence, to the society as a whole. Experience has demonstrated that it can substantially reduce the drop-out and repetition that are so much a part of many education systems while ensuring higher average levels of achievement. A child-centred pedagogy can help in avoiding the waste of resources and the shattering of hopes that is all too frequently a consequence of poor quality instruction and a ‘one size fits all’ mentality towards education. Child-centred schools are, moreover, the training ground for a people-oriented society that respects both the differences and the dignity of all human beings. 

(5) This Framework for Action comprises the following sections:  
I.   New thinking in special needs education 
II.  Guidelines for action at the national level A.  Policy and organisation 
B.  School factors 
C.  Recruitment and training of educational personnel 
D.  External support services 
E.  Priority areas 
F.  Community perspectives 
G.  Resource requirements 
III. Guidelines for action at the regional and international level 

Out of the above cited dimensions related to Framework for Action, we would here concentrate on the first two—new thinking in special needs education and guidelines for action at the national level (especially related to school children). 

New thinking in special needs education
(especially related to school children) 
(1) The trend in social policy during the past two decades has been to promote integration and participation and to combat exclusion. Inclusion and participation are essential to human dignity and to the enjoyment and exercise of human rights. Within the field of education, this is reflected in the development of strategies that seek to bring about a genuine equalisation of opportunity. Experience in many countries demonstrates that the integration of children and youth with special educational needs is best achieved within inclusive schools that serve all children within a community. It is within this context that those with special educational needs can achieve the fullest educational progress and social integration. While inclusive schools provide a favourable setting for achieving equal opportunity and full participation, their success requires a concerted effort, not only by teachers and school staff but also by peers, parents, families and volunteers. The reform of social institutions is not just a technical task, but it depends, above all, on the conviction, commitment and goodwill of the individuals who constitute society. 

(2) The fundamental principle of the inclusive school is that all children should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of any difficulties or differences they may have. Inclusive schools must recognise and respond to the diverse needs of their students, accommodating both different styles and rates of learning and ensuring quality education to all through appropriate curricula, organisational arrangements, teaching strategies, resource use and partnerships with their communities. There should be a continuum of support and services to match the continuum of special needs encountered in every school. 

(3) Within inclusive schools, children with special educational needs should receive whatever extra support they may require to ensure their effective education. Inclusive schooling is the most effective means for building solidarity between children with special needs and their peers. Assignment of children to special schools (or special classes or sections within a school on a permanent basis) should be the exception, to be recommended only in those infrequent cases where it is clearly demonstrated that education in regular classrooms is incapable of meeting a child’s educational or social needs or when it is required for the welfare of the child or that of other children. 

(4) The situation regarding special needs education varies enormously from one country to another. There are, for example, countries that have well-established systems of special schools for those with specific impairments. Such special schools can represent a valuable resource for the development of inclusive schools. The staff of these special institutions possesses the expertise needed for early screening and identification of children with disabilities. Special schools can also serve as training and resource centres for staff in regular schools. Finally, special schools or units within inclusive schools may continue to provide the most suitable education for the relatively smaller number of children with disabilities who cannot be adequately served in regular classrooms or schools. Investment in existing special schools should be geared to their new and expanded role of providing professional support to regular schools in meeting special educational needs. An important contribution to ordinary schools, which the staff of special schools can make, is to match the curricular content and method to the individual needs of pupils. 

(5) Countries that have few or no special schools would, in general, be well-advised to concentrate their efforts on the development of inclusive schools and the specialised services needed to enable them to serve the vast majority of children and youth, especially provision of teacher training in special needs education and the establishment of suitably staffed and equipped resource centres to which schools could turn for support. Experience, especially in developing countries, indicates that the high cost of special schools means, in practice, that only a small minority of students, usually the urban elite, can benefit from them. The vast majority of students with special needs, especially in rural areas, is as a consequence provided with no services whatsoever. Indeed, in many developing countries, it is estimated that lower than one percent of children with special educational needs are included in the existing provision. Experience, moreover, suggests that inclusive schools, serving all of the children in a community, are most successful in eliciting community support and in finding imaginative and innovative ways of using the limited resources that are available. 

Guidelines for action at the national level 
(1) Policy and organisation: 
The major recommendations in this area are as below:  

(a) To create legislative measures for recognising the principle of equality of opportunity to the disabled in the field of education 

(b) To develop parallel and complementary legislative measures in the fields of health, social welfare, vocational training and employment in order to support and give full effect to educational legislation 

(c) To make educational policies at all levels, from the national to the local, to stipulate that a child with a disability should attend the neighbourhood school, that is, the school that would be attended by the child did not have a disability. Exception to this rule should be considered on a case-by-case basis where only education in a special school or establishment can be shown to meet the needs of the individual child 

(d) The practice of ‘mainstreaming’ children with disabilities should be an integral part of national plans for achieving education for all. Even in these exceptional cases where children are placed in special schools, their education need not be entirely segregated 

(2) School factors: 
Schools should be adequately prepared for meeting the needs of inclusive education. For this purpose, they should work for  

(a) Adapting curricular to children’s needs, not vice-versa 

(b) Providing additional instructional support to CWSN in the context of the regular curriculum, not a different curriculum 

(c) Helping the CWSN in participating fully in the school programs meant for wholesome development 

(d) Incorporating formative evaluation into the regular educational process for getting the needed feedback on a continual basis 

(e) Arranging a continuum of support to CWSN, ranging from minimal help in regular classrooms to additional learning support programs within the schools and extending, where necessary, to the provision of assistance from specialist teachers and external support staff 

(f) Arranging the appropriate and affordable technology to enhance success in the school curriculum and to aid communication, mobility and learning. 

(3) Recruiting and training of educational personnel: 
The things like below need to be done in this concern.  

(a) Pre-service training programmes should provide to all student teachers, primary and secondary alike, positive orientation toward disability, thereby developing an understanding of what can be achieved in schools with locally available support services. The knowledge and skills required are mainly those of good teaching and include assessing special needs, adapting curriculum content, utilising assistive technology, individualising teaching procedures to suit a larger range of abilities, etc. In teacher-training practice schools, specific attention should be given to all teachers preparing to exercise their autonomy and apply their skills in adapting curricula and instruction to meet pupils needs as well as to collaborate with specialists and co-operate with parents. 

(b) A proper system of in-service training to all teachers should be established, which is well supported by distance education and other self-instruction techniques. 

(c) Specialised training in special needs education leading to additional qualifications should normally be integrated with or preceded by training and experience as a regular education teacher in order to ensure complimentarily and mobility. 

(d) The training of special teachers needs to be reconsidered with a view to enabling them to work in different settings and to play a key role in special educational needs programmes. A non-categorical approach encompassing all types of disabilities should be developed as a common core, prior to further specialisation in one or more disability-specific areas. 

(e) A recurrent problem with education systems, even those that provide excellent educational services for students with disabilities, is the lack of role models for such students. Special needs students require opportunities to interact with adults with disabilities who have achieved success so that they can pattern their own lifestyles and aspirations on realistic expectations. In addition, students with disabilities should be given training and provided with examples of disability empowerment and leadership so that they can assist in shaping the policies that will affect them in later life. Education systems should, therefore, seek to recruit qualified teachers and other educational personnel who have disabilities and should also seek to involve successful individuals with disabilities from within the region in the education of special needs children. 

(4) External support services: 
The things like below may be useful in this concern:  

(a) Support to ordinary schools could be provided by both teacher-education institutions and the outreach staff of special schools. The latter should be used increasingly as resource centres for ordinary schools offering direct support to those children with special educational needs. Both training institutions and special schools can provide access to specific devices and materials as well as training in instructional strategies that are not provided in regular classrooms. 

(b) External support by resource personnel from various agencies, departments and institutions such as advisory teachers, educational psychologists, speech and occupational therapists, etc., should be coordinated at the local level. School clusters have proved a useful strategy in mobilising educational resources as well as community involvement. Clusters of schools could be assigned collective responsibility for meeting the special educational needs of pupils in their area and given scope for allocating resources as required. Such arrangements should involve non-educational services as well. Indeed, experience suggests that education services would benefit significantly if great efforts were made to ensure optimal use of all available expertise and resources. 

(5) Priority areas  
(a) Early childhood education: 
The success of the inclusive school depends considerably on early identification, assessment and stimulation of the very young child with special educational needs. Early childhood care and education programmes for children aged up to six years ought to be developed and/or reoriented to promote physical, intellectual and social development and school readiness. These programmes have a major economic value for the individual, the family and the society in preventing the aggravation of disabling conditions. Programmes at this level should recognise the principle of inclusion and be developed in a comprehensive way by combining pre-school activities and early childhood health care. 

(b) Girl’s education: 
Girls with disabilities are doubly disadvantaged. A special effort is required to provide training and education for girls with special educational needs. In addition to gaining access to school, girls with disabilities should have access to information and guidance as well as to models which could help them to make realistic choices and preparation for their future role as adult women. 

(c) Preparation for adult life: 
Young people with special educational needs should be helped to make an effective transition from school to adult working life. Schools should assist them to become economically active and provide them with the skills needed in everyday life, offering training in skills which respond to the social and communication demands and expectations of adult life. 

(6) Community perspectives: 
The things like below may be attended in this concern:  

(a) Parents partnership: 
The education of children with special educational needs is a shared task of parents and professionals. A positive attitude on the part of parents favours school and social integration. Parents need support in order to assume the role of a parent of a child with special needs. The role of families and parents could be enhanced by the provision of necessary information in simple and clear language; addressing the needs for information and training in parenting skills is a particularly important task in cultural environments where there is little tradition of schooling. Both parents and teachers may need support and encouragement in learning to work together as equal partners. 

(b) Community involvement: 
Efforts should be made to encourage community participation by giving support to representative associations and inviting them to take part in decision-making. To this end, mobilising and monitoring mechanisms composed of local civil administration, educational, health and development authorities, community leaders and voluntary organisations should be established in geographical areas small enough to ensure meaningful community participation. 

(c) Public awareness: 
Policy-makers at all levels, including the school level, should regularly reaffirm their commitment to inclusion and promote positive attitudes among children, among teachers and among the public-at-large towards those with special educational needs. In this concern, mass media (newspapers, films and television channels, etc.) can play a powerful role in promoting positive attitudes towards the integration of disabled persons in society; overcoming prejudice and misinformation against them, and infusing among them great optimism and imagination about their capabilities. 

The media can also promote positive attitudes of employers towards hiring persons with disabilities. The media should be used to inform the public on new approaches in education, particularly with regard to provision for special needs education in regular schools, by popularising examples of good practice and successful experiences. 

(7) Resource requirements: 
In this connection, Guidelines for Action has commented in the following way: 

The development of inclusive schools as the most effective means for achieving education for all must be recognised as a key government policy and accorded a privileged place on the nation’s development agenda. It is only in this way that adequate resources can be obtained. Changes in policies and priorities cannot be effective unless adequate resource requirements are met. Political commitment, at both the national and community level, is needed to obtain additional resources and to re-deploy the existing ones. While communities must play a key role in developing inclusive schools, government encouragement and support is also essential in devising effective and affordable solutions.
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