FACTORS INFLUENCING THE INTEGRATION OF PUPILS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN AN INCLUSIVE SETTING: A SURVEY OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN TINDERET SUB-COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
The debate about inclusive education has been lessened in many parts of the world and the society in Kenya is trying to digest into the education system the integration of pupils with special needs in an inclusive setting. Despite all these efforts there are still some challenges that affect inclusive education in our society from international level to local level. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that influence the integration of pupils with special needs in an inclusive setting. The specific objectives of the study were to determine how teacher training, suitability of physical facilities used, teacher perceptions on inclusive education and the support strategies used by school administrators for pupils with special needs influence inclusive education. The findings of this study would help teachers and school administrators strengthen the implementation of inclusive education by correcting any unfavorable attitudes, modifications, provision of resources and improve support strategies in the schools. Education administrators would benefit in the findings and would take appropriate actions for proper implementation. This would lead to improved education for all (EFA). It was hoped the study would provide a significant source of reference to school head teachers, teachers and other stakeholders on integration for pupils with special needs in an inclusive education set up. The study adopted the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) (2007). The research adopted a descriptive survey research design to carry out the study since it involved the study of various entities. To ensure adequate representation, a target population of 240 teachers and 40 PTA representatives were used. A sample of 120 teachers and 20 PTA representatives were chosen for the study. The results of the piloting indicated reliability of 0.803 was which is above the 0.70 threshold. This was in agreement with recommendation of Mugenda and Mugenda, (2003). The instrument was pilot tested to improve its validity and relevance of the objectives of the study. The questionnaires and the interview schedules were scrutinized for errors and omissions, ambiguity, legibility and relevance. The data collection instruments used were questionnaires and interview schedules. The data collected was analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The instruments were piloted in one of the schools in Tinderet sub-county which was not included in the study. Data analysis was done by use of frequency tabulation and percentages. The study findings indicated that most of the teachers were not trained in special needs education and did not frequently attend inservice courses and workshops on special needs education. Further, hearing aids, visual aids, brails and wheelchairs were not available in most of the schools while demonstrations and crutches were available and suitable in most of the schools. The study further indicated that teachers believed that pupils with special needs could not interact with other pupils. Further most of the school administrations rarely supported students with special needs as they rarely provided the necessary resources, clarified to the teachers on how to handle them and they rarely motivated teachers. This study is very significant to the Ministry of Education in the development of policies on inclusive education in Kenya.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
According to the Salamanca Statement of 1994, every child has a basic right to education; every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs and therefore education services should take into account these diverse characteristics and needs. Children with special educational needs must have access to regular schools. Regular schools with an inclusive ethos are the most effective way to combat discriminatory attitudes, create welcoming and inclusive communities and achieve education for all. In addition, such schools provide effective education to the majority of children, improve efficiency and cost- effectiveness (UNESCO, 1994).

Children with special educational needs are those with learning disabilities, a condition that affects the academic performance. Such children develop more slowly compared to other children of the same age. This is due to the difficulty they undergo with the regular basic processes that are applied in understanding or using spoken and written languages, reading and listening, comprehension, basic reading skills and mathematical reasoning/calculation (Luseno, 1993). Children with special educational needs are of many categories like those with hearing impairments, physical impairments, visual impairments, language impairments among others. Children with mental impairments for example are those who have significantly sub- average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during developmental period (Rhodes, Ochoa, & Ortiz, 2005).

Inclusive education includes the complete integration of the students with special needs into the general education classroom. The student receives all special services in the same general education classroom as all other students. This is very common with students whose needs are easily met in a classroom, such as a modification that allows the student more time to complete written assignments. Here the students classified as disabled remain in general classrooms virtually all the time (Bowe, 2005). Related services are provided via "push in," meaning that professionals enter the classroom and deliver assistance there.

Different professionals sometimes use the terms “integration and mainstreaming” interchangeably. The term integration is mainly used in Europe and Kenya while mainstreaming is commonly used in America. There are three forms of integration: Functional, vocational and social. Functional integration is where a child with special needs is placed in a regular class; Vocational integration occurs when the learner with special needs is placed in a special unit located in the regular school and social integration is the situation where the learner with special needs is placed in a special learning purposes, but join the peers in the regular classes for social activities. Inclusive education faces various challenges in many parts of the world like lack of proper policy structures/guidelines, poor implementation, inadequate itinerant teachers for peripatetic services and above all negative attitudes towards the programme by the stakeholders.

Schools that practice full inclusion for all students have no separate special education classes. However, full inclusion of all students, regardless of their particular needs, is a controversial practice, and it is not widely applied (Hastings, 2003). It is more common for local educational agencies to provide a variety of settings, from special classrooms to mainstreaming to inclusion, and to assign students to the system that seems most likely to help the student achieve his or her individual educational goals.

In recent times, there has been a growing realization in Africa that the greatest problems faced by children with disabilities are prejudice, social isolation and discrimination in society. The study on educating children in difficult circumstances estimated that only eight per cent of children with disabilities in Bangladesh were currently enrolled in various educational institutions (Directorate of Primary Education, 2002). Of these, 48 per cent were seeking formal education, 23 per cent were in integrated schools, 15 per cent were in special education, and five per cent were in inclusive education. Among the enrolled children with mild and moderate disabilities, 79 per cent were enrolled in formal educational settings. Of those with severe and profound disabilities, 83 percent were enrolled in special education (ibid).

Access of formal education for the disabled remains an issue with perception about disability varying from community to community. According to World Bank (2004), people with physical or mental limitations are often disabled not because of a diagnosable condition, but because they are denied access to education, labour markets and public services. The World Bank looks at disability not as a medical condition, but interaction between human functioning and an environment that does not account for different levels of functioning. The Children’s Act (RoK) also recognizes the presence of the child with disability whom it defines as one who has physical or mental handicap that necessitates special care, including provision of formal education. The parliamentary Act (2003) on persons with disabilities defines disability as a physical, sensory, mental or other impairment including any visual, hearing, learning or physical incapacity that adversely affects a person’s social, economic or environmental participation. Both the children Act (2001) and the persons with disability Act (2003) provided useful legal instruments in formulation of education policies for the disabled child.

In practice the Kenyan government has put in a lot of efforts in addressing inclusive education as per various policy documents through integration and mainstreaming. Kenya officially, launched the national Special Need Education (SNE) policy on 10th March, 2010 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) formerly known as KIE. During the launch, education minister pointed out that his ministry remains committed to providing quality education for all learners in a caring and supportive environment to enable them attain their full potential. Providing quality education that is affordable and relevant to the lives of all children including those with special needs is one of the major aims of the ministry (MoE, 2011). The policy framework launched addresses some critical issues which determine delivery of quality and relevant education for learners with special needs. Among the issues are equity and improvement of learning environment in all schools that will ensure that inclusive education becomes a reality and consequently improves the participation and involvement of people with special needs in national development in general.

It should be noted that educational opportunities for learners with special needs and disabilities have been a major challenge to the education sector whereby majority of learners with special needs and disabilities in Kenya have not been accessing educational services. However, this scenario has changed especially after the launch of the National SNE policy on 10th March, 2010 at KICD. For instance, in 1999 there were only 22,000 learners with special needs and disabilities enrolled in special schools, units and integrated programs. This number rose to 26,885 in 2003 and 45,000 in 2008, to more than 60,000 in 2011 (MoE, 2011). With an increase in learners with disabilities, various schools have been struggling to provide quality education. Against this background, the study sought to examine how selected factors influence the integration of special needs pupils.

Statement of the Problem
Most of the schools in Tinderet sub county have embraced integration of special needs education in their curriculum. However, despite these efforts, inclusive education in Tinderet sub county has not been able to fully provide children with special needs with the quality education and the attention they require. Perhaps these may be due to teachers training, facilities and support provided by school administration. Teacher perception on this issue is pertinent as the teachers are the key implementers of educational programs. In this study, factors influencing the integration of learners with special needs in inclusive education was sought. These factors were intended to improve the quality of education for special needs pupils in inclusive education setting.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to determine the factors that influence integration of learners with special needs in inclusive education. It was a survey of primary schools in Tinderet sub-county.

Objectives of the Study
This study sought to meet the following objectives

i) To investigate how teacher training influences the integration of pupils with special needs in inclusive education.

ii) To investigate how the suitability of physical facilities influence the integration of pupils with special needs in an inclusive education.

iii) To determine how teacher perceptions influence the integration of pupils with special needs in inclusive education.

iv) To determine how the support provided by the school administration influences the integration of pupils with special needs in inclusive education.

Research Questions
The study sought to answer the following research questions:

i) How does the level of training of teachers influence the integration of pupils with special needs in inclusive education?

ii) How does the suitability of physical facilities influence the integration of pupils with special needs in inclusive education?

iii) How do teacher perceptions influence the integration of pupils with special needs in inclusive education?

iv) How do the support strategies adopted by the school administration influence the integration of pupils with special needs in an inclusive setting?

Significance of the Study
The findings of this study would help teachers and school administrators strengthen the implementation of inclusive education by correcting any unfavorable attitudes, modifications, provision of resources and improve support strategies in the schools. Education administrators would benefit in the findings and would take appropriate actions for proper implementation. This would lead to improved education for all (EFA). It was hoped the study would provide a significant source of reference to school head teachers, teachers and other stakeholders on integration for pupils with special needs in an inclusive education set up.

Scope of the Study
The specific factors that were explored were the level of training offered to the teachers, the suitability of physical facilities used, the influence of attitudes and the support strategies used by primary schools, pupils in the primary cycle of education.

Assumptions of the study
The study assumed that inclusive education was understood by the teachers and the head teachers in Tinderet Sub county,

Limitations of the study
This study encountered various limitations:

i) This study was conducted in Tinderet sub-county. Thus the findings of the study can only be generalized to other parts of the country with caution.

ii) Given the nature of topic, some research participants especially pupils thought that they were being probed therefore pupils may not have been honest in their reports. However, the research assured the respondents of the confidentiality of the information in order to overcome that limitation.

For more Education Projects Click here
===================================================================
Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 57 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
===================================================================

Share:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post

HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts