Jean Sagahutu, Patricia Struthers, Jean Baptiste, Sagahutu Signature…………………………………
2008 unpublished
The number of children with disabilities under the age of 18 years around the world varies from 120 to 150 million. In many countries, throughout the world, the majority of children with disabilities either do not receive any form of education or, if they receive any, it is often inappropriate. UNESCO estimates that more than 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend schools. Rwanda has recently started inclusive education in a number of schools around the country
more » ... or ensuring that children with disabilities have access to education. Despite this, in Rwanda, many children with disabilities do not attend school and this number is not known. This study aimed to identify the barriers to school attendance by children with disabilities in Rwanda. A quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive study was carried out by use of a time limited sample of 94 parents/caregivers of children with disabilities who were not attending school and attending Inkurunziza or Gahini Community Based Rehabilitation programmes. A structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions was used to investigate the barriers to school attendance. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. Descriptive statistics using frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations and inferential statistics using Chi-square test were calculated. The data have been presented in forms of tables, graphs, and pie charts. Ethical issues included the permission for conducting the study, informed consent, assured anonymity, confidentiality, voluntary participation, and the right to withdraw from the study. The findings indicate that the parents/caregivers of children with disabilities in Rwanda are very poor especially in the rural area where most of them are not employed and their level of education is very low. In Rwanda, many roads are not iii well maintained, public transport are not conducive for children with disabilities, and the school environment also is not accessible for a number of children with mobility difficulties. There is a negative attitude among parents/caregivers and the community towards children with disabilities. Awareness raising and attitudinal change about disability issues is needed in Rwandese society to promote schooling for children with disabilities. The removal of all barriers which can hinder the education process of children with disabilities should be promoted for the successful Education for All goals. Recommendations are proposed for facilitating the removal of barriers to school attendance by children with disabilities in Rwanda. iv DECLARATION I hereby declare that "barriers to school attendance among children with disabilities in Rwanda" is my own work, that it has not been submitted for any degree or examination in any other university, and that all the sources used or quoted have been indicated and acknowledged by complete references.