Original Research - Special Collection: Disability Unplugged

Local knowledge in inclusive education policies in Africa: informing sustainable outcomes

Chioma O. Ohajunwa
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a941 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.941 | © 2022 Chioma O. Ohajunwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 September 2021 | Published: 31 January 2022

About the author(s)

Chioma O. Ohajunwa, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


Background: This article presents on the outcomes of a study that focused on an analysis of inclusive education (IE) policies in South Africa, Ghana and Uganda. Persons with disabilities live within communities and are raised by the values that apply within their communal context. Policymaking is intricately linked to policy implementation, and the inclusion of local knowledge strengthens policy influence, impacting on implementation processes.

Objectives: This research study explored the definition and foci of inclusion, whether local knowledge is included and how it is represented within the national inclusive education policy in South Africa, Ghana and Uganda. This study reports on the outcomes of the second objective on inclusion of local knowledge.

Method: A qualitative, critical, interpretative and constructivist approach was utilised for the study. Data were gathered through a desktop review and in-depth, individual interviews.

Results: There is inclusion of some local knowledge within the national policies; however, this is minimal and insufficient. Participants argue that even when it is included, it is often embedded or implied, that local knowledge should be made more prominent within inclusive education policies as local knowledge is a community resource that supports policy implementation.

Conclusion: The inclusion of local community knowledge and ways of knowing within inclusive education policies is viewed as a critical and an integral aspect of policymaking. It will help to address the challenges of stigma and negative attitudes, promoting a continuity of knowledge that supports local values and well-being of children with disabilities and their communities.


inclusive education; Africa; local knowledge; policy; community; inclusion; schooling; sustainable Community; Inclusion; Schooling; Sustainable


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Crossref Citations

1. Disability unplugged: What really matters to people with disabilities?
Chioma Ohajunwa, Callista Kahonde, Arne H. Eide, Lieketseng Ned
African Journal of Disability  vol: 11  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/ajod.v11i0.1172