Analysis of Educational Services for Learners in Special Primary Schools for Hearing Impairments: A Case Study of Oriental Province in The Democratic Republic of Congo
The purpose of the study was to carry out situational analysis of educational services provided for learners in Special Primary Schools for Hearing Impairments in Oriental Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The study utilized the case study methodology to collect data from 3 special schools for learners with HI in Oriental Province, involving (3) Head-Teachers, (28) teachers and (15) parents of learners with HI. The respondents were sampled purposively and the sample size comprised 32(n), participants; 3 Head-Teachers, 14 teachers and 15 parents that were chosen from an accessible population of 46 (N). Semi-structured interview with open-ended questions was used to encourage free response from participants and observation during data collection from Head-Teachers and teachers. Data was analysed qualitatively that is it was organized by themes, coded by categories, then interpreted and presented in various forms. The study established that Special Classes were found to be the most preferable mode of educational service for learners with HI. Most of the schools do not have specific strategies for early identification. Further the findings revealed that children were brought to school without being assessed due to lack of Educational Assessment and Resource Centres and majority of the teaching staff had no qualification in special education for HI, most of them were Diploma holders in General Education . The study recommended that the government of the DRCongo adopts and implement specific Policy on special education to support learners with HI. For quality service, emphasis should be placed on developing appropriate tools for early identification and implementation of EARCs to ensure that Learners with HI have access to the assessment service and are placed accordingly. In addition, the government should engage the Non-Governmental Organizations, the faith based organizations and the community in mobilizing resources to implement structures for the training of special Teachers for HI at different levels.