Inclusivity of Public Sanitary Infrastructure Provision for Pupil with Physical Disabilities: A Case of Bindura Urban School Toilets

Gilliet Chigunwe, T P Z Mpofu

Abstract


The study was set to assess the inclusivity of sanitary infrastructure in Bindura urban schools. This study was motivated by the enrolment of pupils with disabilities in their home regular schools. This was in response with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Policy Minute no P36 of 1996 and other domestic and international inclusive policies. United Nations (UN) 22 standard rules emphasises on the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities which includes accessibility to buildings and other community infrastructures, (United Nations, 2011;USIS, 1998). Most nations world-over, including Zimbabwe have domesticated these UN policies. Zimbabwe Ministry of Education Policy Minute No 36 of 1996 saw the enrolment of children with disabilities in their home schools. Whilst this had been a stride step towards the development of inclusivity of children with disabilities in regular schools, we wondered how inclusive the school toilets were for these children. In Bindura Urban, both Government and Non Governmental Organisations had been involved in the provision of public sanitary facilities. In spite of the Government policies on sanitary facilities that meet the needs of People With Disabilities (PWDs), it had been observed that some school toilets in Bindura Urban did not meet these requirements. We had not come across any studies that had been carried out to assess how widespread the level of non-compliance of Bindura Urban school toilets was towards legal instruments of inclusivities. Hence the following questions backed our study: Are Bindura urban school toilets inclusive of pupils with disabilities? What are the views of teachers pertaining to the inclusivity of school sanitary infrastructure to pupils with physical disabilities? Mixed methodology in the form of concurrent embedded strategy was used. Moreso, descriptive survey method was used to collect data. Data were collected using questionnaires and individual follow-up interviews. A sample of 62 teachers of children with disabilities in Bindura Urban schools was purposefully selected. Ten parents of children with disabilities were conveniently selected. The study concluded that although there were specific national legal instruments on equal participation of pupils with disabilities in the mainstream schools of Zimbabwe, most Bindura urban schools sanitary infrastructure were not complying with these policies. Most toilets in Bindura Urban primary and secondary schools were not appropriate for persons with physical disabilities such that they accessed them with difficulty or failed to access. We suggest that the local authority, in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should put in place instruments that monitor accessibility of toilets in schools for pupils with disabilities.

Keywords


Sanitary infrastructure toilets, people with disabilities, accessibility, inclusivity

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