Vol. 5, Issue 6 (2018)
Analysis of Teachers’ Perception towards the Inclusion of Learners with Physical Disabilities in Physical Education: A Case of Selected Primary Schools of Chipata District in the Eastern Province of Zambia
Author(s): David Charles Zimba, Judith Nakamba
Abstract: This article is an extract of one of the objectives from the study that investigated teachers’ perception towards the inclusion of learners with physical disabilities in primary school physical education. The study objectives were: 1. To examine the attitude of teachers on the inclusion of learners with physical disabilities in primary school physical education. 2. To establish the challenges of inclusion of learners with physical disabilities in primary school Physical Education. 3. To ascertain coping strategies and measures to improve inclusion of learners with physical disabilities in primary school Physical Education. The total sample size was fifty comprising of twenty teachers and five pupils selected through simple random sampling and twenty five key informants who included twenty head teachers and five officials from Chipata District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS) office identified as DEBS, DESO, ESO GI, ESO SPE and SHRO who were purposively selected. The study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches and data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and observation schedules. Qualitative data were analyzed and presented thematically, while quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) and presented in form of figures and tables. The findings of the research were that teachers held positive perceptions towards the inclusion of learners with physical disabilities in primary school physical education. However, there were numerous challenges to the inclusion of learners with physical disabilities in most primary schools which hampered its successful implementation. The findings revealed the following challenges: Lack of special equipment for learners with physical disabilities (LWPD), lack of in-service training for physical education teachers, lack of specific knowledge and intervention strategies on the nature of physical disability (PD), lack of collaboration between the school and parents or poor communication, home or social issues, long distance to school, lack of consistent formal planning for the students with physical disability on the part of teachers, high enrolment rates, low staffing levels and finally inadequate, dilapidated and unsuitable infrastructure for learners with physical disabilities. In order to overcome these challenges, the study made the following recommendations; 1. Government to train and recruit more special physical education teachers. 2. The government would consider integrating inclusive education in all primary teacher education programs. 3. The schools to conduct parental awareness on the importance of physical education to people with physical disabilities. 4. The government should provide financial and material support for inclusive education to primary schools. 5. Provide suitable special equipment and infrastructure to all primary schools.