Sixty Years of Special Needs Education in Tanzania: Celebrating Audacity, Commitment and Resilience

  • Frida D Tungaraza


This study traces the development of special needs education in Tanzania from 1950, and discusses the achievements and the persistent challenges that Tanzania is facing as we celebrate 60 years since the first special education school was started. Both documentation and interview methods were used to collect information. The participants included fifteen special education teachers. The results show that some efforts have been made to educate children with disabilities. More learners with different disabilities are now in schools, albeit very few; and the number of trained teachers has increased to some extent. However, tough challenges also persist. These include accessibility barriers, lack of and/or inadequate equipment and materials, and negative attitudes. The paper concludes that, although the journey travelled since 1950 has given some hopes and encouragements, the destination is still far away. A lot needs to be done to make sure that persons with disabilities are protected, valued and given their rights as human beings, including such rights as, the right to be respected, and the right to live and to get education.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 9(1), 86-109, 2012

Author Biography

Frida D Tungaraza
Department of Educational Psychology and Curriculum Studies, School of Education, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam - Tanzania

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1813-2227