Parental Involvement in the Education of their Children with Disabilities: the case of Primary Schools of Bahir Dar City Administration, Ethiopia
The purpose of this study was to examine practices of parental involvement in
the education of their children with disabilities in inclusive government primary schools.
Qualitative case study design was used to investigate the problem. A sample of six parents
of children with disabilities and two teachers were selected using purposive sampling
technique. Data was collected using a semi-structured interview guide and analyzed
thematically based on Epstein’s (2001) framework of parental involvement with six
dimensions. Results indicate that parents of children with disabilities involved better in
parenting activities to support the education of children with disabilities. However,
communication of parents with teachers and school principals was found to be minimal.
They did not visit the schools regularly and discuss with school teachers and principals on
their children’s learning. In addition, while few parents of children with disabilities
provided learning support for their children at home; most parents of children with
disabilities were unable to do so due to time constraints, wrong perceptions and skill
deficits. Findings also revealed that parental direct involvement in decision making process
was low although their indirect participation via parent-student-teacher association was
better. Finally, parents of children with disabilities in the study area did not involve at all in
volunteering and community activities to support their children’s education. Thus, the
schools are required to organize discussions and trainings that would enable parents of
children with disabilities recognize and discharge their multifaceted roles.