The socialization of the hearing impaired children: the case of Machakos school for the deaf
Ngao, Gladys K.
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This study set out to find how the school socialized the HI children for adequate living in the society, despite their handicap. The interaction was studied, since hearing impairment is a communication handicap. The HI children's poor socio-economic background denied them a rich context for social interchange. This blocked them from acquisition of positive social adjustment and interaction. The school was likely to provide the Hl pupils with the missing background for social skills and abilities. Specifically, the study examined the following areas;The socio-economic and cultural background, The communication approaches in teaching and learning of the pupils, Factors affecting the social development of the HI pupils, The challenges faced by the school in enhancing the social abilities and skills for the HI pupils, Strategies through which the socialization of the HI children could be improved.Sampling was done purposively. The sample included 60 pupils, although more were observed. Further, 13 teachers, 7 support staff members and 2 education officers were studied. In total, 82 respondents provided information for this study. Interviews questionnaires, and observations were used for data collection. Findings were qualitatively analyzed and presented. Tables presented quantitative data. The study found that MSD strived to positively socialize the HI pupils, although many drawbacks were cited to block its actualization. These drawbacks included; Lack of meaningful communication skills before joining school, Oralism vs manualism controversy. These drawbacks inhibited education of HI pupils. Realization of education for all (EFA) by the year 2015 may therefore not be achieved. The school tried to inculcate social skills and abilities to the HI pupils to equip them with competent communication skills. Through participation in National sports for the HI, Music and drama festivals, friendly matches with neighbouring institutions, and camping. To enhance and uphold self-sufficiency and independence, MSD attempted to teach the pupils skills for daily living. These were aimed to encourage development of spontaneity, intellectual and social curiosity, and self-motivation for active living in society. MSD tried to help the pupils to understand and appreciate their handicap through subjects like dance, nature walk, news, free activities and physical education. To sensitize the community and fight stigma, MSD planned seminars about hearing impairments, and to introduce sign language to the community, parents and guardians. However, on one occasion, only 9 parents were registered. The school motto, "Higher Education for the Deaf' articulated these attempts.Based on the relationship between schooling and socialization for realization of EFA goals and objectives by 2015, this study recommends:Establishment of a clear policy on special education, Mandatory special education training for all teachers.Provision of corrective hearing aids and equipment to the HI children by the government, and Urgent close up of gender disparities for optimum actualization of potentials for the HI children