An assessment of quality of special education needs provision in special education units in Muchinga and Northern Provinces of Zambia

Thumbnail Image
Simuchimba, , Mumba Richard
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The study was an assessment of quality special educational needs provision in special units attached to mainstream schools in Muchinga and Northern provinces. The objectives of the study were to establish the quality of special educational needs provision in special units, to assess the quality of management at individual school level of the provision for pupils in special units, to determine the roles of standards officers in ensuring quality special educational needs provision in special units and to assess the kind of support units were receiving from stake holders. A descriptive survey design was used in conducting this research. 21 Standards officers, 11 head teachers and 40 teachers were sampled purposively while 44 pupils were selected using simple random sampling to form the study sample. Data were collected using structured and semi- structured questionnaires. The statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used for quantitative analysis of data, whereas the views of participants were analysed qualitatively by grouping them into categories according to emerging themes. The findings of the study revealed that the curriculum offered for pupils in special units was not appropriate because it did not meet the needs of the pupils adequately. Similarly, special units did not have adequate qualified teachers in special education. Furthermore, teaching and learning materials were not available in schools. Even those that were available were not adequate. Special units lacked conducive learning environment, and physical facilities. It was also found that special units received very little support from school management and special units were not monitored by both head teachers and standards officers. Funding to schools was inadequate and erratic. The study also revealed that there was limited collaboration between schools and stakeholders. The researcher recommended increased government funding towards the running of special education and in particular special units. Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education should modify infrastructure in schools, deploy qualified teachers in special education to all units and provide appropriate teaching and learning materials to schools if quality has be enhanced. Standards officers should monitor special units regularly. Schools should collaborate with stakeholders in order to effectively meet the needs of individual pupils.
Special Education-Zambia , Physically Handcapped Students-Zambia , Special Education-Exceptional Children