Education stakeholders’ beliefs and expectations on inclusive education in Tanzania primary schools: a case of Dodoma city

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The University of Dodoma
This study investigated the educational stakeholders’ beliefs and expectations on improving inclusive education in Tanzanian primary schools. The study was conducted in primary schools based in Dodoma City. The specific objectives of the study were to: investigate educational stakeholders’ beliefs and expectations on inclusive education; assess the challenges facing the implementation of inclusive education in primary schools, and propose useful interventions for educational stakeholders to effectively participate in improving inclusive education in Tanzania. This study used a mixed method approach which is characterized by the combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Data were collected from 135 respondents obtained through simple random sampling, from pupils, parents, district education officers (DEOs), and teachers by using questionnaires and interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively and presented in terms of tables, frequency, and percentages. Qualitative data were analyzed through theme-content analysis and presented verbatim. The findings of the study have revealed that pupils enrolled in inclusive schools were aware of inclusive education and appreciated the efforts exerted on giving education to pupils with disabilities. Even the teachers, parents, and district educational officers felt that inclusive education allowed the pupils with disabilities to interact and understand or be understood by the teachers, other pupils, relatives, and neighbors. Again, the research findings have uncovered inclusive primary schools as experiencing serious challenges associated with limited special education needs’ qualified teachers, lack of in-service training, overcrowded classes, insufficient teaching and learning materials, unfriendly infrastructure including poor transport roads, unfriendly sanitation systems, inadequate classrooms, and school facilities. On top of that, generally negative attitude from the parents, teachers, fellow pupils, and some community members towards education for pupils with disabilities was another challenge. Learning in inclusive classes was generally seen as a heavy task for pupils with disabilities. There must be efforts to ensure that the regular classes have special teachers, special teaching and learning resources. Lack of supportive infrastructures for pupils with disabilities poses great challenges for education stakeholders’ beliefs and expectations towards inclusive education in primary schools. Moreover, the findings showed that useful intervention to strengthen educational stakeholders’ beliefs and expectations towards IE includes ensuring the adequacy of inclusive schools, plans, and improving teaching and learning environment. That is, need for a supportive environment for pupils with disabilities to ensure friendly teaching and learning atmosphere with the elimination of discrimination in a school setting. The study concludes that more government interventions are needed to enhance inclusive education for students’ diverse needs, families, educators, and community members. Recommendations for improvement in planning and school environment for effective inclusive education have been given.
Dissertation (MA Education)
Inclusive education, Educational stakeholders’, Primary schools, Tanzania, Disability student, Pupils disability
Mnkeni, L. (2021). Education stakeholders’ beliefs and expectations on inclusive education in Tanzania primary schools: a case of Dodoma city(Master's dissertation). The University of Dodoma, Dodoma.