Children with Deafblindness and Inclusive Education, Leaving no-/someone behind
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This qualitative study investigates the situation for children with deafblindness in Malawi and Zambia. The study shows that the education systems in the two countries are heavily influenced by the global architecture of education. Additionally, while inclusive education has the potential to be a counterhegemonic discourse, the actual implementation in Malawi and Zambia is underpinned by the Western educational discourse. The result is that the relevance and the impact of the inclusive education discourse is heavily reduced. The direct impact for children with comprehensive and complex disabilities, such as deafblindness, is that they experience being excluded and from education, and alienated by the very discourse that claim to promote their inclusion. This study has been carried out in five districts in Malawi and Zambia. A total of seventy-four parents, teachers, and representatives from national and international NGOs have been interviewed. Seven schools have been targeted by this research. Findings show that children with deafblindness are marginalized and excluded in a number of ways. Factors that exclude all children, exclude children with deafblindness more. Efforts to include children can have the opposite effect for children with deafblindness. For children with deafblindness in Malawi and Zambia to see the right to education realized, the language of instruction policy must be revisited, resource rooms must be constructed at all schools across Malawi and Zambia, and teachers must be equipped with the knowledge they need to be able to provide quality education for children with deafblindness. There is a rising call to de-colonize education in the Global South. Inclusive education as a normative theory has the potential to become a counter-hegemonic discourse that can transform education systems. This can only happen if the inclusive education discourse is also de-colonized, and the voices of children, parents and teachers in the Global South are heard.
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy