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Teachers’ and Parents’ Perspectives on Inclusive Education for Children with Spina Bifida in Uganda

Introduction: Despite all the policies in place implementation of inclusive education remains limited at grass root level in Uganda. This paper explores accessibility and inclusion of children with spina bifida in primary schools with parents and teachers.

Method: Qualitative semi structured interviews and school observations were combined and conducted with 63 parents and 30 teachers in Uganda’s central region. The Index of Inclusion was used as a guide in the interviews with parents, students, and teachers, and the Trip Chain concept and drawings of the Ugandan Accessibility Standards were used to measure accessibility.

Findings: Children with spina bifida with poor physical and cognitive functioning from families with a low household income were less likely to be in school compared to children with better functioning scores and a higher household income. Physical accessibility to schools for children with spina bifida is very limited. Classroom participation is affected by lack of space, materials, knowledge and experience of teachers to use diversified teaching methods. Education performance is rated lower by teachers than parents. Inclusive policies to include the children and prevent bullying are in place but lack implementation.

Conclusion: To achieve inclusive education for children with spina bifida, awareness rising to reduce discrimination, training and on job mentoring to support teachers and schools, and earmarking funds for inclusiveness in schools for children with disabilities is required.


Femke Bannink Richard Idro and Geert van Hove

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