Opposition to inclusion is a refusal to accept people who differ

From Reporting Democracy: Opposition to the desegregation of Czech schools is being used by extremist politicians to attract mainstream voters, including the middle class who worry about the effect on their children from the inclusive policy.

Over 30% of all Roma pupils attended special schools in 2014, compared with an average of 2% for non-Roma, according to the Council of Europe. The percentage of Roma children in mainstream schools was just 9.5%.

“Opposition to inclusion is a refusal to accept people who differ from mainstream society, just as certain political forces react to migrants or Roma.”

Milan Sverepa, director of the Brussels-based NGO Inclusion Europe

Some claim school inclusion leads to greater segregation, because students with special needs cannot cope with the work and are bullied.

However, Sverepa dismisses this out of hand. “There’s no truth in this argument at all,” he burst out with evident frustration. “It’s just a very old-fashioned approach that takes no account of modern teaching methods. Inclusion teaches people to come together and function with all, no matter if they may be different. To learn to live in the real world with one another. Research shows clearly that it benefits all and improves everyone’s interpersonal skills.”

Read the article Czech culture war targets education reforms in full.