Administrators’ preparedness for inclusive education reform in Bangladesh

2017-03-01T01:34:26Z (GMT) by Azam, A.Q.M Shafiul
In Bangladesh, Inclusive Education (IE) is a national priority following the government’s commitment to international forums to ensure education for all children within the inclusive framework. The policy and programme initiatives of the government to develop primary education indicate a commitment to enacting reform in the education system consistent with the principles of IE. This research study is an attempt to know how primary education administrators understand IE and how committed they are in implementing IE policy in Bangladesh. This study was conducted in two phases and employed a mixed methods design. In Phase 1 a semi structured interview method was employed to collect data which was followed by Phase II where a survey method was employed to collect data. A total 18 administrators took part in individual interviews and 735 administrators completed a survey that was specifically designed for the study. This study revealed widespread confusion in understandings of IE with many contradictory views among administrators, influenced by cultural understandings of disability as well as by inadequacies of reform processes in Bangladesh. The study found that primary education administrators in Bangladesh had not yet formed strong opinions either in favour of or against IE. The background variables such as work location, gender, special education qualification, duration of professional development training, administrative experience, teaching experience, highest level of education, and perceived administrative support for implementation of IE were found to be significant predictors of administrators’ attitudes toward IE. The present study revealed that shared moral purpose of providing quality education to all children, common understanding of IE reform initiatives with clear mandates and through the provision of professional development training and systemic approach with involvement of the whole system are crucial for IE reform to be effective in Bangladesh. This study has implications for IE reform in Bangladesh as well as in other developing countries.