The Role of ODL in the Advancing Access to Education for Special Needs Groups

  • C Gilliet

Abstract

Special and vulnerable groups have a right to equitable access to all benefits that society offers. However, the situation for people with disabilities, refugees and inmates in Zimbabwe face barriers of accessibility to basic and tertiary education. Zimbabwe is a signatory to the UN Declaration Charter for Human Rights which regards education as a basic human right that should be provided to all. But it appears declarations are one thing and implementation another. It appears most conventional institutions are insensitive to people with disabilities and special needs in terms of academic accessibility and quality provision. A desktop survey revealed that most conventional institutions are insensitive to people with disabilities and special needs in terms of academic accessibility and quality provision. More so, inmates can not access studies through conventional institutions whilst at the same time serving their term. On the other hand, political instability has seen Zimbabweans leave the country and this has forced most to discontinue their studies. Open and Distance Learning institutions can bridge this gap by providing initial stimulus of access and success to education for all. Success of such educational provisions however can be enhanced through the use of appropriate technologies such as the Internet, computers and cell phones. With appropriate technologies, ODL institutions are bound to reach out many persons with special needs such as prisoners, refugees and people with disabilities.
Published
2014-12-15
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0856-6739