Trainee teachers' preparedness for inclusive education in Zambia: A case of Chipata and Jubeva Colleges of Education in Eastern Province

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Manda, Joshua
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This study explored trainee teachers’ preparedness for inclusive education in Zambia. A descriptive survey design which included both qualitative and quantitative methods was employed. Data was collected using semi-structured Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and Focus Group Discussions. The trainee teachers and teacher educators were drawn from two colleges of education in the Eastern province of Zambia. The sample consisted of 95 respondents, 82 trainee teachers and 13 teacher educators. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select trainee teachers and teacher educators. Qualitative data was analysed through quick impressionist summary while quantitative data was processed and analysed using statistical package for social science (SPSS version 16.0) to generate frequencies and percentages. Overall, the study revealed that trainee teachers were not adequately prepared to address the diverse educational needs of various learners in general education classrooms because the present teacher training curriculum does not cover a lot of courses in Special Education and inclusive education in general. Trainee teachers were not equipped with relevant special education needs knowledge and skills. They also lacked a positive attitude towards inclusive education due to inadequacies in their training and there are still a number of barriers to the success of inclusive education in Zambia .Based on the findings, the study recommended that Ministry of Education should re-design the teacher education curriculum by strengthening the Special Education component. Special Education should be taught as an independent compulsory subject. Ministry of education should come up with an elaborate inclusive education policy which should guide the implementation of inclusive education in Zambia. Ministry of education to ensure that teacher educators are equipped with the relevant knowledge, skills and attitude towards inclusive education through continuous professional development (CPD) Colleges of education should train teachers for practical experience by ensuring that trainee teachers do their teaching practice at an inclusive school. Colleges to establish mentorship programmes in schools where trainee teachers do their teaching practice in order to enhance college – school collaboration.
Inclusive Education-Zambia , Special Education