Thomas Mtonga, Esther Lungu, Kalisto Kalimaposo, Joseph Mandyata


Albinism is an inherited skin pigmentation condition which affects all races in the world. However, the condition is more conspicuous among the black population because of the absence of pigmentation which leads to some whitish appearance. This condition also leads to multiple disabling experiences to the individuals with albinism. The overriding aim of the study was to establish the learning experiences of learners with albinism in both regular and special schools. The study was located within an interpretive qualitative paradigm and used a phenomenology research design. The Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to explore in detail how participants made sense of their personal and social world with regard to learners with albinism in regular and special schools. The researchers conducted one-on-one interviews with the participants and content – analyzed the data. Parents of learners with albinism, teachers, school administrators and learners with albinism participated in interviews. The findings revealed that in regular schools’ learners with albinism tended to exclude themselves from other learners so as to avoid discrimination and stereotypes surrounding their condition. The findings also confirmed the existence of myths and stereotypes regarding albinism. The findings further revealed that teachers in regular schools were not patient with learners with albinism and did not give them extra attention and that some teachers used negative comments and did not want learners with albinism in their classes. It was observed that the majority of learners with albinism felt more secure in special schools rather than regular schools. Parents of children with albinism supported the idea of learners with albinism learning in special schools where the learning environment was conducive for them. The study recommended inter alia that government through the Ministry of Education should enhance teacher education programmes by providing requisite knowledge and skills to trainee and serving teachers on handling learners with albinism and other disabilities. School administrators, teachers, learners and the community should raise sensitization and awareness campaigns on disability issues.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


albinism, special schools, regular schools, special needs, disability

Full Text:



Baker, C., Lund, P., Nyathi, R. And Taylor, J. (2010). The Myths Surrounding People with Albinism in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Journal of African Cultural Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2 Pp. 169-181 http://www.jstor.org/stable/41428130, Accessed: 24-01-2018 14:52.

Bandui, M. (2016). Albinism–Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Facts, Pictures. http://byebyedoctor.com/albinism/.

Benyah, F. (2017). Equally able, differently looking: Discrimination and physical violence against persons with albinism in Ghana. Journal for the study of religion. 30,1 pp. 161-188.

Bhengu, M. J. (2006). Ubuntu: The global philosophy for mankind. Cape Town: Lotsha Publications.

Braathen, S. H. & Ingstad, B. (2006). Albinism in Malawi: Knowledge and Beliefs from an African Setting. Disability & Society, 21 (6), 599-611. Doi: 10.1080/09687590600918081.

Bradleyj, K. (2014). Albinism and Its Implications with Vision. Journal of The American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses. Pp.12-23.

Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Upper Saddle, NJ. Prentice Hall.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: qualitative quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA. SAGE.

Dart, G. Nkanotsang, T., Chizwe, O and Kowa, L (2010). Albinism in Botswana junior secondary schools – a double case study. British Journal of Special Education. Volume 37. Number 2. Pp. 77-86.

Gaigher, R. J., Lund, P. M. Makuya, E. (2002). A Sociological Study of Children with Albinism at A Special School in The Limpopo Province. Curationis 25: 4-11. /63 (Jan. 18, 2016).

Hall, S. (2017). The difference between structure and semi-structured interviews in qualitative research. Viewed 20th May, 2020 from https://bizfluent.com/info-12050751-difference-between-structured-semi-structured.

Kabwe, A. & Mandyata, J. (2020). Social experiences of Pupils with Low Vision in Selected Regular Secondary Schools of Lusaka and Mbala District, Zambia. European Journal of Special Education Research, 5(4), 128-146

Lund, P. M., & Lynch, P. (2012). Promoting the Educational Inclusion of Children with Albinism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Malawi. Commonwealth Education Partnerships, 13, 18 http://www.sightsavers.net/in_depth/research/publications_and_reports/

Lund, P. M. & Gaigher, R. (2002). A health intervention programme for students with albinism, University of Venda, South Africa, viewed 10 September 2020, from http://www.saassap.co.za/dl/userfile/documents.

Lund, P. (2000). Educating Children with Albinism in South Africa. Progress in Education 9: 99-113.

Lund, P. (2001). Health and Education of Children with Albinism in Zimbabwe. Health Education Research: Theory and Practice16, No. 1: 1-7.

Lund, P. M. and Gaigher, R. (2002). A Health Intervention Programme for Children with Albinism at a Special School in South Africa. Health Education Research, 17, 365-372.

Lynn, H. P. (2000). A dyslexic child in the classroom. Dyslexia Davis Association International, viewed 24th September 2020, from www.dyslexia.com

Mandyata, J. & Kamukwamba, K. L. (2018). Stakeholders’ Views on Use of Sign Language Alone as a Medium of Instruction for Hearing Impaired in Zambian Primary Schools. International Journal of Special Education. 33(1), 62-76.

Mtonga, T. (2015). A Critical Evaluation of the Implementation of Article 24 of the CRPD in Zambia: A Mockery of Human Rights. Leeds: University of Leeds (Unpublished LLM International Human Rights Law Dissertation).

Mtonga, T. Chipili, T. C. (2016). Access to Education by Learners with Albinism in Zambia: A Case of Selected Schools. Pretoria: Disability Rights Conference Proceedings.

Mweli, P. and Kalenga, C. R. (2009). Exploring learners’ experiences of inclusive education: the voice of the voiceless. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263534912_Exploring_Learners'_Experiences_of_Inclusive_Education_The_Voice_of_the_Voiceless.

Ndomondo, E. (2015). Educating children with albinism in Tanzanian regular secondary schools: Challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Education and Research. Vol. 3. No.6 June. Pp. 389-400.

Nasr, S. L. (2010). How albinism works, viewed 07 March 2020, from http://www.Health.Howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/medical/albinism.htm/printable.

Ntinda, R. N. (2008). Customary practices and children with albinism in Namibia: A constitutional challenge? Children’s rights in Namibia. http://en.afrk.com/article13487.html. Viewed 20 October 2020.

Phatoli, R., Bila, N. & Ross, E. (2015). Being black in a white skin: Beliefs and stereotypes around albinism at a South African University, African Journal of Disability 4 (1), pp. Art. #106, 10pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/AJOD.V4I1.106.

Stine, S. B. & Ingstad, B. (2006). Albinism in Malawi Knowledge and Beliefs from an African Setting, Disability & Society. Journal of Disability 21:6, 599.

Taylor, J., & Lund, P. M. (2008). Experiences of A feasibility study of children with Albinism in Zimbabwe: A Discussion Paper. International Journal of Nursing Studies 45, No. 8: 1247-56.

Thompson, L. S. (2013). Dyslexia: An investigation of teacher awareness in mainstream high schools in the Western Cape, University of South Africa, Pretoria.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejse.v7i1.3638

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).