Views of Parents on Inclusive Education For Children With Disabilities: A Gender Case Study of St.Lawrence Basic School In Lusaka Urban District

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Mwanza, Hellen
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This study was aimed at investigating views of parents on the inclusion of learners with disabilities in mainstream schools in Lusaka urban district of Zambia with a gender dimension. This aim was achieved by reviewing relevant literature with the purpose of finding out what other authorities regard as the views of parent/guardians (females and males, respectively) of learners both with and without disabilities.Empirical research was also conducted in order to elicit parents’/guardians’ views concerning inclusive education. For additional information, the views of school managers, teachers, teaching in inclusive classes, learners with disabilities as well as learners without disabilities learning in inclusive classes were also elicited. In consideration of the Millennium Development Goal number 4-Basic Education For All by 2015, they were to indicate by gender whether there was any collaboration between the professional in the school system and the community (parents/guardians) prior to the initiation of inclusive schooling in the area.The study revealed that there was lack of collaboration between the school and the parents’/guardians with more females than males registering ignorance of the programme and a lot of females also indicating that they did not participate in the activities of the school where their children were learning in an inclusive set up. There was a gender gap between females and males on their involvement with the school. Furthermore an equal number of females and males indicated that that did not favour the idea of inclusive education citing the incompetence s of some teachers in handling both learners with and without disabilities in the same classroom.On the basis of these findings, recommendations were made so that due attention could be given to issues of concern by the relevant authorities. It is hoped that this study will be a valuable contribution to the improvement of collaboration between professional in the education system, parents/guardians and other stakeholders, taking any gender issues that may hinder or that may assist the continuity of inclusive education in Lusaka urban district, in particular and Zambia as a whole.