Factors affecting administration of integration programme of primary school pupils with visual impairment in Homa bay District, Nyanza
Okange, Chrisantus Odhiambo
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Integration of learners with visual impairments has been in practice in Kenya from as early as the 1970s. The system started in both primary and secondary schools, developing to a more formal system. Several policies came into existence, which led to implementation of integrated programmes in Kenya. Homa Bay integrated programme started in 1993 in Homa Bay District. Education of students with special needs can be made effective by identifying strategic principles and practices through research (Lipsky and Gartner, 1977). A number of primary schools in the district integrated the pupils with visual impairments as fulfillment of the integration policies enforced. Pupils Joined Homa Bay programme rather than special schools since it was recommended by educational reports in Kenya. Pupils later started dropping out form the integrated schools as some sought for transfers back to special schools. The study examines how pupils with visual impairments have been integrated in the Homa Bay programme since its inception in 1993 and analyzed administrative factors affecting integration of pupils with visual impairments in Homa Bay District. Okumbe (1998) states that educational administration is the process of acquiring and allocating resources for the achievement of predetermined educational goals. The research design was a descriptive survey, employing qualitative analysis and descriptive statistics in analyzing data. The data were presented qualitatively by means of percentages, mean and also in tabular form. The instruments used were questionnaire, interview and observation checklist. Ten schools out of the forty two were randomly sampled as the two special schools were purposively sampled. Sixteen pupils with visual impairments from the sampled school were randomly sampled. Ten parents of pupils who dropped from the programme were purposively sampled. The main sampling procedure was simple random sampling. 1993 - 2003 a total of 64 subjects participated in the study. The study covered the period 1993 - 2003. The pupils were 10 - 20 years age level. The pupils with visual impairments usually have delayed milestone hence delay in school entry. A total of ten out of 42 integrated schools in Homa bay representing 23.8% and two residential special schools participated in the study. The study adapted Reynold's (1962) inverted pyramidal model that explains integration of pupils in regular school. In this model, pupils are enrolled in regular classes and withdrawn from the classroom for specialized services in certain part of the day. Many pupils transferred and many dropped out form Homa Bay Integrated Programme. The factors, which the study revealed to be contributing to that retrogress] veness included negative attitudes by some teachers, parents, administrators and school community. None- existence of specialized facilities/equipment, and lack of specialist teachers led to absence of adapted and specialist curriculum. The study revealed that 21.7`% of the pupils who were initially integrated had either dropped out from the system or transferred to residential special schools. The study recommended trained teachers in special needs education. Secondly, awareness should be created using media, public Barazas and seminars and heighten positive. attitudes of all in the education sector. The availability, adequacy, relevance and quality of special facilities/equipment are supreme in integration. The study concluded that lack of, specially trained teachers and appropriate curriculum affected integration programme of the pupils who were visually impaired in Homa Bay.