Inclusive Education Policy Implementation in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Lessons for Nigeria and Cameroon

Rose N. Uchem, Emmanuel S. Ngwa


Inclusive education is a social model that can be substantially linked to the 1960 United Nations Convention against Discrimination in Education, and the 1990 and 1994 UNESCO sponsored Jomtien Declaration on “Education for All”and Salamanca Statement on Special education respectively. It is a process of increasing the attendance, involvement, and achievements of all learners in schools, regardless their physical, social, political, economic and cultural status. In order words, inclusive education is the process whereby every child of school age is offered the opportunity of equitable quality education in mainstream educational settings. It is concerned with the restructuring of physical environments, infrastructures, cultures, policies, and practices to respond to the diversity of all learners within the educational systems. Inclusive education is anchored on the premise that; we live in a diverse society where every individual needs to acknowledge the values and differences of each other; and have equal rights in contributing to the progress of society regardless different levels of abilities. As an international policy ratified by most UN member nations, South Africa, though with an abysmal history of exclusion has made practical progress in its implementation more than other African countries. Consequently, this paper seeks to provide evidence on practical inclusive education implementation in post-apartheid South Africa, and the possible lessons other African nations like Nigeria and Cameroon can gather. The underlying assumption here is that successive governments in post-apartheid South Africa have to some extent made good progress in the implementation of inclusive education which could be emulated by Nigeria and Cameroon.

Keywords: Inclusive education, post-apartheid South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon

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