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A Scoping Review of Inclusive Education for Disability in African Countries

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A Scoping Review of Inclusive Education for Disability in African Countries:

Case of Nigeria


Education disparities are a global concern, especially in the third world African nations Such as Nigeria. Research studies have confirmed the many types of disparities associated with gender, disability, and poverty observed in schools generally, and taken steps towards careers particularly. Study findings suggested that girls’ enrollment in educational institutions is low, and this ratio is even lower in girls with disabilities. This seems to have significant ramifications for the country's progress. Employment, gender, poverty situation, and geographical variances all have an impact on children's school attendance. This is a literature review paper focusing on a policy analysis of secondary information out of a scoping review to show how intersectionality created problems in inclusive education and how intersectionality can positively play its role in bringing inclusive education for children with disabilities to schools and getting the same education as the other typically developing children. Predicated on the analytical synthesis, discussions on possible solutions for inclusive education in African countries are undertaken, and recommendations are made for delivering education to the doorsteps of Nigerian students with disabilities, especially girls.

A Scoping Review of Inclusive Education for Disability in African Countries:

Case of Nigeria

Knowledge is a fundamental right as well as a necessary instrument for promoting justice, progress, and stability. Fair and equitable education helps a person, contributing toward a better equitable connection amongst males and females in the long run, and encouraging sexual equality in education settings results in a robust, skilled, and valuable human resource foundation. "No development plan is better than one that includes women as essential actors," said Kofi Annan, the ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations. It provides instant advantages in terms of food, healthcare, money, and development at the household, neighborhood, and, eventually, national levels. In addition, the importance of education in the third-world nations is critical since millions of impoverished students lack access to almost any or limited education that would enable them to achieve their full capabilities in life. This might be due to a variety of factors (Carnoy & Samoff, 2014). For example, essential and vital aspects of a child's education are lacking, such as the lack of a teacher or inexperienced teachers.

Second, overcrowding in classrooms, as well as poverty or any type of mental or physical handicap and incompetency of the government of such countries to cope with such situations. The failure of the government to cope with situations could also be because of the presence of intersectionality elements in the society of such countries (Jayawardena, 2016). Factors such as disability, gender or sexual orientation, race, social status, and ethnicity, not only make a child’s life miserable but also cause their right to seek education in these third world countries taken away or compromised. A third-world country that I am especially focusing on in my paper is Nigeria, my motherland. Poverty and gender biases in Nigerian society have badly affected its education system. And on top of that children with disabilities, especially females, were considered exempt or non-eligible to get an education in the past. Men and Women's educational disparities are a worldwide concern, especially in poor nations like Nigeria. Studies have confirmed the male dominance in educational institutions, as well as in careers specifically. Therefore, examining these problems through the lens of Inclusive education is very important for Nigerian society.

Inclusive Education

Inclusive education, or inclusion which is now broadly practiced in the developed world, could be defined as the theory, and conduct of schooling children with disabilities in regular school facilities (Ainscow, M. (2005). The method is based on the idea that each and every child must be treated equitably in the educational ambiance. To put it another way, children with disabilities thrive by studying in a regular classroom, whereas their classmates without impairments benefit by getting introduced to children possessing a wide range of skills, capabilities, and demeanors. The inclusive educational approach has apparent advantages, for example, kids ought to gain interpersonal interactions in a setting that closely resembles natural development as well as advancement settings (Ajuwon, 2008). Youngsters learn language relatively successfully throughout their early years when they are surrounded by children who talk naturally and correctly. Sometimes it is wonderful to see how possibly practically, and procedurally adaptable school community settings allow kids and teenagers with bodily impairments to perform as successfully as they would without. Also, certain changes to the surroundings typically make it easier for people who do not suffer from any impairments to reach their surroundings.

Global/International trends in inclusive education

Since the globe reacts to the immense issues that are evolving because of the epidemic catastrophe, the topic of such a particular challenge became an increasingly bigger international concern. It has highlighted the critical importance of developing educational institutions that incorporate all kids and youth. In this perspective, the goal is not to get back to usual. Instead, this is a chance to establish a modern norm based on insights acquired during the worldwide financial catastrophe (Ydo, 2020). Researchers also state that "many educators and families were already aware of the need to change the school model, but the pandemic revealed the urgency and the possibility of this transformation” (Novoa & Alvim, 2020). As we have seen, several governments and public sector organizations in the Developing World are implementing realistic responses to worldwide patterns in inclusive schooling. Some nations, on the other hand, lack organizational frameworks comparable to those seen in Europe and America, where inclusive education programs originated. Although international human rights accords are vital for stimulating international discourse and acknowledging the presence of an issue, meaningful remedies must be developed on the regional level. State and regional lobbying organizations can help build regionally appropriate inclusive methods for the 21st century by providing support and funding (Schuelka & Johnstone, 2012).

Inclusive education in African countries

As per the reports published by the DEEP, (2020), through legitimizing the Protocol on the disabled children's and adults’ rights states across Sub-Saharan Africa are committed to inclusion. Several countries went even farther, enacting their separate statutes and perhaps constitutions. However, inclusive education is not the sole problem in African countries. There are several other reasons too. Just school enrolment is not enough in these countries, yet their persistence is what is more significant. Analysis by LLC, Encompass, and Center for Inclusive policies (2020) provided the data that, in Africa, overall school enrollment ratios for disabled girls are 10.1 percent less than for girls having no impairments, while 12.8 percent less for disabled boys as compared to boys having no disability. Almost 33.3 percent of people with cognitive difficulties opted to leave out in one of the Kenyan districts. Registration and persistence are frequently hampered by fiscal, physiological, and societal obstacles (Mont et al., 2020). These vary from a dearth of access to infrastructure and resources to prejudice and maltreatment, as well as a shortage of adaptable or diverse instructional approaches. Entrances through stairways and railings are among the most basic and visible adjustments, yet just 8% of academic institutions in Ghana, for instance, used them in the year 2018. In countries like Uganda, Cameroon, Zambia, Senegal, and Ethiopia almost 956 disabled kids examined had experienced at least once in their lifetime incidents of sexual and emotional assault, while those who were abused physically are almost 81.5 percent. When inclusive methods are not integrated, educational performance suffers. Almost 80% of the instructors polled agreed that a dearth of inclusion measures contributes to suspensions. Also, it results in reduced educational performance for others who stay. Hardly one in ten instructors had undergone in-service instruction to encourage inclusion learning, according to an assessment of Eleven nations. About 38.3% of instructors who dealt with students with intellectual challenges had received special requirements in educational instruction, whereas 59.9% had received no professional education on the way to interact with students having any kind of impairments (Mont et al., 2020)

Inclusive education in Nigeria

As per the Nigerian Government, a program named "Special Education" was created to meet the needs of three groups of people: a) Those with visual, physical, auditory, intellectual, behavioral, interpersonal, language, cognitive, and numerous disabilities are classified as disabled. b) The Handicapped, which includes nomadic pastoralists' children, migrant fishermen, farmworkers, and poachers. c) The Talented and Exceptional ones, which include persons (both adults as well as kids) having a high IQ and particular abilities in the crafts, innovation, singing, management, and cognitive sartorial elegance who are not appropriately stretched in ordinary institutions. Moreover, under this program, schooling for kids with special requirements is anticipated to really be accessible at all degrees, as well as the required resources to facilitate easy access to educational institutions, are anticipated to be granted (Fareo, 2020).

Also, with the strategy of including special kids in conventional classes, it is apparent that the education system of Nigeria is undergoing considerable adjustment. Since a crucial preliminary approach to achieving long-term sustainability, all sorts of mystical ideas regarding impairments must be eradicated, as they have always hindered the participation of disabled individuals in school and society. The importance of properly documenting disabled children and teenagers for efficient intervention could not indeed be overstated in this respect (Ajuwon, 2008). Every school administrator must also make the correct placement of competent certified special instructors in the primary school and secondary school settings a major consideration. Such school administrators and legislators should indeed avoid political influences to reach ill-informed judgments concerning special schooling or perhaps even regular educational programs for moral grounds. The government authorities should not just simply recommend global special education policies and procedures which are not yet been thoroughly analyzed or evaluated in underdeveloped nations. Educators, admins, various academic workers, legislators, kids both with and without impairments, as well as their families, must really be aware of the duty of teaching all kids so that everyone may attain their utmost capacity throughout the discussions as well as conversations that will take place. Regarding disabled kids, the ultimate objective ought to be equal accessibility to every available opportunity that will ensure progress in school, career, and social inclusion (Ajuwon, 2008).


Intersectionality is basically the recognition of persecution, biases, and prejudice in society to isolate people based on various elements such as disability, gender or sexual orientation, race, social status, ethnicity, etc. (Gillborn, D. (2015). Intersectionality has also been employed to investigate how children at educational institutions feel privileged, disadvantaged, or perhaps a blend of both of these. It was also evidenced that the thoughts and feelings of Ecuadorian children who migrated to Spain in terms of schooling, race and sex, relocation, and dearth of residency rights, showcasing how systematic racism, shrinking labor business prospects, advertisements, regulations, and welfare institutions pervaded relationships among educators as well as learners, among educators at workplaces, among families and instructors, and among different student groups belonging to different ethnicities necessitating a variety of inclusive approaches (Balsera, 2014). The goal of inclusive schooling is to provide an educational atmosphere in which every child feels secure and comfortable in order to study and grow to their fullest capacity. Initial discussions about inclusion have been concordant with civic equality dialogue, and "advocates sought for students with disabilities the status of any minority group that was widely disenfranchised and discriminated against…" (Ferguson, 2008), to guarantee significant exposure to regular classes. Similarly, inclusiveness is described as "the theory and practice of educating children with disabilities in mainstream education settings," citing a variety of sources (Ajuwon, 2008).

Children with disabilities are increasingly having access to education in both low and middle income countries. However, they are not learning effectively as a result of segregation and social exclusion in the classroom as well as teaching methods that perpetuates inequality. Having segregated schools or classrooms perpetuates the misconceptions that children with disabilities are fundamentally different from their peers who are non-disabled and hence need to be separated or isolated which minimizes the chances of social inclusion. Therefore, in terms of academic achievements for students with disabilities, peer support is a significant resource. Despite the benefits that are associated with inclusive education, evidence shows that students with disabilities are less likely to attend a school or even complete it if they are able to enroll. Those who are able to enroll face an increased probability of undeserved discipline, violence, and bullying. Integrating children with disabilities is vital when it comes to the promotion of child development of their competencies, essential skills, as well as social relationships.

Intersectionality inducing factors

There are multiple factors that directly cause intersectionality, including poverty, gender biases, and disability. Such factors can make a child’s life miserable and their right to seek education in these third world countries is specially taken away or compromised.


Poverty has wreaked havoc on the public's livelihoods in Nigeria, depriving them of even the most basic necessities. Hunger hits deep, determining public belief in Nigeria as well as dictating how they should spend their lives. Nigeria's system was a complete failure as its inhabitants never had a good living and enough work for any of them to survive (Amzat, 2010). Furthermore, the Nigerian administration is beset by dishonesty, which is the basis of the crisis in the nation. The corruption of the state is at the root of just about everything. Inequality is caused by corruption, which results from a poor or uneven allocation of the country's assets and justice. Corruption has buried Nigeria's whole structure under the Dead Sea, making it difficult for the government to function. Regarding education, a link has been discovered involving lack of education and poverty. Poverty directly influences the sort of qualifications that individuals in Nigeria ought to have. The public education system is devastated by poverty. Educational institutes are only a ghost of what they once were (Amzat, 2010).

Gender Biases

Teaching girls is a proven social strategic plan or a lengthy commitment that pays out handsomely. Even though the Government has passed a series of amendments and laws relating to "Universal Basic Education", it is now essential to put these laws into action by transforming primary and secondary schools into training centers with adequate means and staff. To allow every girl to reach her best capacity via equitable right to schooling, these obstacles must be removed. States should implement a strategy of integrating a participatory approach through major policy frameworks, according to the Global Conference on Women, to raise awareness of the underprivileged status of female children. Additionally, via societal information exchange approaches, families must also be educated and aware of the benefits of schooling (Alabi & Alabi, 2014).

Mutual effect of intersectionality inducing elements

It is evident that there are numerous signs of the way impoverishment and impairment interact. Impoverishment and impairment, for example, both can lead to lower educational attainment, according to research (Fareo, 2020). Educational institutions either regular ones or those for special children "frequently do not provide sufficient provision for the unique educational requirements of children with impairments," Slightly earlier impairment, in effect, might lead to reduced educational opportunities. Furthermore, delayed impairment in the context of learning as because of impoverishment implies that a person's education resources never transform into useful capability when they become disabled. Poor education is a contributory factor to impoverishment amongst disabled persons (Groce & Bakhshi, 2011). Mitra and his colleagues, (2011) also claimed that unemployment has a negative effect on schooling as well. Intersectionality is used to illustrate that perhaps the interplay of sexuality, disabilities, racism, and unemployment restricts females’ accessibility to school, leading to subsequent professional marginalization. In many underdeveloped nations, the ratio of employment amongst persons with impairments was less as compared to for quasi persons (Mizunoya & Mitra, 2013). However, deprivation of employment and impoverishment has an influence on such events as well. Loeb and his colleagues found that the unemployment rate is even higher in the eastern boundaries of South Africa. They also discovered employment ratios are considerably different between impaired and quasi working-age persons. Nevertheless, there have been considerable variances mostly in Western Cape, in which the business is better, with the labor force participation rate amongst normal persons nearly twice as compared to the impaired ones.

Intersectionality: problem for inclusive education in African countries

Employing intersectionality with an academic perspective enables the assessment of the concurrent interplay between sexual identity, impairment, background, racial group, and category for any child, and the interaction among such children or collective attributes and organizational feedback to each other organizational (Grant & Zwier, 2011). While Waitoller and Kozleski, (2013) explained in their study that intersectionality can help clarify why some pupils (for example, a migrant student with conduct disorders) experience highly variable tiers of marginalization in academic institutions due to the way academic institutions confront or fail to acknowledge the interplay of their personalities, rather responding to just one facet of pupils' requirements. For example, educational institutions give handicap support to children based on their disabilities, as well as migrant children receive assistance with linguistic acquisition and stressful experiences. Whatever, though, causes a refugee kid with any impairment to go through. This kid would not receive the social assistance required, because these identification indicators are not properly differentiated and the domain of duty is not explicitly established (Walgenbach, 2017). Child's identities and abilities might be subsumed by how they are thought to be diverse, leading to a homogeneous picture of individuals. The perspective by which instructors may promote literacy inside the organizational environments wherein they operate is narrowed by these standard conceptions of pupils, which are incorporated into the pedagogical policy. Consequently, if a child is classified as requiring special assistance in one regard, other parts of the kid's requirements may be missed. Grant & Zwier, (2011) states that intersectionality can be very valuable in this situation. It proposes a multi-strategy to "more completely resolve concerns" of demand, fairness, and equality in current institutions by analyzing and conceptualizing instructional problems. Some academics believe that inclusive education requires a multi-dimensional paradigm. Similarly, many researchers explained the immediate need for intersectionality as described by Slee, (2001) "the discussion across intersections of class, race, gender, and disability reminds us both of the specificity and the general applications of claims for inclusive education" It is important to recognize that inclusive education is indeed a lengthy but slow process aimed at developing efficient solutions to prevent marginalization in an increasingly varied setting.

Ainscow, (2005) stated that in order to combat marginalization and adapt constructively to heterogeneity, inclusiveness is a notion that is invariably changing. As per the ebb & flow group, intersectionality, too, must always be considered continuously since it is always evolving in accordance with fresh advances and multidimensional socio-economic imbalances throughout time. It is a dynamic process that is always evolving in reaction to a united oppressive system. Intersectionality should be employed in relation to comprehensive inclusive schooling to underline the idea that pupils that are disadvantaged and biased typically face numerous types of banishment and stigmatization, not just on the interpersonal basis, but as well as on the institutional threshold. On the other hand, according to Hancock, (2007), such impacts produce the societal and academic inequality that inclusivity advocates aspire to eliminate, but rather find themselves locked in since they lack understanding of the overlapping character of such consequences while defining and implementing the educational system. When investigators combine such ideas, intersectionality aids in identifying prejudice and exclusionary practices, whereas inclusiveness aids in addressing such issues and creating the utmost effective educational environment conceivable for any and all children. The premise that the classifications employed for personal qualities such as identification identifiers are socially created is crucial to bridging intersectional and inclusiveness. Gillborn, (2015) says that these classifications generate divisions among people, that society perpetuates and reinforces. Social disparities are created and perpetuated through the connections and sociological domains of organizations, rather than being pre-existing and fundamental. Social terms like "migrant" and "refugee" are immutable trait inventions that are employed to legitimize, justify, and preserve a community's sociological structure.

United Nations’ role to eradicate impoverishment

The UN Millennium Conference approved 8 MDGs in the year 2000, with the deadline year of 2015 to accomplish them. Few of the very first objectives, eradicating severe hunger and poverty as well as achieving universal basic literacy, were intertwined. Poverty reduces the possibilities of acquiring any schooling, although education is also among the primary strategies for overcoming poverty. It is a global issue that has negative consequences for practically every element of domestic life as well as kids' results (Engle & Black, 2008). This study looks at how poverty impacts children's educational results, as well as treatments that were successful in boosting child academic results for low-income households in both developed countries like America and developing nations like Nigeria. Likewise, kids in emerging nations are far more likely than affluent kids to not ever join education, as well as the discrepancies, are significant. As per a survey conducted 12 percent of kids in the highest income group never went to school, so although 38 percent of kids within the lowest income group never went to school. Such disparities are particularly strongly linked to maternal affluence and schooling as compared to region and ethnicity. Poverty-affected children do worse in class. Studies reveal that there are substantial positive connections between social and economic position and pupil accomplishment among nations, age groups, and educational disciplines. Furthermore, in most nations, socioeconomic factors in success rates, also known as socioeconomic slopes, occur, demonstrating social standing disparity in exam outcomes (Engle & Black, 2008).

Salamanca Manifesto regarding inclusive Education

Although inclusivity is often linked with children with impairments, there seem to be a lot of perspectives that cover a variety of target demographics (Miles & Singal, 2010). The Salamanca Manifesto of the year 1994, emphasizes that inclusiveness must aim to assist all oppressed and underprivileged groups and compensate for multidimensional social inequalities that restrict pupils' academic success. Whereas an accommodating strategy does have the capacity to help a wide range of societal categories, the majority of the debates focus on pupils with impairments. Because it became a consequence of the Global Convention on "Special Needs Education", Miles and Singal contend that Salamanca Manifesto inherently relates inclusive education to people with impairments. The concentration on fulfilling the student's needs instead of forcing students to conform to a current framework is also at the heart of inclusion (Ajuwon, 2008). Throughout this vein, it is suggested that we should deliver facilities to students and personalize these to meet specific requirements. Moreover, according to Ferguson (2008), instructors should strive to give training help and accommodations instead of pedagogically imparting content to pupils.

UNESCO guidelines regarding inclusive education on global level

UNESCO in the year of 2011, established “Open File" resources to assist legislators, state authorities, and officials in advancing inclusive education in various regions. They provide a mechanism for legislators in various nations to rely on global expertise in directing their respective institutions further towards inclusiveness. Employees with management roles in public education departments, municipal governments, regional operations and service centers, private groups, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), as well as other organizations are expected to be using the "Open File". While such important elements in the establishment of comprehensive inclusive schooling, the "Open File" is not mainly preoccupied with federal legislators or teaching practice. Federal policies, on the other hand, are primarily a political matter, whereas instructional practice and problems of intrinsic school improvement and organization are efficaciously addressed in UNESCO's "earlier teacher education resource pack, Special Needs in the Classroom, which is referenced all across the Open File" (UNESCO, 2020).

Barriers to inclusive education in the global context

There seem to be various challenges to delivering training to exceptional children in a traditional classroom setting, including all types of irrational assumptions regarding impairments, which have had for centuries prevented participation in learning and the society by disabled people. When these are accomplished, students with special challenges will be free to enjoy a unique adventure by participating in inclusive classrooms alongside their quasi peers.  Hurdles to inclusive classrooms settings can be resolved by raising understanding about what integration does and the societal advantage it has, ensuring that school systems have had the funding and aptitude to reorganize their learning system to accommodate all learners, hiring educators having the skill sets and competency to encounter variable pressures in the lecture hall, and possessing support from family. The goal of this form of teaching for disabled kids is to provide them with equal exposure to options that would ensure their performance in school, work, and societal inclusion (Jacob & Olisaemeka, 2016). Conducting education or activity study to reduce investigator interference and tribalism is really nothing novel. Nevertheless, recognizing the merits and demerits of a gendered emphasis may be utilized to develop crucial perspectives about certain educational systems. At the moment, having a concentration appears to be turning things around.  It is necessary to invert the rationale of the study. Originating from the holy summit and participating in the prescriptive 'how far' procedure, the typical strategy for reaching such an examination of institutions is what one would call the greatest universal number strategy. Studies on females, academic management, as well as the Developing Country studies, on the other hand, are not about focusing on females whatsoever. To do that might be to reinforce a detrimental sex disparities perspective and divert attention away from a more in-depth examination of the why but for whom authority in classrooms is evolved to be exerted in a specific manner. The cross-examining of the engrained and chosen to take gender aspects and speech by which instructional regulation is arbitrated is just the first move toward the development of new hypotheses of schooling management that would give both male and female teachers more adaptability and self-control. It is anticipated that further study, would allow institutions to emerge not only as "woman-friendly," but also "user-friendly" in general (Davies, 1987).

Barriers to implementing inclusion in Nigeria

In Nigeria, special needs schooling has still been beset by policy


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