by Godfrey Dzveta, Andy Ziyera and Proud Nyakuni
Meanwhile, at most schools in Sakubva, Mutare, Zimbabwe there are learners and teachers with disabilities who are having challenges with the exclusive infrastructure. Most of the buildings and ablution facilities have steps hence not user-friendly to people with disabilities. Most of the teachers at the schools including the administrators have less knowledge on how to deal with learners and colleagues with disabilities. Learners using wheelchairs and crutches have a torrid time in getting in and out of the facilities. Also the community is having out-of-school children with disabilities, these usually have visual and hearing disabilities. Teachers in the schools have limitations to assist these children hence the school failing to enroll them.
In Sakubva Ward 2, there are toilets that are not user-friendly for people with disabilities. The toilets are communal pit latrines. They have steps that directly affect a person using a wheelchair, crutches, or with any other disability as they experience serious difficulties. The houses also have 5-7 steps to the effect that the person has to be carried inside the house. In addition, Civic Center which is the local authority where all rates are paid does not take into account people with disabilities. It does not have a braille facility, ramps, or even sign language interpreters. The City. Council in building and developing infrastructure must take into account people with disabilities for example ramping toilets and houses. training social workers on how to use the braille system and sign language. We, therefore, make the following recommendations;
- The government must avail resources to the schools to make their infrastructure inclusive.
- In-service training of teachers and those in colleges to be able to deal with learners with various forms of disabilities or at least place a number of inclusive teachers who can deal with learners with disabilities especially the deaf, mentally challenged and the blind.
- Resource the Department of Social Development to support learners with disabilities with assistive technologies such as embossers, brailers, hearing aids etc that enhance access to learning of learners with disabilities.