Generally, the implementation of inclusive education in south Africa has been met with mixed feelings, with those who promote change within our education system being pro inclusive education and those who do not easily welcome change, dreading it. 

In most rural and impoverished schools in Kwazulu Natal, there's an urgent need for the implementation of inclusive education to promote quality education and bring about change to correct the injustices of the past. 

In my own experience having worked at a number of public schools in remote rural and impoverished parts of KwaZulu Natal  (KZN), I have come across educators that are clearly oblivious to inclusive education. With some schools having unqualified and underqualified educators who have got little or no training with regards to inclusion. Inclusive education still eludes most teachers and learners in the area. Hence I feel that the lack of, as well as the hindrances that impedes the implementation of inclusive education needs to be examined.

A study by Sithabile Ntombela (2011: 05) which investigated the teachers' experiences and understanding of the policy showed that teachers had limited experiences of inclusive education, as a result teachers felt inadequately prepared to implement it. The article further concluded that the limited experiences and understanding resulted from, among other things, inadequate and inappropriate professional development strategies employed by the department of education in the policy and information dissemination.

Working towards an educational inclusion will require a thorough understanding of the socio-economic dimensions that the schools and communities in rural KZN are faced with. Factors such as the prevalence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, child-headed homes, poverty should be considered for a wholly inclusive intervention in these schools. The onus also lies with the teachers in these schools to be more open to the principle of inclusion. They should seek and demand the right kind of training to enable them to implement inclusive education fruitfully.

I believe that the formulation and implementation of some government policies on education, like inclusive education, on the other hand, must be considerate of the point that policies such as Inclusive Education needs to be informed by social constructivism. There should be thorough and special consideration given for certain demographics, keeping in mind the standard of and the availability of the resources (both human and material) or lack thereof. Bombarding untrained educators with disseminated policies to implement is not the solution.

Lastly, I gather that strengthening the involvement of other stakeholders in education such as churches, businesses, NGO's and others, would go a long way in remedying many of the problems in education, including the problems with inclusion.

 

Bibliography

Ntombela. S. 2010. The Progress of Inclusive Education in South Africa: teachers' experiences in a selected district, KwaZulu Natal. Sage publications.

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