Educational policy guidelines mandate that all learning institutions, adopt, design and embrace programs that are conducive to learners with disabilities. In spite of inclusive education policy guidelines, disability remains a major course of discrimination in Kenyan schools. This study therefore, examined the structural modification challenges on the implementation of inclusive education policy in schools. The study adopted mixed-method research approach, which uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. The target population comprised all the principals, teachers and students in Tharaka-Nithi County. The study employed purposive sampling to select 16 extra-county and county secondary schools. The sample size constituted 161 respondents. The data were collected using questionnaires for 100 class teachers, teaching learners with disabilities, an interview guide for 11 learners with physical disabilities to discuss their personal experiences on structural modification challenges and focus groups discussions for 50 non-disabled students learning in the same classrooms with learners with disabilities. Quantitative data were analyzed by descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentages while qualitative data were analyzed thematically. The research findings established lack of modified physical resources, poor attitude towards inclusive education policy, poverty among parents of children with disabilities, and lack of teachers’ skills on Special Needs Education (SNE) were major challenges facing the implementation of inclusive education in public secondary schools. There are other structural modification challenges not in the scope of this study that could be affecting implementation of inclusive education policy and can be tackled at school level. The study established a clear link between structural modification challenges and weak policy guidelines. Therefore, the study concluded that weak inclusive education policy guidelines on structural modification in schools led to lack of modified physical resources, poor attitudes of key stakeholders, poverty and lack of teachers’ skills on SNE, which contributed to poor implementation of inclusive education. Thus, a clear inclusive education policy guideline on structural modification is necessary to enable schools provide a learner-friendly environment, that nurtures learner diversity.
Key words: Structural modification challenges, inclusive education policy, public schools, Kenya.