Reforms needed for the operationalisation of inclusive education in ordinary schools in Zimbabwe
Keywords:Inclusive education, Students with disabilities, Mainstream education
Special Needs Education has evolved from segregation to main streaming and then to inclusion of students with disabilities. This evolutionary process was fuelled by the social need for equality of humanity. This process has been met with fierce idealogical resistance from certain social quotas. The most radical and dynamic changes in Special Needs Education to date, which have withstood such resistance, are those that relate to inclusive education. In response to changes characterising inclusive education, drastic reforms have been experienced in those countries such as the USA and the United Kingdom. These countries have been used as models for the implementation of genuine inclusion of students with disabilities into ordinary schools. This treatise examines reforms of the ordinary school that would save as necessary conditions for successful inclusive education in developing countries such as Zimbabwe. Such reforms relate to the organization and philosophy of the school, the physical and social environment, resourcing, curriculum and policy change processes. Examples from Zimbabwe are used to guide the discussion and the terms ‘inclusive education’, ‘major reforms’ and ‘mainstream/ordinary school’ are immediately defined in order to operationalize the topic. Some of the main reasons for failure of inclusive education in developing countries such as Zimbabwe have been lack of political will and negative social attitudes towards people with disabilities. In the ultimate analysis, the paper concludes that, for inclusive education to operate or function, there is need for a revolutionary change of attitude toward people with disabilities at political, social and professional levels. This should be punctuated with restructuring of the school infrastructure and mainstream curriculum, mainstreaming of social and educational policies to become disability friendly and improved resourcing. Teachers should be re-capacitated to face the challenges that go with inclusive education and community ownership of inclusive initiatives, guided my national policy and support is proposed.
Boehner, J., 2003. House approves major special education reform bill: Handbook. New York, CEW.
Brown, S., Riddel, S., 1994. The impact of policy on practice and thinking. In Riddell, S., Brown, S., 1927. (Eds). Special Needs Education’s Policy in the 1990s : Warnock in The Market Place. New York :Routledge.
Clark, C., Dyson, A., Millward, A.J., Skidmore, D., 1997. New Directions in Special Education : Innovations in Mainstream Schools. New York, Cassell.
Croll, P., Moses, D., 2000. Continuity and change in special school provision: some perspectives on local education authority policy making. Br. Educ. Res. J. 26( 2). 177-189.
EFA, 2000. Including the excluded : One school for all. Paris : Unesco.
Elliot, D., MacKenny, M., 2003. Four inclusion models that work. Educating Exceptional Children. 2(3), 16-19.
Fullan, M.G., 1991. The new meaning of educational change. New York :Cassell.
Guralnick, M.J., 2001. Framework of change in early childhood inclusion. In Guralnick, M.J., (Ed). Early childhood inclusion: Focus on change. Baltimore: Paul, H., Brookers Pub. Co.
Hallahan, D.P., Kauffman, S.M., 1997. Exceptional learners: Introduction to special education. (7th Ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Heward, W.L., Orlansky, M.D., 1998. Exceptional children. Columbus: Merril Pub. Co.
Lewis, A., 1995. Children’s understanding of disability. New York: Routledge.
Ministry of education, sport and culture, 2001. Examination Concessions for candidates with visual and hearing impairment: Braille Transcription and Sign Language Interpretation. 12 June, Director’s Circular Minute, (24). MOESC: Harare.
Rogers, J., 1993. The inclusion revolution. Res. Bull. 1(11), 1-6.
Sobel, D.M., Vaughn, N.S., 2003. Here comes the sun team : Collaborative Inclusion At Work. 1(1), 8-15.
Stakes, R., Hornby, G., 1997. Change in special education: What brings it about?London: Cassell.
Unesco, 1994. The salamanca statement and framework for action on special needs education: Access and quality. salamanca: Unesco.
Unesco, 1998. Including the excluded. One school for all. Paris: Unesco.
Unesco, 1999. A review of UNESCO: Activities in the light of the Salamanca statement and framework for action. Salamanca: Unesco.
Unesco, 2003. Gender and education for all: The leap to equality. Paris: Unesco.
Wilson, R.A., 1998. Special educational needs in early years. London: Routledge.
Winzer, M., 1990. Children with exceptionalities: A Canadian perspective (2nd Ed.) Scarborough: Prentice-Hall.
Wolfendale, S., 1994. Policy and provision for children with special educational needs in the early years. In Riddell, S., Brown, S., (Eds). Special Needs Education’s Policy in the 1990s: Warnock in the Market Place. New York :Routledge.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Patrick Sibanda
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.