School based factors affecting learning of Kenyan sign language in primary schools for hearing impaired in Embu and Isiolo Counties, Kenya
Rwaimba, Muthomi Samuel
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This was a descriptive survey study design which sought to establish the school based factors that affect the learning of Kenyan Sign Language in primary schools for learners with hearing impairment in Embu and Isiolo counties in Kenya. The target population was all teachers (29) teaching in Isiolo and St. Lukes primary schools for learners with hearing impairment, which were the only schools for learners with HI in Isiolo and Embu counties. From the selected schools, the study purposively and randomly sampled 2 head teachers and 8 teachers. Interview guides were used to obtain data from the head teachers, questionnaires from teachers while observation schedules were used to obtain data on the general nature of the school environment. Quantitative data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and tabulated in frequency tables, bar charts and pie charts while qualitative data were analyzed and presented in narrative form. The study findings revealed that; school infrastructure had a direct impact to the academic achievement of learners, teachers made use of curriculum instructional materials such as KSL dictionaries, charts and KSL texts books to teach KSL although the researcher’s observation indicated inadequacy of these resources, all the sampled respondents had training in special needs education but only 25% had training in KSL as a subject and finally the findings also revealed that the school management had a bearing effect on the learning of KSL among learners with HI. Basing on the findings the researcher recommends that the government through the MoE should increase the funding of these schools in order for them to have the adequate resources required, to put up and maintain good quality and adequate infrastructure, teachers teaching KSL should move further and make use of audio visual curriculum materials such as TVs and computers instead of only relying on the KSL dictionaries, charts and books. On the academic training of the KSL teachers, the TSC should post teachers trained in KSL to teach KSL among learners with HI and the universities should also introduce KSL as a teaching subject alongside other subjects like Mathematics, English, Kiswahili and the like. The researcher further recommends for the training of all stakeholders in education management since training the heads alone is not sufficient because school management is a team effort.