Investigating the factors that influence the enrollment of children with physical disabilities in inclusive primary schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Nipael Mrutu

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Joachim Tamba


AKU-East Africa


The study aimed at investigating the factors that influence the enrollment of children with physical disabilities in inclusive primary schools in Mitooma District Uganda and it was carried out in two government-aided inclusive primary schools. The study participants were two head teachers, two class teachers, one community development officer at town council level and four parents of the two families identified children with physical disabilities within the same town council.

The schools were selected purposively because of convenience to the researcher and the children identified are in the locality of these schools to have rich information about the topic. The purpose of the study was to find out the factors that influence the presence or absence of children with physical disabilities in inclusive primary schools and to develop knowledge and information for other studies related to inclusive education. The study adopted the qualitative research approach and case study design.

Data was collected using multiple methods such as; observation of schools facilities and equipment that support or hinder inclusive education. It was also through interview with head teachers and class teachers of primary one where enrollment of children in primary schools in Uganda begins from, interview with parents of identified children with physical disabilities, and the community development at the town council and document analysis at school and town council.

Data analysis involved transcription of data, coding and categorizing according to themes in relation to research questions and conceptual framework. Data were analyzed after coding and to generalize on the study findings. The study findings indicate that inclusive primary schools enroll children with physical disabilities and parents understand inclusive education but they have negative attitude towards educating their children with physical disabilities in inclusive schools due to cultural beliefs. Parents prefer special education to inclusive education due to lack of sensitization on the importance of inclusive education.

The study indicated that teachers have basic skills of handling children with physical disabilities in inclusive primary schools. In addition, schools lack suitable facilities like ramps, toilets, suitable compound to ease access of children with physical disabilities. The study found out that there is no coordination between stakeholders due to lack of structures (sub-committees) in management specifically for special needs education. The study recommends the provision of suitable facilities and equipment, set management iv structures (sub-committees) and increase on school grants or funding specifically for special needs education to support children with physical disabilities in schools because they need extra requirements than children without physical disabilities.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library