Date of Award

5-1-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Department of International Affairs and Development

First Advisor

Komanduri Murty, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined the available literature on alternative models of special education services in five selected developed countries (France, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America), five developing countries (China, Cyprus, Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania), and assessed the status of current special education programs in Nigeria as a whole and in Akwa Ibom State, in particular. The study is descriptive and qualitative in nature. Secondary sources of information were used to describe the kinds of special education services provided in these countries. The study showed that each country has its own approaches to providing special education services to its special needs population in elementary through secondary education. Some countries designed their special education services based on homegrown education laws as well as international conventions and declarations, such as the United Nations’ proposals. The researcher also found that factors such as cultural beliefs, insensitivity, and funding are the main obstacles impeding the development of special education services. The study reports the findings that mitigate the establishment of workable special education services in the state; thus, the conclusions and recommendations are offered regarding the present status of stakeholders in education of children with special needs. Based on the international practices and recommendations of the United Nations Conventions, it is recommended that Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria re-examine its current practices of providing special education services to its special needs children in both elementary and secondary schools. Access to quality education, availability of educational resources, trained personnel, and financing are some critical areas the state government of Akwa Ibom must urgently address in order to provide free and appropriate special education services to its elementary and secondary education students.

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