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Challenges Faced by Teachers of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Primary Mainstream Schools

Faris Algahtani, Ali Aldakhil

Abstract


Every child has a right to education. This is one of the laws in the constitution and it empowers every child to access knowledge but it does not, however, allocate special interest to the rights of education for children with disabilities. It also does not address the challenges that teachers of such children face while trying to educate them. This study  was conducted  at  government  schools  of Saudi Arabia. As the teaching profession is the most valuable profession and deserves to have its challenges tackled. This paper explores the challenges that teachers face as they try to teach students who have intellectual disabilities (ID). It looks at the daily challenges of a teacher who has to teach both children with disabilities and those without. The literature review shed light on the various aspects of mainstream education from the classroom to the outside environment to the teachers involved in mainstream education. The study employed qualitative methods in which Focus Group Discussions were utilized and Twenty (N=20) special education teachers were randomly sampled from primary schools through 6 groups of teachers from 6 different schools were interviewed through semi-structured interviews with the aim of drawing collective perceptions rather than personal perceptions about the challenges. The study found that most teachers had similar perceptions about the challenges that teachers face as they educate students with intellectual disabilities. The study recommends that The Ministry of Education should consider increasing the availability of special needs courses, workshops and conference for special education teachers.


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