Challenges faced in the inplementation of inclusive education in selected rural primary schools of Solowezi District
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This study sought to establish the challenges facing the implementation of inclusive education in selected rural primary schools of Solwezi district. The objectives of the study were as follows: To assess the availability of qualified teachers of special education in rural primary schools of Solwezi district. To evaluate the type of infrastructure used by pupils in rural primary schools of Solwezi district. To suggest measures that will enhance the implementation of inclusive education in rural primary schools. The study used a descriptive survey study design and employed both quantitative and qualitative methods but with greater focus on the qualitative method. 6 administrators were sampled using the purposive sampling method, while 20 teachers were sampled using simple random sampling, and 15 pupils were also sampled using simple random sampling method. In-depth interviews were used to collect data from administrators. Questionnaires were used to collect data from teachers. Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were used to collect data from pupils. Data collected from questionnaires was analysed using SPSS while data collected from teachers and pupils was analysed using thematic analysis. Based on the findings, there were fewer teachers qualified to teach learners with SEN in rural primary schools of Solwezi district and that in almost every class (60%) of learners were children with SEN. In respect to infrastructure, this study has revealed that, most of the rural primary schools had no suitable infrastructure, equipment and specialised teaching and learning materials to aid the implementation of inclusive education programme. Furthermore, in reverence to measures that can be used to enhance the implementation of inclusive education in rural primary schools, the study has revealed that, more teachers should be trained in special education, and be posted in rural primary schools. There is also need to build user friendly infrastructure for SEN learners in rural primary schools, and provide support services to learners with special education needs from government and non¬governmental organisations working with the education system. The government should also institute legislation which will act as a guiding principle and giving policy direction on the implementation of inclusive education in rural primary schools. Based on the findings, the study made the following recommendations: The MOE should employ Education Standards Officers (ESOs) specifically for Special Education in all the districts for effective sensitisation and monitoring of the programme in every district. The government should construct special infrastructure in rural primary schools for better inclusive education practices. Class-sizes or child-teacher ratios must be reduced to about 20 learners in each class for enough time for learners with SEN/disabilities to be attended to. Rural primary schools to have active partnerships with parents in order to make them understand the concept of inclusive education. Government to build more colleges of special education, preferably one in each province in order to eradicate the issue of lack of teachers of special education especially in rural primary schools.