Inclusive education for children with Autism;challenges facing teachers at City primary school, Nairobi Province, Kenya
Matasio, Christine Mwendo
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This study looked at inclusive education for children with autism at City Primary School in Nairobi Province, Kenya. The school was purposively sampled because it is the first school to practice inclusive education for children with autism in Kenya. Inclusive Education is the process of educating children with disability with those without disability in ordinary regular schools by catering for needs of all children irrespective of their ability or disability through appropriate curricula, organizational arrangements, teaching strategy, resource use and partnership with communities. Research studies show that countries like America, Britain, and China are practicing inclusive education for children with autism with America having 52% separate classroom, 19% separate facilities, 14% general classroom, 12% resource room, 2% home hospital and 2% residential facilities. In Kenya no studies have been done on inclusive education for children with autism, therefore this study was intended to bridge this gap. A case study design was adopted for this study; the sample comprised 50 respondents who were purposively sampled from the entire population of the 75 respondents. The respondents included; the head teacher, 4 heads of departments, 8 special education teachers, 12 regular teachers, 15 teacher's aide 7 occupational therapists and 4 Ministry of Education officials from Special Education needs department. Questionnaires, interview schedules, focused group discussions and observation schedules were used. Piloting of the instruments was done in Buruburu 1 Primary School in Nairobi Province because it is a Public City council school with similar administrative structure like City Primary School. The data was analysed thematically. The collected data was categorized in relation to objectives of the study; The analysis involved developing a coding system based on samples of collected data, classifying major issues or themes covered. The same data was reread to highlight key quotations or insights and interpretations. All the coded materials under the major themes identified were put together for summarization of the report. The analysed data was graphically presented by histograms, graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts. The results showed that there were specific policy guidelines on inclusive education in Kenya. The results also revealed that City primary School has environmental adaptations and classroom modification to suit the diverse needs of the learners in the School. The results further revealed that the School collaborated with the home and the community of Children with autism. However the study found that lack of a curriculum in the special unit for CW A was a hindrance to teaching children with autism. In conclusion, the findings of the study revealed that children with autism can learn in an inclusive set up. Lastly the study recommends to the Ministry of Education to have an independent department with the ministry to monitor the implementation of inclusive education. The study also suggests further research to be carried on the influence of the family background of a child with autism towards inclusive education. Similarly another study should be carried out to investigate the attitudes of the parents and regular learners without disability towards inclusive education.