Challenging Inclusive Education Policy and Practice in Africa


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It is a fundamental right for all children to be given access to quality education to ensure they reach their full potential as individuals; a right which is reflected in international law in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and supported by the Education for All Agenda (1990) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and Optional Protocol (2006). Nation states across Africa have signed up to these protocols and remain committed to ensuring education for all children. The progress globally however in the past 25 years, including in Africa, has been slow (UNESCO, 2015). Questions remain on why this is so and what can be done about it. This book brings together researchers, education policy makers and academics from the African community. What is unique about this text is that it includes local insights narrated and critiqued by local professionals. This book presents a wide range of African countries across the continent, to provide a critical overview of the key issues affecting developments. It questions the origins of ideas and definitions around inclusive education and the impact it has made on policy and ultimately practice, within local socio-cultural and economic communities, both urban and rural. It highlights positive developments as well as challenges and provides a deep understanding of why the process of implementing inclusive education is so complex in the African continent. It provides an understanding of what is needed to develop a more sustainable model of inclusive education across the continent and within specific countries.

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Sulochini Pather, PhD (2004), Nazarbayev University, is a Full Professor of Inclusive Education at that university. She has published monographs and many articles on Inclusive Education in Africa and elsewhere, including an introductory chapter for the Africa section of the Second International Handbook of Urban Education (Pink and Noblit, 2017).

Roger Slee, PhD (1994), University of South Australia, is the Vice Chancellor’s “Crossing the Horizons” Professor of Education. Founding Editor of the International Journal of Inclusive Education, he was a Deputy Director-General of Education in Australia and Chair of Inclusive Education (Institute of Education – UCL).
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Exploring Inclusive Education and ‘Inclusion’ in the African Context
Sulochini Pather and Roger Slee

1 Challenging Inclusive Education Policy and Practice in Libya
Abdelbasit Gadour
2 Strides and Strains in Including Children with Disabilities in Rwandan Education: Critical Reflections on Disability, Policies and Practice in Education Developments
Evariste Karangwa
3 Towards Inclusive Education Development: Addressing the Gap between Rhetoric and Practice in Zanzibar Schools
Said Juma
4 Inclusive Education Policy and Practice in Ghana: Air Castle or Realistic Goal?
William Nketsia
5 In Search of an Inclusive Pedagogy in South Africa
Sigamoney Manicka Naicker and Sindiswa Stofile
6 Special and Inclusive Education Policy and Practice in Kenya, 1963 to 2016: The Journey
Martin Mwongela Kavua
7 In-Service Tutor Development in Support of Inclusive Education: Lessons from Partnerships between University and Organizations
Lawrence Eron
8 Inclusive Education Policy Implementation in Swaziland: A Critical Reflection on Developments Since 2011
Cebsile P. Nxumalo
9 Challenges of Implementing Inclusive Education and Supporting Marginalized Groups in Ethiopia
Ali Side
This book will be a useful reference for students of education, development and globalisation studies and education policy studies alike, as well for policymakers, practitioners, researchers and others involved in developing Inclusive Education policy and practice in Africa.
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