The state of education for children with disabilities under community-based rehabilitation programme at Chipata Cheshire home

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Jere, Nyembezi
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The University of Zambia
This study aimed at investigating the state of education for children with disabilities (CWDs) Under Cheshire Community-Based Rehabilitation (CCBR) Programme in Chipata, Eastern Zambia. Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) particularly children face a myriad of barriers that impede their full participation in education. Although Zambia had domesticated the UNCRPD through the Persons with Disabilities Act of 2012 in order to help empower PWDs, there existed a wide gap between CWDs and those without in relation to life in general and specifically education. In addition, though there had been an increase in the number of organisations for persons with disabilities, the education gap between these two groups of people had continued to widen. The study objectives were to (1) explore ways in which CCBR provided education to CWDs, (2) establish strengths of CCBR in providing education to CWDs and (3) determine the challenges CCBR faced in the provision of education to CWDs. The study used a narrative study design under qualitative approach. The study sample comprised 19 participants: Cheshire personnel, CWDs, parents and teachers of CWDs. The sampling technique was purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews and documentary reviews were used to collect data. Resulting from this study were that CCBR had 2 core education components namely, early childhood inclusive education and educational support. It was established that CCBR strengths were: proximity to a primary school, outreach activities and several income generating projects. Nevertheless, CCBR challenges included; poverty; attitudinal barriers to disability; non-parental involvement; and donor funding dependence. The study concluded that CCBR provided education to CWD and endeavoured to diversify its income. However, financial, attitudinal and economical environments continued to pose major challenges to educating CWDs. The recommendations were: CCBR programmes to be adequately funded by the government; parental involvement to be strengthened; government to facilitate the alleviation of physical and attitudinal barriers to the education of CWDs by modifying infrastructure and conducting public disability awareness campaigns. Keywords: Cheshire, Barriers, Disability, Community-Based Rehabilitation, inclusive education
Children with disability--Education--Zambia , Special education--Zambia , Children with disability--Community based rehabilitaion--Zambia