Inclusive education for learners with disabilities in Botswana primary schools
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Based on the findings of a qualitative case study, this article describes the experiences of key stakeholders about the inclusion of learners with disabilities in regular schools in the South Central Region of Botswana. Multiple stakeholders, such as school-heads, general education teachers, learners with disabilities, and their peers, from six elementary schools participated in this research. The data collection methods included focus group discussions, school and classroom observations, and document analysis. Findings indicate that most of the teachers preferred to include learners with mild disabling conditions compared with learners with severe to profound disabling conditions. School-heads raised concerns such as inadequate training in special education, lack of resources, and high student–teacher ratio as barriers to successful implementation of inclusive education. In contrast to this, the students’ peers expressed high levels of acceptance of learners with disabilities. This reflects Botswana’s history of diversity and culture incorporating regional ethnic differences. It is a real strength to build on in the movement toward fully inclusive education.