Teachers’ management strategies on learners with asthma and their influence on academic performance in public primary schools in Ruiru Sub-County, Kenya
Machaka, Doris Nyaburi
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the teachers‟ management strategies on learners with asthma and their influence on academic performance in public primary schools in Ruiru Sub-County, Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to: find out the number of learners suffering from asthma; investigate the extent to which asthma influences the learner‟s academic performance; establish the extent to which asthma affects learners‟ psychological functioning; investigate how asthma influences the learners‟ school experiences; and assess teacher‟s intervention strategies used to manage learners with asthma in schools in Ruiru Sub-County, Kiambu County. The study adopted descriptive survey. The target population in this study was class 4 to 7 learners at public primary schools located within Ruiru Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya. The study targeted a total of 1246 respondents who comprised of 567 learners from class 7 to 4 and their parents, 104 class teachers and 8 head teachers from 8 public primary schools. For the purpose of the study the researcher used purposive sampling to select 3 public primary schools within Ruiru town and along Thika Super Highway. Purposive sampling was used to select 3 boys and 2 girls from each class hence a total of 12 boys and 8 girls were selected from each school translating to a total of 60 learner-respondents. Purposive sampling procedure was also used to select 60 parents of the learners, 3 head teachers and 4 class teachers from each school. The sample size was made up of 135 participants. Questionnaires were used to collect information from class teachers and parents. Structured interviews and focused group discussion were used in collecting information from the head teacher and learners respectively. Quantitative data collected on distribution of incidences of asthma amongst learners in different age levels were coded and analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences. Quantitative analysis was done using descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentages. Qualitative analysis was done by organizing variables into themes. In addition, bar-graphs, frequency tables and percentages were used to present the analyzed data. The findings of the study revealed that there was a significant negative effect between asthma and academic performance. The study concluded that learners with asthma face various challenges, and teachers do not handle asthmatic learners in a special way. The study recommended that teachers should be given opportunities to attend training workshops and seminars in order to enhance their skills; and school community should be sensitized through the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health on the preventive strategies of asthma and its management.