Vocational aspirations of visually impaired students in mainstreamed secondary schools in selected provinces, Kenya
Sichari, B. Manson
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The study set out to explore the vocational aspirations of visually impaired students in mainstreamed secondary schools in Nairobi, Rift Valley and Western Provinces. A total of 50 mainstreamed visually impaired students, 10 total blind, 15 low vision and 25 albinos/low vision students participated in the study. Questionnaires were used to get demographic data from the 50 students. Analysis of the data was presented in form of simple tables and brief discussions. From visually impaired student's vocational aspirations, it was found that majority of the students most preferred occupations such as news casting, politicians, unionism, public relations, law, music, journalism, insurance, diplomat, commerce and computer science. Visual impairment stereotype seemed to influence their occupational choice preference. This is justified by the fact that most of the occupations that require light utility of sight such as carpentry, pilot, driving, mechanical engineering, photography and dentist were strongly rejected. It was concluded from the study that mainstream educational programme has a long way to create an impact on visually impaired students. This could be due to the fact that in most of the schools visited, there were no specialised teachers to bridge the gap between visually impaired mainstreamed students and the sighted society in the schools. On the basis of the findings, it was recommended that the ministry of education science and technology in conjunction with the teachers service commission should ensure that well trained guidance and counselling or career counsellors are posted to mainstreamed secondary schools or tertiary institutions. There is also the need to employ and post brailists in all mainstreamed secondary schools.