Evaluation of Disability Mainstreaming Status in Selected Public High Schools and Employment Institutions in Liberia
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose:The purpose of the study sought to evaluate the status of disability mainstreaming policy in education in selected public high schools and public employment institutions in Liberia.Materials and Methods: The research design incorporates both quantitative and qualitative methods. Purposive sampling was used to select 125 respondents from students with disabilities, principals, human resource directors, employees with disabilities from public employment institutions and representatives from Persons with disabilities organizations. Quantitative data was collected through electronic data collection tools (Kobo/ Survey CTO) and transferred in Excel spreadsheets for descriptive analysis and comparison. Qualitative data was collected through key informant interviews and analyzed according to themes. Results: The study established that although there are disability mainstreaming policies at public high schools and employment institutions there is limited awareness and understanding of these policies among students and employees with disabilities. Moreover, there was no defined disability mainstreaming strategies to serve as a benchmark to determine the success or failure of implementation. Findings also showed that persons with disabilities were still finding it difficult to secure employment since the 4% disability quota mandated by the government to enhance the employability of persons with disabilities is not adhered to by government institutions. Further analysis indicated that the perception of principals and human resource officers can reinforce barriers to mainstreaming disability in public high schools and employment institutions. The study also found that limited budgetary allocation for disability mainstreaming activities, limited awareness of disability mainstreaming, lack of coordination among various implementing agencies, lack of teacher training in disability mainstreaming pedagogy and unavailability of training materials for teachers and students for inclusive education were among factors contributing to gaps in disability mainstreaming in public high schools and employment institutions.Unique contribution to theory, practice and policy: The study recommends that the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) which coordinates all disability mainstreaming activities along with the National Commission on Disability create more public awareness on disability in all public entities. Government should provide funding’s to public high schools and employment institutions to enable them to implement the disability mainstreaming policies. Disability focal persons should also be assigned to these institutions to coordinate and monitor implementation.