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Challenges of special needs education

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Handling the problems of an inclusive classroom. The concept of having classrooms that contain both special needs students and students who are developing typically is becoming a popular one. This type of education poses new challenges for a special education teacher. For example, many students who have no disabilities are unaccustomed to dealing with those who do. Teachers in these classes are charged with eliminating cruelty and insensitivity from among their students and ensuring that those with special needs are treated with respect. Professional Isolation. The nature of a special education teacher’s work is very different from that of traditional teachers; the result of this is that standard classroom teachers may not view them as colleagues. There may be a professional stigma attached to the work of teaching “slow” students. Special education teachers often work with smaller groups and may focus on skills rather than content, thereby leading to the perception that their work is easier or less important.

Lack of support from parents. Some parents of special needs children are disinterested in the welfare of their children and fail to provide them with adequate care. Alternatively, they may be overly protective. Both can be problematic for the child and for their teacher. Disinterested parents may have no involvement with their child’s education or interaction with their teachers, whereas overprotective parents may have unrealistic expectations from the child and the child’s teachers. Both attitudes can shape children in negative ways. Parental disinterest may make special needs students less motivated and parents who are overprotective often diminish their child’s confidence and make it harder for them to learn.

The difficulty of discipline in a special needs classroom. Disabled children may have behavioral issues including restlessness and moodiness. They may also exhibit problems like a short attention span or an inability to understand what is being taught. Special education teachers have to learn how to deal with these problems as well as how to take appropriate disciplinary measures.

Budget problems. Across the nation, special education programs are facing increasing enrollment and decreasing budgets. The result is that there are fewer teacher assistants available, which results in a greater workload for special education teachers. They may also face shortages of essential resources and equipment for delivering effective lessons.

Shortage of teachers to handle learners with special needs. Most of the teachers refuse to offer a hand once told to handle a class and later identify that learners in that class are disabled in one way or the other. Many teachers like to teach only learners who are able to do things without any difficulty. They fail to understand that ability is not to everyone. Shortage of teaching materials. Some schools in Uganda today support the learners with special needs but they are faced with a problem of the materials they are to use to teach the learners for example having brails for the blind. This poses a challenge to special needs education in Uganda today.

Statistics about the number of the children with special needs. There is no correct statistical approximation of the number of the children with special needs in Uganda today. Supplemented by the enumeration of people taking place after a long period. With miss appropriated number of children with special needs, there comes a challenge to the state to budget for them in terms of the resources like human resource available.

Rigid curriculum. Rigidity of the curriculum is also a challenge as it does not clearly show how to handle people with disabilities. The curriculum provides the content but not the pedagogy. This poses a challenge to the teachers who handle learners with special needs on how to handle and present or deliver the content.

There are few schools that offer special needs education in Uganda today. They are faced with a problem of handling the whole multitude of learners all over the country. The population of learners in those schools is high becoming a challenge to teaching and special needs education in general.

There are few training institutions for those who would wish to understand the necessary basics of handling learners with disabilities. Assumptions tend to be taken that it is automatic that an individual cannot fail to handle a person with any form of disability. This is a real misconception as for example a person may just think that he knows but when a disabled person asks him for some help, he directs him to specialists. Despite the fact that Special needs education is faced with a number of challenges. Some of those challenges can be mitigated. I suggest the following ways that can be used to act as solutions t the number of challenges above are:Comprehensive review of state laws, regulations and policies should be done to in cooperate policies for efficient implementation of special needs education in Uganda today. In addition government policies should be put in place with clearly well-defined measures to the rights of the disabled and what is expected from the community as far as providing special needs education is concerned. This will enable the learners to be helped in whatever form the help may be but not being isolated and thus their presence in society thought of as being useless.

Tertiary institutions that train teachers should in cooperate into their curriculum courses that train teachers to handle learners with special needs. This will help increase the human resource that handle learners with special needs eliminating the challenge of the shortage of teachers with skills of handling learners with special needs.

Sensitization of stake holders of their roles regarding the support they should render to people with disabilities. This will make parents not to keep their children at home rather send them to schools where they may be fully partially included in regular classes thus will end up having achieved their right to education. Parents should made aware of the consequences of not rendering a hand in the education of their children.

The government should consider the special needs education sector on their budget. This will make them cater for the materials that the students need to learn. With these materials like the brails available, the implementation of education of learners with special needs will not have much trouble.

Review of the curriculum to check where people with various forms of disabilities can be infused into the system needs to be done as this will help teachers have at least some basics of handling the disabled not leaving everything to those whom they claim to be experts in that field. With maximum cooperation of teachers in the school, all the students will thus be catered for.

Fanning, B., Veale, A., & O’Connor, D. (2001). Beyond the pale: Asylum seeking children and social exclusion in Ireland. Dublin: Irish Refugee Council.
Farrell, P. (1997). The integration of children with severe learning difficulties: A review of the recent literature. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 50(2), 26-31 Ferguson, D.L. (2008). International trends in inclusive education: The continuing challenge to teach each one and everyone. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 23(2), 109-120 Gutman, L.M., & Midgley, C. (2000). The role of protective factors in supporting the academic achievement of poor African American students during the middle school transition. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29(2), 223-248a

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