Exploring experiences and practices of teachers in the implementation of inclusive education : a case of one full-service school in the uMgungundlovu District.
Hoosen, Zaheera Bibi.
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After the first democratic elections in 1994 the South African Government was faced with many challenges within the Education System. The Government committed itself to the principles of an Inclusive Education approach in order to provide equal education for all learners. The focus of IE is to provide education for all learners. Despite the international shift to IE, fundamental tensions and contradictions exist in most countries between stated policy and actual practice. Implementing IE policy involves not only redefining teaching practices, but requiring teachers to develop an alternative sense of themselves, not only professionally but as individuals. Full-service schools were then developed by the South African Government to provide quality education to all learners via flexibility to meet the full range of learning needs. Full-service schools are institutions that strive to transform themselves – proactively addressing barriers to learning and increasing learner participation and teachers in the learning process. The study is aimed at adding value to the domain of IE, especially to the understandings of the IE policy, implementation and intervention strategies thereof especially in the Intermediate and Senior Phases. Data was gathered by the use of semi-structured interviews and document analysis. The case study was conducted in one Full-service school in the uMgungundlovu district. The importance of having chosen the Full-service school was to gain understanding of how IE is implemented and if there are any differences in the teaching methodologies or implementation of the curriculum. Findings highlighted that even though there were successes in the implementation of Inclusive Education in this school, there were still a number of challenges that the school and teachers still experience. Recommendations included the availability of resources by providing and accommodating learners with special education needs with the relevant resources, involvement of all stake holders in education in the relevant sectors and adequate training of primary school teachers in Inclusive Education.