Barriers to the Implementation of Inclusive Education in Teachers’ Colleges in Zimbabwe | Champion Ncube | Nova Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Barriers to the Implementation of Inclusive Education in Teachers’ Colleges in Zimbabwe

Alfred Champion Ncube, Thembinkosi Tshabalala


People with special needs have sometimes been excluded from the higher and tertiary education system simply because the system does not have structures and mechanisms in place to address the needs of their situations in most developing countries. In Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education came up with a strategic plan 2011-2015 which states ‘’Enhancing the tertiary education and training of learners with special needs .’’ The strategic plan proposes to focus on addressing the needs of those with special needs for example physically challenged. This would be in terms of providing user friendly human capital resources, facilities and specialized equipment. The Southern African Development Committee protocol on education and training highlights that all nations must provide enabling structures, systems and learning methodologies that meet all learners’ needs irrespective of race, colour or creed. There are also international declarations and conventions that support inclusive education. Yet in spite of all these national, regional and international framework policies, inclusive education still remains a challenge hence the need to investigate the challenges faced by teachers’ colleges in implementing inclusive education. Against the background of literature review which examines barriers to the implementation of inclusive education in institutions of higher learning in both developing and developed countries, this article draws on a quantitative inquiry of challenges faced by teacher training colleges in Zimbabwe in their attempt to implement inclusive education using a sample of 60 respondents from three of Zimbabwe’s colleges. The study adopted the descriptive survey design. The target population comprised all lecturers and students in the three teacher training colleges. The sample consisted of 45 students and 15 lecturers selected using purposive sampling. The information was collected through a questionnaire which largely had close ended questions and two open ended questions and some interviews. The study revealed that inclusive education has been introduced in the teacher education programmes through   policy pronouncements and rhetorical compliance with international conventions. However, information on the ground indicates that in terms of practicing what should be done for full implementation of inclusive education, there is little to show for it. The study recommends that colleges should restructure their programmes to include provisions of assistive devices, supporting aids and services, modification of the classroom environment, sign language interpreters and note takers among others.

Keywords: Inclusive education, Barriers, Teachers, Disability, Implementation, College

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DOI Prefix: 10.20286