Implementing inclusive education in Namibian primary schools: from policies to practice
|Author:||Martinez Madrid, Diego1|
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education, Educational Sciences
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201506061809
D. Martinez Madrid,
|Publish Date:|| 2015-06-08
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
This study set out to explore the issues of inclusive education in primary education in Namibia. The specific research questions were:
1. How does Namibia address the issue of inclusive education in its educational policies and practices?
2. What are the main successes and challenges in the implementation of inclusive policies?
The research is a qualitative study and the data consists of the analysis of current Namibian policy documents related to inclusive education and interviews of seven Namibian experts in the field of education. The data was analysed by applying content analysis approach. The theoretical framework consists of theories of inclusion and inclusive education as well as the concepts and aims of Education for All global approach.
The findings show that Namibia has made relevant progress in universal access to education with the percentage of 99,6% in 2012. This is particularly significant taking into account the legacy of Apartheid, which ended after Namibia gained independence only twenty-five years ago. Another area of success is gender equality, which interviewees reported to have been achieved with the exception of two regions. At the moment it seems that more attention needs to be paid to boys, as girls seem to do better in school and stay in school longer than boys.
Quality of education is a source of much concern in Namibia. The diversity of languages and ethnic groups as well as life circumstances makes it challenging to organize inclusive relevant education for all. The language of instruction is a debated topic and forms a different challenge in urban and rural areas. There is also a shortage of qualified teachers and relevant, culture-sensitive teaching materials in all the local languages. In principle education is free of charge but some other expenses cause difficulties for children from poor backgrounds. HIV has had dramatic effects on society increasing the number of orphans and children who are responsible for their younger siblings, which has an effect on school performance. Community involvement was emphasizes as a condition to increase inclusion.
Namibian educational policies demonstrate commitment to educational development with a special concern regarding inclusive education. However, there are gaps between policy and its implementation. Interviews emphasised that efficient policy guidance and monitoring is needed to identify the bottlenecks in implementation and to plan concrete actions to develop inclusive education further.
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