Botswana primary schools teachers' perception of inclusion of learners with special educational needs

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of primary teachers towards inclusive education in the South Central regions of Botswana. The research employed a descriptive survey design that used both qualitative and quantitative research methodology. Two hundred and seventy-three primary teachers were drawn from a sample size of 2950 teachers and 165 schools. Multistage proportionate stratified sampling was utilised to select teachers from these three different locations: urban, semi-urban and rural. A questionnaire that contained both open-ended and closed items was designed to explore Botswana primary teachers' attitude, knowledge and skills and their views of the perceived benefits of inclusion of learners with disabilities in regular classrooms. The findings of this study indicate that although most of the teachers were positive towards the concept of inclusive education they did not have a favourable attitude towards the inclusion of learners with special educational needs (SENs) in their classrooms due to the lack of essential knowledge and skills in inclusive education. Nonetheless, this study also, shows that pre-service training has a positive impact on the attitude of teachers towards the inclusion of learners with SENs. Based on the results of this study, the researcher suggests that the Ministry of Education and Skill Developments of Botswana (MoESD) must sponsor more students for pre-service training and or upgrade the professional qualification of the teachers in special education for them to be able to address the learning needs of learners with SENs.

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