Unmet academic needs: A dilemma of students with visual impairment in inclusive education in Masvingo District of Zimbabwe

Mahanya Phillimon, Owence Chabaya


Inclusive education in Zimbabwe has attracted many students with disabilities. Most of them opted themselves in mainstream education. Consequently, most specialists are not in tandem with the mechanics of handling students with visual impairment in primary inclusive schools. The study was prompted by the poor Grade Seven Zimbabwe Schools Examinations achievement of students with visual impairment in inclusive primary schools in Zimbabwe. Basing on Wolfensberger’s (1979) theory of normalisation, inclusive education should ensure a rise in the quality of academic index of those with visual impairment. The purpose of the study was to find out factors that affect academic achievements of students with visual impairment in inclusive primary schools. The research was qualitative and a case design was applied. A sample of 28 participants comprising administrators, teachers and students with visual impairment was purposively drawn from inclusive education primary institutions. Semi-structured interviews, an open ended questionnaire and document analysis were used to generate data. The study revealed that students with visual impairment in inclusive education did not academically achieve in norm-referenced public examinations. The study recommended that training colleges should equip primary school teachers with requisite mechanics of handling diverse academic needs and interests of students with visual impairment.


normalisation, inclusive education, inclusive primary schools academic index, norm reference

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