Teachers’ and Pupils’ Experiences of Integrated Education in Uganda Teachers’ and Pupils’ Experiences of Integrated Education in Uganda

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Under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme in Uganda, which was implemented in 1997, the idea of integrated education was put into practice. Today children with disabilities are enrolled in regular primary schools in the whole country. After three years of experience with UPE, the aim of this study was to examine the views of teachers about their needs for training and support regarding the task of teaching children with disabilities in ordinary classrooms. A qualitative approach was chosen using individual interviews, focus group discussions with teachers, pupils and head teachers, and observations in classrooms. Three primary schools in different districts of Uganda were selected as research sites. For a number of reasons data collection from the pupils proved problematic but generally the findings confirmed the information drawn from the review of literature. In addition to the high teacher-pupil ratio, there is an alarming lack of resources in the schools and an urgent need for teacher training to meet special needs in the classroom. Despite these difficult conditions found in schools, many teachers had positive attitudes towards integrating children with disabilities, but only a few examples from the classroom observations showed good practice for meeting a diversity of needs.

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