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Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education

Abstract

Worldwide, there are benefits that accrue to children or adults who engage in physical activities (Johnson, 2009). Within this context, this study sought to find out the conditions under which students with disabilities participate in Physical Education in Zimbabwean schools. A purposive sample of 72 teachers and 15 heads of schools who are students of Great Zimbabwe University participated. The research was largely qualitative, gathering data through a survey that used an open ended questionnaire for teachers and focused interviews for school heads. The typical experiences in schools are a complete denigration of the children with disabilities. Evidence indicates that children with disabilities are pitied and reduced to spectators. Teachers lack competencies to handle children with disabilities. Values, orientations, norms and practices in schools are skewed against children with disabilities and school facilities are just but exclusionary closures to them. The study argues that a well defined and coherent programme that inculcates habits of inclusion in teachers, heads, fellow children and the community at large around a set of shared values, beliefs and knowledge about inclusion be promoted in Zimbabwean schools. Further studies that include the disabled pupils themselves as subjects could be carried out to get the effect of exclusionary factors on children with disabilities in Physical Education.