An inclusive education system is one that values diversity, is non-discriminatory, and provides learning for all. These principles are clearly outlined in Article Law No. 8 of 2016, which stipulates that persons with disabilities are entitled to access a quality and inclusive education. A truly inclusive education should be tailored to the needs of children with disabilities.
About 900 thousand students with disabilities who attend inclusive schools are recorded in Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) Basic Education Data system (DAPODIK). But, only around 25 percent of the total number of children with disabilities are captured. The rest of these children continue to sit outside the system, for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is the lack of information on schools that offer inclusive education services, making it difficult for parents to select the right fit for their child. Schools are asked to fill the gap, so that children with disabilities can access quality education at all levels.
Data collection is key if all children with disabilities are to remain included and accounted for in the system. In that context, MoEC through the Directorate of Teachers and Education Personnel of Special Secondary Education and the Directorate of Special Education Development, has been seeking to encourage the data collection of children with disabilities. This data collection involves school teachers at all levels of education using the newly developed Student Learning Profile or Profil Siswa Belajar (PBS) instrument.
This instrument is the result of a collaboration between MoEC and the Australian Government, working through the Technical Assistance for Education Systems Strengthening (TASS) and Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) programs. The PBS instrument is designed to help teachers better capture and understand the different difficulties and needs of individual students.
The instrument will also be developed in an application based format, linked to basic education data (DAPODIK) at district and national level. The process will involve three main parties, namely schools, provincial and district / city offices. The results of the data collection will then be used to analyze the accessibility needs or tools for students with disabilities in schools which also struggle to provide adequate support for special needs teachers. Data collection is also intended to record and analyze children’s needs based on their disabilities. For example, disabilities in vision, hearing, speaking, fine motor and gross motor skills, and other more specific disabilities in learning.
Data collection using the PBS instrument
Teachers who will conduct data collection using the PBS instrument are called ‘assessor teachers’ and are nominated by the school principal with the local district education office. An administrative point of contact at the district education office enters the name of the teacher, submitting them to the ministry’s Management Information System for Sustainable Professional Development (SIMPKB).
The assessor teacher appointed by the principal then continues their data collection tasks using the PBS tool. The results are recorded in a database and analyzed by the district education office. Evaluation reports for all schools are captured along with the data of children with disabilities or special needs, in respective school databases.
The PBS instrument has nine main components that must be filled in by the assessor teacher. These components require the assessor to identify the range of student disabilities, special tools needed, movement within the school (accessibility), and learning and support. It also captures the special needs of teachers in schools and the adjustment of the learning process for students with disabilities.
In addition to these points, the PBS instrument is used to record student health information by completing a medical history. Other factors captured include general information about the family environment.
Next steps for including children in schools
The results of the inclusive mapping will be shared with local governments as well as the origin schools and potential destination schools. This will help the local education office to register schools and students with disabilities who want to continue their education to a higher level. In order for more students with disabilities to be included in the education system, the local government needs to create an inclusive teaching committee consisting of teachers, principals from origin schools and potential destination schools. At the end of the day, all children in Indonesia are entitled to a fair and equal education service. Data collection must be carefully carried out and the registration process for students with disabilities must be done more effectively. There must be education for all. (TASS, Rezki Mulyadi)