Abstract

One of the major challenges facing special and general education teachers and parents in Guyana is the current educational move towards inclusion. This move has been characterized by the changing political and economic systems which have resulted in inclusion gaining increased momentum in many circles including major organizations, institutions, and even among members of civil society. Inclusion has also been touted as the prelude to meaningful political, economic, social, educational, religious, and cultural engagement in governance and other decision making processes in Guyana. The concept hinges on the right to participate and become involved in various activities regardless of ability or disability. The Jomtien Declaration (1990) which was adopted by the World Conference on Education for All in Thailand in March 1990, mandates the removal of barriers to education for all children. The declaration also affirms the right to education for every individual as well as equal access for all categories of persons with disabilities (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1990). While the main pillar of the declaration is the right to education, it also mandates the removal of barriers that would prevent equal learning opportunities for vulnerable and marginalized groups (UNESCO, 1990). This paper examines issues relevant to inclusion and the education of children with learning disabilities in Guyana. The author gives an account of the political system, inclusive education, and legislation for persons with disabilities, and highlights the challenges faced by teachers in educating children with learning disabilities in Guyana.

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