HINDRANCES TO EFFECTIVE LEARNING OF PUPILS WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT IN MERU NORTH DISTRICT-KENYA

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ABSTRACT

One is learning when he is increasing the probability of making a correct response to a given stimulus. One has learned only when he is capable of giving an appropriate response. The 8.4.4 Curriculum of Education is followed in education of hearing impaired in special schools and units. Hence just as the case in regular education, the hearing impaired are expected to learn and perform well academically. Statement of  the Problem was that children with hearing impairments are typically not educationally managed well to permit them compete satisfactorily in the society. The study aimed at investigating factors hindering effective learning of children who are hearing impaired in one special primary school and units in Meru North District in Eastern Province of Kenya. Education being a basic human right, children who are hearing impaired successful learning, needs to be emphasized and factors hindering it to be addressed. Literature was reviewed on trends in the education of children who are hearing impaired and how units of hearing impaired are successfully manned in order to mode children with hearing impairments. The study was carried out within Meru North District that is Tigania and Igembe. It used a descriptive survey design. One special primary school and 22 units were sampled for the study, which presents 30% of the total population. Purposive and stratified random samplings were used for the particular special primary school and units. Questionnaires, interviews and observation schedules formed the basic research instruments. Expert‟s knowledge from the supervisors was indispensable in determining the validity of the instruments. The reliability was determined by the use of a pilot study. The results show that Majority (62.5%) of the parents preferred their children to be enrolled in residential special schools. Only 57% of the teachers always use the teaching/learning resources, 87% of the respodents indicated that they have over 10 years of teaching experience, 75% of them went through KCSE system of education and 57% of the teachers prepare their lessons  before teaching the children who are hearing impared.It was concluded that lack of many trained teachers in Special Needs Education may affect learning of pupils with hearing impairment in special schools and units,inadequate teaching and learning resources impede learning of pupils with hearing impairment and lack of inspction of special schools and units by the Ministry of Education officers will affect effectiveness.Among the recommendations, it was recommended that the QASOs be trained in Special Needs Education,the teachers to be given frequent workshops and seminars. Scools should solicit funs to buy the necessary materials and equipment and organise short sign language courses for parents and that parents should cater for the basiic needs of their children.The researcher also recommeds a similar study to be carried out at a wider scope to uncover the problem at a broad perspective that wouldl benefit children who are hearing impaired.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

          Introduction.

The chapter endeavors to present the various aspects that enabled the researcher to  build a case for the study. The study was presented by a way of background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research objectives, research questions, limitation of the study, theoretical and conceptual framework and operational definition of terms as outlined in ensuing sections.

                      Background to the Study

It is a government policy that all children regardless of disability to access quality education. In this regard, the teachers have a great task of providing quality services to the children who are hearing impaired. The literature on psychology of learning is vast. Many psychologists among them Behaviorists, Cognitivists or Gestalts, including Clinicians would own up to being learning theorists. One is learning when he is increasing the probability of making a correct response to a given stimulus. One has learned only when he is capable of giving an appropriate response (Lancaster, 1974). Moreover, in learning, there is no certainty, nothing is sure. There is only a probability that a response would be correct. This probability varies with time, repetition and other factors. It can be said that an individual has learned something if he or she gives repeatedly an appropriate response to the stimulus. However, desired learning has occurred only when the probability of a correct response is much higher than it would be by pure chance.

Learning is a change in human disposition or capability which persists over a period of time, and which is not simply ascribable to process of growth. The kind of change called learning exhibits itself as a change in behaviour and the inference in learning is made by comparing what behaviuor was possible before the individual was placed in a learning situation and what behaviour can be exhibited after such treatment (Lancaster, 1974). The change may be, and often is an increased capability for some type of performance. It may also be an offered disposition of the sort called “attitude” or “interest” or “value”. The change must have more than momentary permanence; it  must be capable of being retained over some period of time. Finally, it must be distinguishable from the kind of change that is attributable to growth, such as a change in height or the development of muscles through exercises (Lancaster, 1974). Critics of formal education suggest that many or most schools have lost their concern for learning effectiveness (Lancaster, 1974).

The overall aim of education of the child who is hearing impaired should be to make him/her a well integrated happy hearing impaired individual and not a pale imitation of a hearing person. The teacher‟s aim is to produce a happy well-adjusted hearing- impaired individual, each different from the other with his own personality. This calls for a greater commitment on the teachers‟ handling such children. A great deal of repetition is needed while teaching so that the children can grasp the teacher‟s intended goals. With poor classroom settings where there are no adequate teaching and learning materials together with audiological services, the teacher cannot achieve much.

Generally, the education of children with special needs, (SNE) aims at providing learning opportunities to a child in a coordinated educational programme that emphasizes the natural objectives such as acquisition of literacy, numeracy and manipulative skills and to develop positive image, self-expression and self-discipline.

According to the report of the Commission chaired by Kamunge (Republic of Kenya, 1988), resources that should be available to educational institutions include land, finances, teachers, time, facilities and equipment. The report continues to say that a beautiful school environment creates good teaching and learning; management and provision of quality, in addition to relevant education and training are dependent among other things as the supply of adequate equipment and teaching learning materials. Moon and Meyers (1994) asserts that teaching and learning are the heart of any school‟s activities. They both further point out that it was on rare occasions that the overall performance of a school or an institution was highly favourable and the facilities and equipment are not in good condition and in need of repair or always in the process of being repaired.

Education of the hearing impaired in Kenya dates back to the establishment of Kenya Society for the Deaf Children (KSDC), in 1958 by Peter Clifford, a government Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at King George IV Hospital, currently Kenyatta National Hospital, Mrs. Elizabeth Couldrey, a Speech Therapist and Mrs. Edina Hughes, a member of the then Kenya Legislative Council (Ndurumo, 1993). Currently, records of KSDC show a total of seventy-one programmes including many units (KSDC, 2004).

The 8.4.4 curriculum of education is followed in the education of hearing impaired in special schools and units. Hence just as the case in regular education, the hearing impaired are expected to learn and perform well academically. This calls for the government to have properly coordinated inspection in special schools and units to ensure that standards are not compromised due to lack of necessary materials and equipment for the successful learning of children who are hearing impaired. In order to effectively co-ordinate the education of the handicapped, the Ministry of Education established Special Education section at the inspectorate referred to as quality control and administration in 1976. The special education administration sections were given the mandate in the management and administration of the programmes to ensure that teachers were receiving appropriate training and also inspect schools to ensure that academic standards were being maintained. The placement of deaf children in schools and units is done through Educational Assessment and Resource Centres (EARC).