Financing inclusive higher education for people with disabilities in Ghanaian universities: Perspectives of policymakers
Keywords:financing inclusive higher education, policymakers, people with disabilities, Ghanaian universities, policymakers
Financial considerations are fundamental to the implementation of inclusive education policies. Governments and their education sectors do not generally claim that they can roll-out inclusive education programmes, especially for people with disabilities, with no financial difficulties. This study examined the perspectives of the designers of Ghana's 2015 Inclusive Education (IE) Policy on sources of funding for higher education for people with disabilities in Ghanaian universities. A qualitative approach was adopted with data collected from seven policymakers on the National Steering Committee on Inclusive Education through interviews. The data were thematically analysed and narratively presented. The respondents identified the central government, through its Ministry of Education, development partners, and the universities as the sources of funding for inclusive higher education for people with disabilities. From the perspective of these policymakers, insufficient funding is a primary obstacle to the successful delivery and sustainable implementation of the IE Policy. Over-reliance on donors for policy implementation, the unwillingness of the government to invest in higher education for people with disabilities, and the universities' unwillingness to invest their scarce resources in disability education are also obvious obstacles. It was recommended that the central government should increase the budgetary allocation for the implementation of inclusive education, and avoid over-reliance on donor agencies. It was also suggested that universities generate dedicated funding for inclusion by exploring creative ways and adopting multifaceted approaches to fundraising.