An ecosystemic programme for strategically managing inclusion in schools
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The aims of this study were to investigate the nature of challenges that South African educators and Senior Management Teams and parents are facing in inclusive schools; and make suggestions to help the educators, parents and Senior Management Teams to develop the necessary capacity to effectively implement the inclusive education policy as propounded in White paper 6 through eco-systemic management strategies for inclusive schools. The empirical research revealed that The Department of Education, Senior Management Teams, educators and parents experience the following challenges: * Management of the implementation of White Paper 6 on inclusive education challenges. * Ecological management challenges. * Systemic management challenges. * Methodological management challenges. * Management challenges for curriculum transformation. * Socio-economic management strategies. * Management strategies for learners with physical challenges. The majority of learners require intensive learning support. School management teams cannot offer any solution to the problems encountered by educators and the Department of Education cannot afford to provide more educators, especially qualified educators for learners with special educational needs. The educational managers at Education District Offices offer very little help or no help at all and schools rarely get assistance from Educational Psychologists while parents can also not afford the services of private educational psychologists. Based on both the literature review and the empirical research findings, this research recommended that educators be continuously trained on the implementation of White paper 6, which is the core policy for the implementation of inclusion and inclusive education in South African schools. This will enable schools to have strong leaders in inclusive school settings. All schools should be provided with the services of educational psychologists and educators adequately trained regarding learners with special educational needs in order to provide sufficient support systems in psychotherapy, psychometric assessments, career counselling, learning support and so on.Parents should be educated • on inclusive education so that they can participate effectively. Schools must be empowered to infuse White Paper 6 in their vision and mission statements and school development plans. There should be collaboration between schools, universities and non-governmental agencies that are oriented towards school development in order to assist parents, learners and community members in general to understand the ideals of inclusion in education. Professors at universities can assist with advocating the policies of inclusive education to communities and developing practical modules for their learners, which can help the educators to be effectively and efficiently trained in inclusive education. School leadership and management should direct, motivate and harness all the resources in the school in the direction it is needed in order to implement policies effectively and efficiently. This requires leadership and management styles which are suitable to inclusive education. This study recommends the ecological, strategic, transformational, invitational, political, bureaucratic and collegial management models to be considered as strong pillars for inclusive educational leadership and management. Senior leadership and management teams must be trained through workshops, seminars and conferences on the models suitable for inclusive education when they are appointed. Inclusive education is necessary for South African schools. We cannot turn a blind eye on the diverse learning needs of our learners in the diverse cultures of our rainbow nation.
- Education