Factors hindering teaching and learning activities for hearing-impaired students at Karen technical training institute for the deaf, Nairobi-Kenya
Kihingi, Christine Kamonya
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The purpose of this study was to establish factors hindering effective teaching and learning activities for the hearing impaired students. The objectives of the study were to establish if teachers' qualifications and students' background have effect on the teaching and learning activities, to establish how effective communication is during teaching and learning. Also, the study identified factors affecting teaching and learning activities as well as the communication barriers and how they could be addressed to improve teaching and learning of hearing-impaired students. Finally, the study looked into communication mode preferences of teachers and students at Karen Technical Training Institute for the Deaf (KTTID), and how they affect teaching and learning activities. The study adopted a diagnostic approach of a descriptive design. The study was carried out in one purposively selected institute, namely KTTID, 20km south of Nairobi, which had a population of 194, comprising of 148 students (96 male and 52 female), 45 teachers (19 male and 26 female), and the principal. The samples comprised of 60 students (30 male and 30 female), who were randomly selected using raffle design and 26 teachers (l3 male and 13 female), were included in the study using stratified sampling. This also included the principal who was automatically a respondent, making a total of 87 respondents. The principal and the teachers filled in the questionnaires, while four research assistants and the researcher conducted interviews for the students. Test for instruments was carried out at St. Angela Vocational/Secondary for the deaf, Mumias, to test their validity and reliability. The data collected was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to establish the frequencies, percentages and correlation. A t-test was employed to determine the relationship between certain variables. Findings of the study indicated that there were inadequate teaching personnel handling students who are hearing-impaired at KTTID. The study established that only 15.4% of teachers were qualified in education for hearing impaired.The findings also showed that 56.6% of students use KSL as the mode of communication with hearing people. This brought a communication barrier during teaching and learning activities at KTTID, as only 7.7% of teachers were conversant with KSL. The study also showed that 78.3% of students had no knowledge of SEE2 in their former schools and first encountered it at KTTID thus forming a negative attitude to learn SEE2. Due to these modes of communication being used interchangeably, findings showed that 67.8% of the subjects feel there is strained communication during teaching and learning activities. Problems arose in understanding instructions, receiving or expressing oneself, which has brought about poor performance in academic work. Lack of adequate information and assessment of audiological rehabilitation was cited in this study. Students with residual hearing were not encouraged to wear their hearing aids for sound amplification. Specialist subjects were not a priority on the timetable. Based on the findings, it is recommended that teaching personnel should have training in SNE, specialized in hearing impaired education; SEE2 should be taught at all levels of education and be examinable as a subject; tertiary institutions and primary teachers colleges should incorporate special education components in the curriculum for the purpose of SNE awareness. It is also recommended that students who benefit from hearing devices should be sensitised to use them during teaching and learning activities. Further research by KIE should be conducted to standardized technical signs.