The presentation on inclusion and subsequent group discussions identified the following major challenges in achieving inclusion:
• Ambiguities in defining what inclusion actually means. Is it learners with special needs, or from disadvantaged backgrounds or a diverse group of learners?
• In the absence of an inclusion models, special schools continue to exist. Special Education exists as an important component of Inclusive Education for preserving the comfort and stability of the mainstream education system. They are harnessed to enable the school to go on with its routine and “main” activity but the status quo is maintained and mainstream schools continue exclusion.
• Resistance to inclusion is still prevalent as inclusion is considered to be dictate from the top and not acceptable to teachers.
• Conflict between inclusion agenda and (standard) agenda: Content heavy curriculum and evaluating progress based on marks and grades leads to tension between curriculum load and inclusive teaching.
• Schools across countries still do not have the capacities to provide for students with a wide range of diversities (without comprising).
• Structures in schools are not adapted to encourage team work and specific interventions. Inclusion demands a cultural transformation of schools.
• Training of teachers and pooling of resources still inadequate.
• Application of Universal Design to school buildings is not a reality.
• Linkages between community, teacher - teacher, peers, teacher - parents etc. are weak.