Inclusive Education, Rights of PWDs and Policy: Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities at Africa University in Zimbabwe


Rising global inequalities and marginalisation are proving difficult to solve using a single lens of analysis. And education as a possible panacea for dealing with these inequalities has not been accessed by all people in society. Such a skewed distribution, access and availability of education have caused marginalisation of certain segments of society based on gender, sexuality, race, disability and class. Inclusive education and policies around which to achieve the rights of PWDs in Zimbabwe are rather elusive and uncoordinated given the complexity of the factors that surround its realisation and implementation in higher education. Despite the existence of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which continue to emphasise quality education under the SDG #4, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD, 2006) and the

Constitution of Zimbabwe Section 22(2) and the Zimbabwe Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01) which all pronounce the rights and provisions for PWDs, it evident that inclusive education at Africa University is still limited. Against this background, this study sought to assess the inclusiveness of the policies, processes, infrastructure and pedagogy at Africa University in relation to PWDs. A human rights based approach was used to inform this study, while a qualitative research design was adopted to speak to the key informant interviews which provided the primary data analysed in this research. The study selected 14 key informants using purposive sampling to gather data. The data was then analysed using thematic analysis. It came out from the study that Africa University has patches of documents, programmes and deliberate efforts to promote inclusive education. Evidence came from accessible buildings for PWDs, enrolment of students with disabilities and the provision of scholarships and assistance for persons with disabilities by the Africa University Board. However, Africa University does not have a specific disability policy and disability centre which govern disability issues. Therefore the study recommends the establishment of a disability centre and policy which will guide the implementation of inclusive education in the university as well as reforming the pedagogy to meet the needs of PWDs.



Deliah Jeranyama is a research fellow at the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University.

Prof. Pamela Machakanja is an associate professor and dean of the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University.

Chupicai Manuel is a research fellow and lecturer at the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University.

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