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This study is on Assessment of student challenges in an inclusive primary school in Lagos state. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected primary in Ikeja, Lagos state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up headmasters, headmistresses, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies



  • Background of the study


The importance of including learners with special needs in regular classrooms has been emphasized recently by researchers (e.g., Kuyini & Mangope, 2011; Mukhopadyay, 2009). It is increasingly evident, especially over the past ten years, that inclusive education brings social, academic, and even financial benefits for school systems and children (Malgorzata, 2007; Mdikana & Ntshangase, 2007; Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2000, 2004). The inclusion movement believes that children with special needs should learn in the regular school classroom alongside their peers (Mastropieri & Scruggs 2000, 20004). In other words, each child belongs to the regular classroom and there is no justification for excluding certain children from this environment. At the same time, while access to equal education is necessary for every learner regardless of ability, some children do not fully benefit from teaching because of undiagnosed special needs. It is therefore vital that learners are assessed early on or upon entry into primary school to ensure that schools are able to provide them with the necessary services to support them in-classroom learning.

Inclusive education in primary schools as the way of providing quality and accessible education to children with special needs has been emphasized worldwide. This is reflected by UNESCO which formally adopted the concept of inclusive education in 1994 and mandated all countries to implement it. (Ainscow, 2002). UNESCO Salamanca statement and framework for Action (1994) reinforced the obligation for schools to accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other condition. The fundamental principle of inclusive schools was that, “all children should learn together regardless of any difficulties or differences they have. School must recognize and respond to the diverse needs of their students by accommodating both different learning styles. This was declared by UNESCO in 1994 that “all children should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of any difficulties or differences they may have. Inclusive schools must recognize and respond to the diverse needs of their students, accommodating both different styles and ratio of learning and ensuring quality education to all trough appropriate curricula, organizational arrangements, teaching strategies, resource use and partnerships with their communities. There should be continuum of support and services to match the continuum of special needs encountered in every school”.

Scholars agree that every human being has the right to get quality and equitable basic education in spite of one’s physical, intellectual, emotional, social and linguistic or any other conditions (Ainscow, Dyson, Goldrick, and West, 2011; Mbelle, 2008). Quality and equitable basic education is ensured where there are good learning environment that give chances for every student to learn. Children with special needs however, experiences difficulties to attain their basic education which is associated with unsupportive learning environment that affect their social, psychological and academic spheres that may likely affect their academic performances at school (McLeod, 2014). Many school age children with special needs are not enrolled in schools due to the fact that their conditions do not suit with facilities available for them to live and study comfortably in schools.


Historically, the approach of segregated special education was supported by the medical model of disability which viewed the barriers to learning as being within the disabled children. In contrary it was perceived that separate placement for instruction for learners with disabilities may become dumping ground for student with variety of unrelated problem (Learner, 1985). Persons with disabilities and other special needs have been marginalized and denied equitable participation opportunities, including participation in primary education. They have been criminally victimized within the society’s institutions mostly due to negative psychological factors such as negative attitudes, prejudices, stereotyping, and stigmas (Hughes, 2005). Children with special needs have experienced narrow chances to enjoy school environments or practices due to fewer priorities given by educational providers to issues that may support the disabled students especially in developing countries in areas such as curriculums, teaching and learning materials, infrastructure, special programs such as sports and games, environmental issues and the general quality of education.

By realizing challenges people with disabilities face particularly in educational sector, inclusive primary education was the world educational strategy initiated to address challenges facing children with disabilities in schools. Inclusive education as argued by Winter and O’Raw (2010) and Mitchell (2010), is regarded as an educational approach for 21st century which ensures the rights of the vast majority of students. Inclusive education is regarded as ones means towards social justice and social inclusion and it provides human right and equal opportunities for all children to attain basic education regardless of their sex, races, physical ability or disability Inclusion as an educational philosophy and approach serves as compass, guiding education institutes in their journey to creating caring, human rights, supportive and effective learning environment and communities (Steinbeck and Stainback, 1990).

The idea of inclusive education originated since 1990’s when the emergence and development of special education and special schools became very much the norm for pupils with special needs where the students were segregated according to their difficulties. Special education was seem as an essential way of helping students with special needs in leaning as they were regarded to be incapable of benefiting from ordinary method of instruction (Thomas et al, 1998).The UNESCO proposed the concept of inclusive education at the world conference on EFA in Jomtien Thailand in1990.Then in 1994 UNESCO passed the Salamanca statement on the principles, policy and practice of Inclusive education.

Regardless of the effort to establish inclusive education that will address social, cultural and psychological problems to students with special needs, Govinder (2009) argued that in developing countries, many children specifically those with disabilities are out of schools. This may be due to factors such as poor budgets in financial years on financing education specifically inclusive primary education that provides chances for children regardless their special needs to be educated. In parallel to that, governments and stakeholders’ priorities became a great determinant on

implementing inclusive primary education. This is in line with Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2010 who revealed that, reaching the marginalized children with disabilities remains one of the main problems leading to wide exclusion of the group from quality and inclusive primary education (Macleod, 2014).

Regardless of good plans to establish and strengthen inclusive education, the implementation of inclusive education policy in Nigeria is worse.  Primary schools in Nigeria are experience to inadequacy special trained teachers, lack of teaching and learning materials special to assist students with special needs as well as unconducive and inaccessible infrastructure conditions to support students with special needs in primary schools.


UNESCO, (2012) revealed that, in 2011, only 0.35 percent of all children enrolled in primary schools were children with disabilities. In secondary schools, 0.3 percent of boys and 0.25 percent of girls had disabilities. These percentages were extremely low when compared with the estimated 7.8 percent of the population with disabilities in Nigeria and indicate that most children with disabilities are not enrolled. This small number of disabled students enrolled in primary schools predicts poorly prepared learning environment in primary schools that do not suit inclusive education.

In this study, assessment is defined as the process of collecting data, analyzing and evaluating information about a student’s achievement or student characteristics in order to make educational decisions about that individual student (Junita de Swart, 2008). These decisions concern whether students meet the criteria for special education services, selecting the most appropriate program and placement for students, setting instructional goals, choosing instructional methods and materials, and monitoring student progress and the effectiveness of the program (McLoughlin & Lewis, 2001).




The idea to establish inclusive education has been adopted by many countries including Nigeria. This includes ensuring the availability to all necessary environments that are supportive to the disabled children. Such support refers to things such as good and supportive classrooms, laboratories, libraries, internet connectivity, washrooms, as well as sports and games’ spaces. Similar to that, inclusive education reflects adequate number of special trained teachers/staffs to teach and assist students with special needs as well as ensuring the availability of necessary teaching and learning materials that suit needs of each students’ needs and conditions.

Ineffective establishment and poor implementation of inclusive primary education creates inequality access to education amongst social members, the most affected are those with special needs and disabilities. Where there is ineffective implementation of inclusive education there cannot be suitable learning environment for all children and might result to increased children in school dropout rates and decreasing survival, retention, completion and performance rates for disabled students at primary level of education.

In education inclusion’ refers to the placement and education of children with disabilities in regular classrooms with children of the same age group who do not have disabilities. The underlying premise of inclusion is that all children can learn and belong to the mainstream of the school and community life. Inclusion is the basic value that extends to all children. Inclusion gives a massage: Everyone belongs to the school; everyone is welcome to the school. According to UNESCO (2009) an inclusive education system can only be created if ordinary schools become more inclusive in other words, if they become better at educating all children in their communities. According to Grima-Farrell, Bain and McDonagh (2011) Inclusive education represents a whole school concern and works to align special education with general education in a manner that most effectively and efficiently imparts quality education to all students. They are children who have disability or a combination of disabilities that makes learning or other activities difficult. Special-needs students include those who have: mental retardation, which causes them to develop more slowly than other children, speech and language Impairment, such as a problem expressing themselves or understanding others, physical disability, such as vision problem, hearing problem, cerebral palsy, or other conditions, learning disabilities, which distort messages from their senses, emotional disabilities, such as antisocial or other behavioural problems


The objectives of the study are;

  1. To examine the problems faced by teachers in inclusive education
  2. To study the barriers to inclusion in primary school
  3. To obtain suggestions from the headmasters, teachers to enhance the effectiveness of inclusive education and efficiency of teachers
  4. To ascertain the challenges of inclusion in primary school



Ho:     proper training is not a problem faced by teachers in delivering inclusive education.

H1:      proper training is a problem faced by teachers in delivering inclusive education.


Ho:     There is no appropriate teaching materials for inclusive education

H1:      There is no appropriate teaching materials for inclusive education


The study will be very significant to student and ministry of education. The study will give a clear insight on the Assessment of student challenges in an inclusive primary school in Lagos state. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic


The scope of the study covers Assessment of student challenges in an inclusive primary school in Lagos state. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


INCLUSION: Inclusion in education refers to a model wherein students with special needs spend most or all of their time with non-special needs students

CHALLENGES: invite (someone) to engage in a contest.

ASSESSMENT: Educational assessment or educational evaluation is the systematic process of documenting and using empirical data on the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and beliefs to refine programs and improve student learning


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study


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