Practices and Challenges in Implementing School Improvement Program in Relation to Special Needs Education: The Case of Primary Schools in Gondar Town

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective of this study was to investigate the practices and challenges of primary schools in implementing school improvement program (SIP) to address the needs of s tudents with special needs. The study was conducted in 5 government primary schools in Gondar town where s tudents with special needs were placed. Respondents for this study consisted of two educational officers, five school principals, thirty school improvement committee members, .fifty seven teachers and .fifty one studen ts with special needs. Such data gathering instruments as questionnaires (both open-ended and close ended), interviews, focus group discussions (FGD) and document review were employed to gather the required data. The questionnaires were used to gather data from the teachers, school improvement committee (SIC) members and the s tudents . Interviews were conducted with educational officers and the principals. FGD also conducted with 6 selected teachers. The major finding of the study indicated that the schools' community has increased awareness of the special needs of the students. The school'; leadership and management bodies were found to be supportive to the education of children with special needs. The study also revealed that there is increased collaboration and cooperation between special needs education and regular education teachers. On the other s ide, the findings of the study indicated that the teaching learning process has not been carried out in line with the special needs of students. The schools' physical environment was not easily accessible to children with difficulty in mobility. In addition, the schools' effort to involve student with disabilities, their p arents and special needs education teacher in school decision making is low. The SUPPO/1 of woreda education office and zonal education department to the education of children with special needs was also found to be limited. The s tudy indicated that lack of skilled man power (special needs education teachers) and financial and material resources were the most severally affecting factors of the implementation of the SIP in relation to special need education. Based on these findings, the researcher would like to conclude that the status of primary schools in the research area in imp lementing the SIP in relation to special needs education is low



implementing school; improvement program ;(SIP)