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Beyond Separate Schooling: Marginalised Voices Becoming Louder

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The article reports the results of a research study which explored the views and feelings of blind students of the University of Zimbabwe towards inclusive education. The major objective was to assess what people with disabilities themselves think about their being included in regular schools/classrooms. One of the aims of such a study is to facilitate and promote the rights of people with disabilities to speak for themselves on matters affecting them. Such an approach, one hopes, assists policy-makers and practitioners to be more realistic in their policy formulation and practice respectively.

The study involved thirty (N=30) blind students doing a variety of degree programs at the University of Zimbabwe. A brailled Likert-type questionnaire which required respondents to give reasons for their answers and follow-up interviews, were the instruments used to collect data. Data analysis was done using the liken scale analysis procedures typical of attitudinal studies e.g. Fishbein, 1975; Mushoriwa, 2001.

The findings of the study were that 97% of the respondents applauded inclusive education, arguing that separate schooling emphasises differences and hence, developed alienistic attitudes towards the blind. For the majority, there is therefore need to go beyond separate schooling, for together we are better.
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Keywords: Zimbabwe; education policy; inclusive education; inequality; special needs

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Zimbabwe

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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