Original Research

‘I might be lucky and go back to school’: Factors affecting inclusion in education for children with disabilities in rural Malawi

Lena M. Banks, Xanthe Hunt, Khumbo Kalua, Providence Nindi, Maria Zuurmond, Tom Shakespeare
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a981 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.981 | © 2022 Lena M. Banks, Xanthe Hunt, Khumbo Kalua, Providence Nindi, Maria Zuurmond, Tom Shakespeare | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2021 | Published: 14 November 2022

About the author(s)

Lena M. Banks, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Xanthe Hunt, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Institute for Life Course Health Research, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa
Khumbo Kalua, Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, Blantyre Institute for Community Outreach (BICO), Blantyre, Malawi
Providence Nindi, Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, Blantyre Institute for Community Outreach (BICO), Blantyre, Malawi
Maria Zuurmond, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Tom Shakespeare, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Globally, children with disabilities are often excluded from and within schools.

Objectives: This study explored experiences of inclusion in education amongst children with disabilities in Malawi. The enquiry focused on the perspectives of children and their caregivers on barriers and enablers of inclusion.

Method: Data were gathered through in-depth interviews with 37 children with disabilities, 61 caregivers and 13 teachers from Ntcheu and Mangochi districts and analysed thematically using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health as a framework.

Results: Overall, this research study found that children with disabilities face persistent and systemic barriers to attending, progressing and learning in school.

Conclusion: School outcomes were influenced by a range of impairment-related, personal and environmental factors, including poor health, household poverty, attitudes of caregivers, teachers, peers and children themselves and school resources for inclusive education.

Contribution: These findings carry implications for policy and planning in inclusive education and other services to support the health and well-being of children with disabilities in Malawi.


Keywords

inclusive education; Malawi; exclusion; disability; school.

Metrics

Total abstract views: 323
Total article views: 149


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.