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Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
The years after the Second World War have seen many countries in the developed and developing world dismantle separate special education systems and promote the education of children with disabilities or other support needs in regular rather than separate classes. This process of increasing access and participation and reducing exclusionary pressures in all aspects of school life is known as "inclusive education" and is particularly endorsed by the Salamanca Statement (UNESCO, 1994) as a cost-effective way for schools in developing countries to combat discrimination and achieve education for all. The implementation of inclusive education would not only align South Africa's educational practices with international trends, it would help to realize the country's constitutional values of the rights to education, equality, and freedom from discrimination. However, despite sound and well-intentioned policies, exclusion from schools and within schools remains the experience of many children and young people in this country. If South Africa is truly to realize its constitutional values of equality, social justice, and freedom from discrimination, inclusive education ought to be seen as an urgent imperative by all schools, not as another program to be debated and delayed.