Influence of school based factors on participation of learners with special needs at public primary schools in Kee division, Makueni county, Kenya
Munyao, Eunice Mueni
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According to Kenya National Special Needs Education Policy Framework, inclusive education is expected to enable learners with special needs attain higher achievement of individualized educational plan goals. This is due to greater access to general education curriculum, enhanced skill acquisition, better preparation for community living, language development, and improved self-esteem. However, without full participation of LSN in school, the fore mentioned goals cannot be realized. The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of school based factors on learners with special needs participation in school in Kee division, Makueni County. The study objectives were to examine the influence of school learning environment, establish the influence of teachers’ attitude and to assess the influence of support services on LSN participation in school in Kee Division, Makueni County. The study was anchored on Functional theory of Attitudes by Dean and Katz and Bioecological Systems theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The study population was 23 head teachers, 23 senior teachers and 26 special needs education teachers from 23 public primary schools in Kee division. Through census sampling technique, 23 head teachers and 23 senior teachers were sampled, while by simple random sampling 23 special needs education teachers were sampled. Teachers’ questionnaire and the head teachers’ interview schedule were used to collect the data. Content and construct validity were ascertained through scrutiny by a panel of university lecturers. Using the split half technique, teachers’ questionnaire was found to have a reliability coefficient of 0.78. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Most of the schools learning environment was found to be unsupportive to learners with special needs participation in school. Most of the teachers were found to have positive attitude towards learners with special needs. In almost all schools the support services such as psychotherapy were erratic. The formulated three null hypotheses were analyzed using multiple regression analysis. The school learning environment had the most significant relative contribution to the prediction of LSN participation in school (β = 0.486, p < 0.05) followed by the availability of LSN support services (β = 0.414, p < 0.05) while the teachers’ attitude towards LSN had the least and insignificant influence (β = 0.208, p = 0.142). The study recommended that, the Ministry of education through the school Management Committee, the NGOs and other development partners should form a special group to specifically solicit funds to enable adaptation of physical and teaching resources. Further, the head teachers through the SMC should seek ways of partnering with various professionals and cooperate bodies in order to secure support services such as physiotherapy and psychotherapy at low or no cost.
Africa Nazarene University
- Education