Attitudes Towards The Inclusion Of Pupils With Disabilities In Zambian Primary Schools, And Their Implications

Tembo, Albert (2005). Attitudes Towards The Inclusion Of Pupils With Disabilities In Zambian Primary Schools, And Their Implications. MPhil thesis The Open University.



I was motivated to undertake this research by concerns that arose from my professional and personal experiences of marginalisation from the education system. I was concerned that students with disabilities were not being offered equality of access to the mainstream curriculum despite public expression of support for inclusion by the Zambian government.

This study investigates teachers' attitudes towards inclusive education in Zambia in two primary schools which already have some experience of inclusion. The research was carried out using both questionnaires and interviews. The findings indicate an overall very positive view among teachers of the rights of all children, including those with disabilities, to education. Almost all teachers accepted the principle that: "all pupils should be educated in general education classrooms" and "education is a fundamental right for all children including those with disabilities". However, when it came to practice, there was division between teachers with and without experience. Teachers without experience were positive to inclusion of these children with disabilities, while teachers with experience were negative to inclusion of children with hearing and visual impairments. Respondents commented that major barriers to education for all children, particularly for those with disabilities, include a lack of resources, teachers and legislation to support inclusion. There is also some evidence that traditional attitudes to children with disabilities in Zambia may militate against their inclusion into mainstream schools.

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