Primary school teachers ’ views about inclusion of mentally challenged learners into the main stream education
The integration of learners with disabilities into mainstream education has become educational policy in most developed countries and is currently a worldwide phenomenon. This move is part of a broader concern in South Africa to emphasize the rights of challenged learners since the implementation of the inclusive education policy twenty years ago in 1996. This paper investigated primary school educators’ views about in cluding men tally challenged learners in th e mainstream at the Umkhanyakude and Uthungulu districts in KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. These educators were from mainstream schools, full service schools, remedial centres and special schools. A purposive sampling method was used to select participants. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire. The research findings indicate that most educators still held negative attitudes towards the inclusion of mentally challenged learners in mainstreaming. The results also revealed that variables of age, gender, school type, class size do not have an influence whilst the variable of grade had an influence on primary school educators’ attitudes towards inclusive education.
Keywords: Education policy, special education. Attitude