Education for All : Insights into the education of children with and without disabilities within mainstream Indian government schools – A case study

There is a significant lacuna in understanding inclusion of students with and without disabilities within mainstream schools. In the Indian context the evidence base is minimal, hence there is a need to critically examine systems and practices within mainstream schools that are purposefully making an effort for inclusion of different learners. This research is situated within schools that are run by an NGO Muktangan in Mumbai, India under a public-private agreement with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). Their vision is to enable their schools to become “an inclusive, empowered world in which all live with harmony with freedom of expression, respect and with integrity.” Thus, as Muktangan has been promoting an inclusive model of education within the public education system, it has provided the optimal environment to pursue this research.

This research is a case study using in-depth interviews and semi-structured classroom observations with students, teachers, and school based stakeholders. The research gives comprehensive insights into the school practices and structures and pedagogical systems to include all learners by utilising the available resources. These schools have a diversity of learners with differences in language, socio-economic backgrounds, presence of children with and without disabilities within the same classrooms. It challenges Northern ideas of how mainstream inclusive schools in resource constrained contexts function. In addition, it encapsulates the different ways the teachers, students and stakeholders are trying to promote inclusion in a way that goes beyond children with disabilities. Furthermore it also presents the various challenges that teachers and students face on the road to inclusion and the ways the school environment facilitates inclusion.

Duration: 2016 – ongoing

Funding Body: Cambridge Trusts



Nath S (2020). Inclusive and equitable education for people with disabilities: Insights from an Indian case study. Poster presentation at Pathways to inclusive and equitable quality education for people with disabilities – Cross context conversations and mutual learning conference held in February, 2020. University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Nath S. (2019). Using play for inclusive teaching and learning. Poster presentation at Learning to Play and Playing to Learn Conference organised by the LEGO Foundation held in June, 2019, Cambridge, UK

Nath.S (2019). Full paper presentation at Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference, 2019 in San Francisco, USA.

Nath.S (2018). Full paper presentation at ‘Comparative Education and Development Alternatives : Critiques, Innovations and Transitions’ in the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE) Conference 2018, University of York, York.

Nath, S (2017). Poster presentation at ‘Cambridge-Oxford Education Conference’ organised by Faculty of Education Research Students Association, University of Cambridge and Department of Education, Oxford, University of Cambridge, Cambridge


Sabates, R, Karki, S, Nath, S & Hannam, J (2019). Future Directions in the education systems for the 21st century : Emerging issues from UKFIET 2019 Conference theme. UKFIET blog

Nath, S. (2018). The Road from Pilot Research to Fieldwork. FERSA blog.

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