Browsing by Author "Naanda, Aune Nangula"
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- ItemThe development of an inclusive approach in early childhood education in Namibia(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2005-12) Naanda, Aune Nangula; Engelbrecht, P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Early childhood education is an investment that can offer outstanding returns. It can ensure that all children receive the education that is their right. One cannot talk of access to quality education for all if children with special needs in early childhood and pre-primary education are not given the same opportunities. Equally, the right to access to early childhood education becomes elusive if government spends very little of its resources on early childhood education. At present many children in Namibia are denied access to early childhood education due to poverty, disability, diseases or hindrances. Within formal education, children with special needs do poorly, fail classes or drop out of school at a very early age. As a result, they become further marginalised in society. Their lack of education could also make them a burden on society. The study was guided by the questions: a) what are the implications of the implementation of inclusive early childhood education both internationally as well as in Namibia?; b) what is the current situation in Namibia regarding the functioning of early childhood education centres with specific reference to the perceptions and preferences of early childhood educators in the overall process of educating children with special needs, and c) what guidelines can be offered to the ministries responsible for education and for the welfare of children for the development of an inclusive early childhood education in Namibia? First a review of literature on early childhood education and inclusive education approaches was undertaken. Next a quantitative survey research method was used to obtain answers to the research questions. Of the 650 respondents to whom it was sent, 493 early childhood educators from all the 13 regions in Namibia completed the questionnaire. The study was based on an ecosystemic approach to inclusive education in which the entire community and all the stakeholders are involved in contributing to quality early childhood education at a school where diversity is valued and every effort is made to maximise the quality of life of all children. The research findings indicate that early childhood educators in Namibia have not received the necessary training for their role as ECD educators nor do they possess the necessary qualifications or skills for inclusive education approaches. The findings also indicate that the majority of early childhood educators are not aware of the national ECD policy nor do they have much knowledge of what an inclusive curriculum entails. It is clear that Inclusive education requires a paradigm shift and the transformation of the education sector in order to ensure that all children have equal access to quality education. This study recommends that there be closer collaboration between the ministry responsible for education as well as that dealing with child welfare in the development of an inclusive education policy covering all levels of the education sector from early childhood to tertiary and higher education. It is further recommended that curriculum reform be effected to ensure that the curriculum becomes inclusive, reflecting the needs of all children and acknowledging individual differences as opportunities to learn rather than barriers to learning and participation.