Inclusive Education in South Africa
April 20, 2011
Part 1. Post-Apartheid South Africa- Why people want to make sure that minorities, like people with disabilities are not being denied the opportunity for education.
Harris, A., Chrispeels, J. ed. Fleisch, B. (2006). Improving Schools and Education Systems; International Perspectives. Education District Development in South Africa. Routledge Publishing. New York, NY.
This book focuses on what is happening as South Africa experiments with different education models in a continuation of its post-apartheid phase. I was most interested in the section written by Fleisch called A new direction for school improvement? The chapter debates how effective the inclusion model has been in South Africa.
Bond, P. (2001). Against Global Apartheid; South Africa Meets the World Bank, IMF and International Finance. UCT Press, Lansdowne, South Africa.
This book talks about the strong feelings in South Africa about its inclusion educational policy, even despite strong critics speaking out against the inefficiency of the policy. South Africa is very concerned about making sure that there are no groups of children that are being left out of the educational process because of discrimination. This book, while only briefly, talks about the legacy that both the apartheid system and heavy handed aid organizations left on the South African school system and why inclusion is so attractive to them.
Engelbrecht, P. (2006). The Implementation of Inclusive Education in South Africa after ten years of Democracy. European Journal of Psychology of Education, Volume XXI, Issue 3, pages 253-264. Retrieved April 2011 from:
In this article, Engelbrecht is linking South Africa's determination to create a fair and equal environment with inclusive education. She thinks that the challenges of changing the educational system have been over looked by people's focus on the appearance of equality. No one wants to be the person that denies anyone else the change at an education.
Hay, J., Beyers, C. (2000). Apartheid's Contribution to South African Inclusive Education Policy. International Special Education Congress. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This website talks about the different reasons why South Africa has chosen to invest in inclusive education. It is important to understand why some countries are choosing this system because it can give us insight into which developing counties might choose this strategy and what the results might be for children with disabilities.
Part 2. What is inclusive education?
Inclusion International (2011). Building a strategic plan for the UNCRPD. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://www.inclusion-international.org/.
Inclusion International is an organization that held their second regional forum in South Africa in March 2011. Inclusion International built a strategic plan that has been approved by the UNCRPD for inclusive education, legal capacity, living in the community and the role of families.
Independent Living Institute (2011). Integrated National Disability Strategy, White Paper: disability strategy. Office of the Presidency. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This document has a loose definition of inclusion. I am interested in how the national disability strategy incorporated the idea of inclusion. The White Paper, as it addresses disability, is seen as one of the main foundations of the inclusion education model in South Africa, and is contains recommendations from the South Africa Council on Disability (SAFCD).
Michell, D. ed. (2005). Contextualizing Inclusive Education; evaluating old and new international perspectives. Routledge; Taylor & Francis Group. New York, NY.
This book is dedicated to spelling out what international inclusive education really means. Through experiences working with UNESCO and realizing that inclusive education was becoming an ever more popular buzz word, this book was created to end confusion between what inclusion means from a western sense as well as other perspectives.
Zajda, J. (2005). International Handbook on Globalization, Education, and Policy Research. Springer Publishers, The Netherlands.
This book provides an overview of trends and in education around the world. For this resource file, I was most interested in: globalism, cultural diversity and multiculturalism, the new
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partnership for Africa development, and globalization, education reforms and policy changes in Africa. This book provides a way to see how inclusion policy fits into different countries in Africa who are experimenting with different education models.
The World Bank. (2010). The Bulgarian Social Inclusion Project officially was Launched Today. Retrieved December 2010 from: http://www.worldbank.bg/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/ECAE XT/BULGARIA.
There are different kinds of inclusive education. While I was focusing on the inclusion of people with disabilities, I was interested to see that the phrase inclusion is also used in a social context. In this document, the World Bank is trying to incorporate people of Roma descent, but they extend their project goal to incorporate the inclusion of children with disabilities as well. However, in the World Bank has a data base for inclusion based teaching resources, they deal with the inclusion of children with disability rather than social inclusion.
Inclusive Education (2001). The Education White Paper 6 on special needs education; Building an inclusive educational training system. South Africa. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://curriculum.wcape.school.za/site/40/page/view/ .
This website has information about the policy decisions that are relevant to the current educational system. It also defines inclusive education as "extending the scope of ordinary schools so that they can include a greater diversity of children" (Inclusive Education, 2001).
Kids together, Inc. (2011). What is Inclusion? Retrieved April 2011 from:
I find that resources designed to explain concepts to kids are often overlooked as effective ways to explain big or complicated ideas. This organization says in very simple terms what inclusion means. It also has a lot of helpful links to get a picture of what inclusion might look like. It says that "inclusion is being a part of what everyone else is, and being welcomed and embraced as a member who belongs" (Kids together, 2011)
The World Bank (2004). Teacher Training on Inclusive Education Data Base. Disabilities and Development. Retrieved April 2011 from:
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTSOCIALPROTECTION/ EXTDISABILITY/0,,contentMDK:22197866~menuPK:6522289~pagePK:210058~piPK :210062~theSitePK:282699,00.html.
This website is a data base run by the World Bank that holds a collection of teacher training modules, and program materials for inclusive education. This is an important resource regarding the type of assistance that South Africa is receiving from its development partners. Many of the materials in this data base are available in Afrikaans and are targeted toward African countries.
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Part 3. What inclusion looks like in South Africa.
National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA) (2011). ESC Press Release. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This organization encourages the integration of people with physical disabilities into the community. This is the kind of organization that should be involved with developing inclusion approaches in schools for children with disabilities, but they do not mention the inclusion education model and how that is affecting people with disabilities in their country. I thought it was striking that many disabilities organizations were not focused on the major change in educational approaches for people with disabilities. It made me think of the nothing for us without us slogan.
National Accessibility Program (2011). Project overview. South Africa. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://www.napsa.org.za/ .
This is an organization that is concerned that people with disabilities are marginalized from society and they are working to improve communication through technology for people with disabilities. They use the word inclusive in their materials. Many of the DPOs are using this word but they are not defining what they mean by it or what actions they want to see change from it. This is interesting to me because inclusion is a buzz word in South Africa, but many of the DPOs don't link it with education.
Walton, E. (2006). The extent and practice of inclusion in different schools in South Africa.
University of South Africa. Retrieved from:
This is a paper written about the ISASA's (Independent Association of Southern Africa) inclusion practices with regard to children with educational barriers. Papers like these are great resources for topic specific information.
Eloff, I., Ebersohn, L. ed. Swart, E. (2004) Keys to Educational Psychology; Key Barriers to Learning and Development. Inclusive Education. UCT Press, Cape Town, South Africa.
This book was interesting because it is one of the few books that I found covering South African Inclusive Education that was actually written by South Africans. The chapter, Inclusive Education looks at what inclusion looks like in South Africa and spends some time defining what inclusion education looks like there.
Lomofsky, L., Lazarus, S. (2001). South Africa: First steps in the development of an inclusive educational system. Cambridge Journal of Education. Volume 31, Issue 2, pages
303-317. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a713657182 .
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This journal tells the story of the start of the South African inclusion education policy in 1994. The policy was first pushed forward as a non-racial system where no one would be denied their right to basic education. The article also outlines the introduction of a national curriculum to accommodate both the needs of individual students and the needs of the educational system that is responsible for providing a quality education for a very diverse group of children.
Briadale Primary School (2011). Linking children around the world. Retrieved April 2011 from:
The Briadale Primary School is a South African private school that claims to practice a form inclusion. It is interesting to see what they think inclusion means, as they are operating within a country that is focusing on that term. They use the term for racial inclusion, rather than the inclusion of people with disabilities. This is a bizarre school website, but it was interesting to see that while this school did not use the word inclusion in the same way that public schools are in South Africa, the school still felt that it was an important word to advertise itself.
SouthAfrica.info (2011). Education in South Africa. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This is a website that outlines the South African educational system, specifically the levels of education and qualifications. I added this because most of the other resources in this file are about the policy of inclusion education in South Africa, but this website shows what the structure of the South African school system looks like.
Tyobeka. P (2006). Introducing Inclusive Education in South Africa, Challenges and Triumphs. World Congress of Inclusion International. Retrieved April 2011 from:
Tybeka has set out a good overview of the best of South African special education. There is a breakdown of how some different children with disabilities are having their special needs met, but only outside of the inclusion model. There are some featured pictures of students and classrooms. He has also lays out some strategies that South Africa is using. This is another side of education for people with disabilities in South Africa.
Republic of South Africa (2011). Home; Department of Basic Education. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This is the Department of Basic Education's website, which is like primary school. They have information about inclusive education and also about their curriculum, but it is not very extensive. While inclusive education has been around since the mid to late 90's in South Africa, the philosophy is not prominent on the website.
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Education for All (EFA) (2008). Country Report: South Africa. Department of Education, Republic of South Africa. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This document is a report done by the Department of Education in South Africa to show its progress (as of 2008) on the Education for All goals, which were established at an international convention in 1990. This report talks about the right of all children to have access to quality education. Education for All helped South Africa to develop its inclusion policy.
Pichegru, L.(2011). Renewing the Promise of education for all. (IPS) Inter Press Service News Agency. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=51821 .
This article briefly talks about how many children do not get to attend school, even in relatively stable countries like Kenya. I thought that this was an interesting article because it brought up the point that whatever the educational philosophy might be in South Africa, there are still plenty of children that are not in attendance in the first place. When we talk about inclusion, it is not only the quality of education for the students, but what steps have been taken to ensure that children with disabilities are able to attend school.
Part 4. Pro inclusion.
Georgetown University (2011). Global Education and Literacy Initiative; Inclusive Education. Center for Child and Human Development. Retrieved April 2011 from:
While there are a lot of critics out there debating the effectiveness of inclusive educations, there are still some big names that support it. Many big universities/ academics in the west are supporting the inclusion model.
Mutepfa, M., Mpofu, E., Chataika, T (2007). Inclusion Education in Zimbabwe; Policy, Practice, Family and Teacher Education Issues. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This article shows that Zimbabwe, a neighbor of South Africa, was also investing in the idea of inclusive educational strategies. It is interesting that at least two countries in that region feel that the inclusion model fits their educational philosophy so well. While I acknowledge reliable data about the state of Zimbabwean schools in the recent past have not been strong, this article is just talking about their declaration of intent. This goes back to the question of what circumstances are necessary in a country for a change in policy direction to occur.
Noren, L. ed. (2008). Building an Inclusive Education and Training System in South Africa.
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Department of Special Education, Stockholm University. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://www.specped.su.se/pub/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=11806&a=50425 .
Stockholm University is one of South Africa's partners in the development of inclusive education by assisting in the implementation of the White Paper 6: Building on Inclusive education and training system in South Africa. They have carried out coordination efforts, trainings, research projects and staff exchanges since 2003.
Part 5. Inclusion Challenges.
Engelbrecht, P. (2004). Changing roles for educational psychologists within inclusive education in South Africa. School of Psychology International, Sage Journals Online. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://spi.sagepub.com/content/25/1/20.abstract .
This article talks about how schools in South Africa are transitioning to an inclusive model and that they are using the medical model. This article also talks about the new demands on school psychologists and how the legacy of Apartheid is effecting how inclusion is practiced. While not truly anti inclusion, the author is concerned that there are not enough resources for the schools and staff to implement inclusion effectively.
Elewke, C., Rodda, M. (2002). The challenge of enhancing inclusive education in developing countries. International Journal of Inclusive Education. Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages
113-126. Retrieved April 2011 from: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a713813792 .
This article is about how there are a disproportionate amount of children with disabilities in the developing world. As most of them do not receive any rehabilitation services outside of school, the authors were hoping to have the inclusion education model would offer children with disabilities health services. However, they are finding that this idea has not worked in practice as most inclusion schools suffer from chronic budge shortages, under trained staff etc. and have trouble meeting the diverse needs of their students.
Sayed, Y., Soudien, C. (2005). Decentralization and the construction of inclusion education policy in South Africa. Compare: A journal of comparative and international education. Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 115-125. Retrieved April 2011 from:
This article is based on a 2 year research project that took place in 3 South African provinces to see how the decentralized inclusion policy was working. It found that the program was in large not a success and that children with disabilities remained excluded from their fellow students.
Subrahmanian, R., Sayed, Y., Balagopalan, S., Soudein, C. (2003). Education Inclusion and Exclusion: Indian and South African Perspectives. UNESCO-UNEVOC. Retrieved April
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2011 from: http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/pubscoll.php?akt=id&st=&id=3227&lg=en .
This website is a short article that argues that the reason that people have had trouble both defining inclusive education and making it work is because the underlying issues that make inclusive educational systems important, such as discrimination and exclusion are not being dealt with in a meaningful way through policy.