EXCLUSION IN INCLUSION: EXPERIENCES OF LEARNERS WITH ALBINISM IN SELECTED MAINSTREAM AND SPECIAL SCHOOLS IN ZAMBIA

Thomas Mtonga, Esther Lungu, Kalisto Kalimaposo, Joseph Mandyata

Abstract


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.

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Keywords


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

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References


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

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