Implementation of Physical Education to the Mentally Retarded: Constraints Encountered by teachers in Nairobi.
Okoko, Janet Mola
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This study investigated constraints teachers encountered while implementing the current Physical Education (P.E) programme to mentally retarded learners in Nairobi. This was done by examining the provision. sui tabi 1 ity and adequacy of requi red resources such as; tra i ned teachers. equipment and facilities. time allocated for a lesson. P.E. syllabus. textbooks and other relevant materials for mentally retarded 1 ea rners . The respondents were a 1 so requested to offer. on bas is of their experiences. suggestions on how future planning and implementation of P.E. to the mentally retarded could be improved. The study was conducted in 20 institutions with mentally retarded learners in Nairobi. The study sample consisted of 44 teachers. 20 headteachers. one school inspector of i nst i tut ions wi th menta lly retarded 1 earners and one tutor for P. E. at the Kenya Institute of Speci a 1 Education (K. I . S . E. ) . Ten out of the twenty surveyed institutions. were used for observation and completion of checklist on the ava il abil i ty. adequacy and appropri ateness of P. E. equi pment and facilities. The study was a survey utilizing questionnaires. interview schedule. observation schedule and a checklist. Data obtained from the research instruments was analysed using frequencies and percentages. Findings of the study were as follows: (i) Majority (66.7%) of the teachers were not specially trained to handle mentally retarded learners. (ii) Most of the teachers reported that the objectives of the approved P.E. syllabus were difficult to interpret and achieve with regard to mentally retarded learners. ( iii ) The availability. suitability and maintenance of P.E. equipment and facilities were issues of concern to the teachers. (iv) There was lack of uniformity in the duration used to teach P.E. to mentally retarded learners in various institutions. Most teachers found the standard time 30 - 35 mi nutes too short for teachi ng P.E. to mentally retarded. Results revealed that P.E. to mentally retarded was constrained by: inadequate teaching and learning resources. negative attitude of both administrators and teachers. learners' handicapping condition and occasional bad weather. The fo 11 owi ng recommendations were made on the strength of the findings: a) There is need for Kenya Institute of Education (K.I.E.) to do an in-depth evaluation of the programme and come up with a suitable syllabus geared towards the need of mentally retarded learners. b) A review should be carried out on the current curriculum for training teachers in special education especially the teachers handling mentally retarded learners. c) The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development should ensure that the policy regarding Education Programmes and placement of mentally retarded learners in educational institutions is reviewed and implemented to ensure appropri ate placement of 1 ea rners of different 1 eve 1 s of retardation and varying ages. d) Teachers specially trained to handle mentally retarded learners should be motivated so that their high turnover from the institutions is reduced.