A literature review on the extent to which inclusive education for students with special needs is implemented in secondary schools in central Uganda
Nalubowa, Joyce Esther
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Inclusive education is about looking at the ways the schools classrooms, programs and lessons are designed so that all children can participate and learn. It is also about finding different ways of teaching so that classroom can actively involve all children (Engelbrecht, Savolainen, Nel, Koskela, & Okkolin, 2017) inclusive education within this project is broadly defined as welcoming all students to general education schools and classrooms and not segregating students on basis of ability or other individual or sociocultural characteristics. 150 million children live with disabilities globally, (Devries et al., 2014), and a recent systematic review found 3 to 4 times the levels of violence versus non-disabled children in high income countries. However, almost nothing is known about violence against disabled children in lower income countries. ‘We aim to explore the prevalence, patterns and risk factors for physical, sexual and emotional violence among disabled children attending primary school in Luweero District, they add that in Uganda, 8.8% of boys and 7.6% of girls reported a disability. Levels of violence against both disabled and non-disabled children were extremely high. Disabled girls report slightly more physical (99.1% vs 94.6%, p = 0.010) and considerably more sexual violence (23.6% vs 12.3%, p = 0.002) than non-disabled girls; for disabled and non-disabled boys, levels are not statistically different. Furthermore (Abosi & Koay, 2008) adds that the development goals for individuals with disabilities will include elimination of poverty, acquisition of practical and survival skills, employment, empowerment and total integration in the social world. All these could be achieved through a well-planned inclusive education system. Special education provides opportunity for education for all. (Mittler, 2005) The commitment of the United Nations to human rights underpins the whole of its work in the social and the humanitarian field as first expressed in the universal declaration of human rights (1948) and most recently in the above commitment made by heads of states at the world summit on children in 2002 but since the UN can do nothing without the agreement and financial backing of its member states has to use its influence to ensure that the rhetoric of UN principles is transferred to reality at national and local levels by persuading governments to make a commitment to humanitarian and social development in general and to the human rights of disabled children. Uganda is a member of the UN and has therefore made the commitment to humanitarianism to defend human rights of children with disabilities of which education is among. (Susan J Peters, 2007) The president of World Bank made a strong commitment to make sure that the needs of disabled people like education are include in all development aid programs supported by World Bank and has appointed an experienced disability advisor to ensure the implementation of this policy. However, we believe that the rights of disabled people are more respected if they are allowed to interact with other learners under inclusive education than when isolated. Children with special needs especially those with disabilities would desire to take part in the education system just as their normal counterparts do. They also have visions to take up good professions like any other person so as to elevate their income status in the community. To reach to this goal, such children enjoy attending to the main stream schools so as to benefit from the interaction with other children in the society, make life comrades through whom they will have connections to also compete in the working society. This study through qualitative research done by constructive analysis of a literature review on the topic, “extent of implementation of special needs and inclusive secondary school education in central Uganda,” findings were basically used drawing relevant examples from the Literature review and show that Out of 1,370,583 students enrolled in a secondary school in Uganda, 8,945 students (0.6%) have special learning needs, however several challenges such as stigma were still faced by such students, the study also analyses the ways through which a healthy environment for such students can be achieved. To a greater extent inclusive education implementation is still a challenge to be attained in secondary schools in central region of Uganda. In this paper also the discussion is to examine how increased enrollment of students with special needs can be attained, how a healthy working learning environment can be attained and how to address the challenges of stereotyping as a major cause of failure of inclusive education implementation. The study recommends more adequate training of teachers to acquire skills to handle inclusive classes, in the secondary school system, inspection of schools to make sure they meet minimum standards of operation, provision of financial support for smooth implementation, provision of more/adequate resources to meet learning needs of marginal groups and mass sensitization of stake holders to prevent stereotyping in schools.