The construction of exclusion of girls with disabilities in schools: A case study of Naguru Preparatory School
MetadataShow full item record
This study aimed at examining how exclusion of girls with disabilities is constructed and illustrated in various forms of power differences within selected primary schools in Kampala district. The schools included Hill Preparatory School Naguru and Ntinda School for the deaf. The study questioned the extent to which exclusion of disabled girls is constructed through exercising of power between those with resources (the providers of education) and those who are receiving the services (pupils in the education system). Such argument was researched on through questioning the extent to which the person who is excluded, experiences a relative loss of social rights (like limited access to essential services such as education), as claimed by the Social Exclusion Theory. Such services included school infrastructural resources, curriculum, teaching methods and instructional materials that teachers use. The study further argued that exclusion of disabled girls can be constructed through multiple and overlapping nature of the disadvantages associated with their gender identity. This explanation of the research problem therefore, led the study to focus on the major concept of Exclusion in terms of not being included, being discriminated, having less power compared to those with resources, and being marginalized. The methods used included a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques in gathering information coupled with observation. The study targeted administrators, teachers, parents and the students in such schools for the disabled children. The findings of the study were based on a sample of fifty five (55) respondents. These included Head teachers (2), teachers (12), Assistant teachers (6), parents (10), Regular girls (10) and girls with disabilities (15 The findings revealed that CWDs comprised hyper-active (cannot concentrate in class), autistic (repeat teachers words all the time), dumb, lame, partially deaf, partially blind, among others. Girls with disability were being treated in the same way as regular except those with severe disabilities who would receive individualized attention, but not excluded from others. Again it was found that most teachers inexperienced in handling CWDs in addition to the inadequate curriculum specifically designed for regular children; timetables and evaluation procedures were not accommodating CWDs’ ability and the schools had limited resources though disability friendly. Further more, study results showed that some pupils were having additional identity of being CWDs which caused them to encounter problems while learning especially girls with disabilities but would prefer the system to special schools education. Again, findings showed that parents had a negative attitude towards CWDs but preferred special needs education teachers in special schools. In addition, findings indicated that exclusion of girls with disabilities could be attributed to discriminatory cultural practices combined with hash economic realities. The study recommended that communities and parents particularly male parents should be sensitized about disheartening cultural beliefs on CWDs so that they develop positive attitude and cater for their educational needs to minimize school drop outs. Again the study recommended that schools offering inclusive education should be aided and well equipped with enough resources like instructional materials suitable for CWDs in classes so that parents are relieved of extra charges which might be hard for some parents to pay especially the poor. The school administration should labour to pass information about the needs and weaknesses or disabilities of some pupils to teachers in time. School curriculum, timetable and evaluation procedures should be designed in such a way that they are CWD-friendly and address special needs of CWDs to avoid their exclusion from the school system. Further recommendations by the study were that teachers should receive training in special needs education to upgrade their knowledge and skills as well as go for refresher courses and workshops periodically in order to be able to handle girls with disabilities in all possible ways. Teachers and parents should work hand in hand to improve social skills and decrease the stress experienced by CWDs.