Disconnect between Policy and Practice of Inclusive Education:
Michigan State University
This paper discusses the concept of inclusion in education in regard to achieving Education for All (EFA) goals, specifically in the Indonesian context. Education for all must take account of the needs of all students, including those with special learning needs. In Indonesia, the notion of inclusive education has provided the light of hope for a better education for marginalized students. The country has officially recognized inclusive education in National Education Law number 20/2003, which mandates that all students with disabilities are provided with inclusive education. However, with the shortage of resources and facilities, as well as the cultural norms about students with disabilities, inclusive education has not been systematically implemented in the country.
This study intends to expand the notion of special education in Indonesia to inclusive education for disabled students. This paper presents my analysis of the idea of inclusive education and its rationale in addressing the equity of learning outcomes for students with disabilities in Indonesia. The paper also explores the dilemma of achieving EFA goals, if the idea of inclusive education is implemented within the country. The dilemma in achieving EFA goals means that while on the one hand, the Indonesian government is supposedly giving the quality and equity education to all students, including students with disabilities, the Indonesian government on the other hand does not have adequate resources to do this. The hypothesis of this study is that while Indonesian government has enacted laws about inclusive education, in its practice it has not given much attention to inclusive education. Thus, the Indonesian government needs to focus its attention on implementing inclusive education for education equity. It is not enough only to make a law; a clear strategy for and commitment to implementing a better inclusive education system is necessary.
Key words: disabilities, inclusion, students, special education, and Indonesia