Educational lnclusion of Children with Disabilities in Sri Lanka: Developing a model that responds to the country's social context

Outcomes of the research activities

Activities in 2022

On 7th March 2022, H. Furuta co-hosted the online international seminar on ‘Exploring the role of special schools in providing inclusive education in Bhutan.’ Principals of three special schools in Kandy, Central Province, reported on the current educational conditions of their schools. Also, H. Furuta presented the overview of inclusive education and the status of special schools in Sri Lanka, while P. Lynch provided a short lecture on overarching issues in low-and-middle-income countries. This seminar shed light on the characteristics of special schools in Sri Lanka in contrast with those of Bhutan with the viewpoints of history of special education as well as uptake of special schools into the government school system.

From June to November, we held six online meetings with presentations by the members (Table 2). Despite the difficulties from power outages taking place daily in Sri Lanka, many members participated in the active discussion during these meetings. Thus, we put all our energy into levelling the ground for a further collaborative research project in each area.

Table 2. Titles of presentations in 2022

Month Presenter Title
Mar 7th Hiroko Furuta Brief overview of inclusive education and the status of special schools in Sri Lanka
Paul Lynch Role of special schools in inclusive education in LMICs
Jun 21st Prasad Sethunga Educational inclusion of children with disabilities in Sri Lanka: policy and practice
Jul 13th Masateru Higashida From the perspective of international social work research
Chandani Liyanage Disability inclusivity in rural Sri Lanka: Lived experience of children with disabilities and their vulnerable families
Jul 28th Shanthy Dawson Challenges and opportunities to implement inclusive education practises in plantation sector schools of Sri Lanka
Oct 1st  Sriskantharajah Sivakanthan Present status, possibilities and challenges of special and inclusive education: a right based study focusing on the Jaffna District
Nov 2nd Upali Chakravarti Invisible walls: educating children with disability


*Underlines indicate members of this project.

  • Furuta, H., Sakurai, R. & Sethunga, P. (2021) The process of including special schools in an inclusive education system: A comparative study of two South Asian countries, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Bulletin of The Faculty of Education, Kumamoto University, 70, 83-89. (in Japanese)
  • Furuta, H., Sethunga, P. & Kawaguchi, J. (2022) Inclusive education policy in Sri Lanka. Bulletin of the Faculty of Education, Kumamoto University, 71, 103-112. (in Japanese)
  • Liyanage, C. (2022). Inclusivity of Children with disabilities and downsides of welfare-oriented service delivery system in Sri Lanka with special reference to rural areas in Galle district. University of Colombo Review (Series III), 3(1), 153-172.
  • Smythe, T., Almasri, N. A., Moreno Angarita, M., Berman, B. D., Kraus de Camargo, O., Hadders-Algra, M., Lynch, P., Samms-Vaughan, M., & Olusanya, B. O. (2022). The role of parenting interventions in optimizing school readiness for children with disabilities in low and middle income settings. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 10.
  • Higashida, M., Ranaweera, A., & Herath, C. (2022). Exploring the Social Representations of Social Work in the Sri Lankan Cultural Context: A Qualitative Study. Sustainability, 14(23).
  • Higashida, M. (2022). Indigenous, foreign and transnational knowledges in social work practice: Reinterpretation of the findings of qualitative studies on practitioners in Sri Lanka and Japan. Annual Report Vol.6, Asian Research Institute for International Social Work, Shukutoku University, 1-13. (in Japanese)