Generally individuals with special needs continue to be the most disadvantaged and neglected in third-world countries (Charema, 2007). This paper is concerned with the moral necessity and biblical mandate of providing special education programs in Christian schools in third-world countries when society in those countries does not recognize or value people with special needs.
There is a huge gap that cannot be explained by words between head knowledge and experiential knowledge with regard how those people with special needs are segregated in those countries. Because the segregation of individuals with developmental delay is so severe, people are often unwilling to admit to having family members with developmental disabilities (Kalyanpur, 2008). For example, approximately 95% of students with special needs have never obtained an education at all, whether inclusive or special, in India (Kalyanpur). According to Kalyanpur, Indian students with cognitive developmental delay are 4 times less likely to be accepted to school than Indian students who are physically impaired, because general education classrooms are not willing to accept and to make accommodations for the students. The time has come for parents, professionals, and governments of third-world countries to pull resources together and establish and maintain learning opportunities and social justice for students with disabilities (Charema, 2007).
Although special education has been a neglected area in those countries, the population of individuals with special needs is higher than in developed countries (Kalyanpur, 2008; Global Partnership for Education [GPE], 2013; World Health Organization [WHO], 2011). According to the World Health Organization (2011), approximately 1 billion people in the world are living with a disability, and 80% of these are living in developing countries. Researchers indicated that one reason for the high population of individuals with special needs was environmental factors such as poor nutrition and lack of health care (Artiles & Hallahan, 1995; Kalyanpur, 2008; WHO 2011).
Children with disabilities are often marginalized in society and remain indivisible to the mainstream population and education officials (Robsob & Evans, n.d.; Kalyanpur, 2008). In most developing countries there is little relevant data to identify the number of children with special needs (Sheilah, 2011; GPE, 2013; WHO, 2011). There are also no effective policies to address their needs and to provide them access to a quality education (GPE; WHO). Even when such policies are in place, appropriate financing is lacking to build accessible facilities, train teachers in inclusive education, or scale up successful local pilot programs on the national level (Weintraub, 2005).
It is essential that societies adapt social structures to ensure that all children, irrespective of age, gender, or disability, can enjoy basic human rights without discrimination (Artiles & Hallahan, 1995; Sheilah, 2011;...