Addressing barriers to implementing inclusive education in the Pacific

Umesh Sharma, Ann Cheryl Armstrong, Laisiasa Merumeru, Janine Simi, Hannah Yared

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Countries of the Pacific region are currently undergoing significant reforms. While disability inclusive education has been identified as a regional priority by all member nations, implementing inclusive education in the countries of the region can be quite challenging as many barriers continue to hamper the progress of the countries. Unless the barriers are identified and systematically addressed, it is unlikely that the countries will be able to implement a robust and holistic inclusive education strategy. In this paper, we present possible ways in which the countries of the Pacific could make significant progress in implementing a sustainable inclusive education strategy. We used a collaborative approach of co-examining potential barriers that are likely to impede the growth of countries in implementing a comprehensive inclusive education plan of action. We then identified possible strategies that are likely to result in an improved and perhaps more culturally responsive implementation of inclusive education in the Pacific. The most significant barriers identified by the members included: inadequate teacher preparation, stigma and negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, and limited engagement with the local leaders and key stakeholders. Possible strategies for addressing the barriers are outlined and discussed with possible implications for local, regional, and international researchers and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • barriers
  • inclusive education
  • Pacific island countries
  • strategies

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