Inclusive education in Northern province: what head teachers, teachers, parents and pupils say.

Thumbnail Image
Kaoma, Simon Kapasa
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The purpose of the study was to examine the obstacles to the implementation of inclusion of the hearing impaired children in the mainstream. The study evaluated the views of twenty-one teachers, seven head teachers, seven parents and seven hearing impaired pupils on Inclusive Education in Kasama and Mpika Districts in the Northern Province. Special attention was paid to establishing the role of the Ministry of Education in In-service training, infrastructure, resources, standards, education policy, funding for special needs In-service training and placement of children for enhancement of effective learning of the hearing impaired. Qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques were used. The data were collected using semi structured interviews and questionnaires. From the findings, the study revealed that there were no significant differences in the views of head teachers, teachers, parents and pupils on the barriers of including hearing impaired children in ordinary schools. The study also found that some barriers to inclusion included: fewer numbers of trained teachers in teaching the hearing impaired; lack of skills by the few trained teachers to handle hearing impaired children in an inclusive setting; and lack of competence by the teachers in sign language, which made it difficult for these teachers to teach effectively. On attitudes towards inclusion of the hearing impaired children, the study revealed that the majority of teachers, head teachers and parents felt that pupils with hearing impairment were often teased by hearing pupils in ordinary schools. The study also revealed that teachers in the mainstream and some parents had a negative attitude towards the hearing impaired children which may have had an effect on the programme. Therefore the attitudes of teachers and those of parents towards the hearing impaired children, were of prime importance because they could influence the failure or success of the programme. On material and financial needs of the hearing impaired in inclusive classrooms, the study revealed that there were no materials in inclusive schools to help the teachers teach the hearing impaired effectively. The study also revealed that even when there was equipment in the schools, such as audiometers and hearing aids, the teachers were not competent to use them. The study also revealed that the physical environment in many schools did not support inclusive schooling in its strict sense. It showed that the placement process of children with hearing impairment left much to be desired as the guidelines of placement were not followed. As for the improvement of Inclusive Education, the respondents indicated that infrastructure must be improved to meet the standard procedures of inclusion. All specialist teachers for the hearing impaired should be trained and be proficient in sign language and be able to interpret sign to word and vice versa. There should also be reduction of hearing children in classes. Teaching equipment such as the hearing aids, audiometers and speech trainers should be acquired for schools that were implementing inclusive programme. Schools that were on the INSPRO should be funded well in order to meet the added strain on them. Teachers must be paid well in order to motivate them, they should also be sent for in-service training courses so that they could improve their skills and pedagogical knowledge.
Hearing impaired pupils--Zambia. , Hearing impaired children--Education. , Inclusive education--Zambia. , Education -- Parent participation.