Implementation of inclusive education in Kenyatta University, Kenya
Kimani, George Ngundo
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Inclusive education has become a major point of focus in higher institution of learning. Despite increasing in demand and need of education by the Students with Special Needs (SSN) and the strategies implemented by Universities, there continues to be a sense of neglect, lack of knowledge and resources as essential components for the implementation of inclusive education. This study investigated the implementation of inclusive education in Kenyatta University (KU), Nairobi, Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to: To identify the resources available/ unavailable/ and their adequacy to students with special needs that are required to facilitate implementation of inclusive education, to determine the teaching/learning methodology for training students with special needs in Kenyatta University, to determine the accessibility of university facilities, transport facilities and suitability of accommodation services and to determine the attitude of Students with Special Needs (SSN) in Kenyatta University towards inclusive education. The study was informed by Albert Bandura's (1977) Social learning theory and Inclusion within the whole social context. The study employed a descriptive case study design which is used in studying social systems such as a school. The study population sample size constituted sixty nine (69) respondents who filled questionnaire and one respondent was interviewed, all from Kenyatta University. An interview was conducted with the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics. A total of 24 lecturers and 45 Students with Special Needs were given questionnaires to fill. A checklist was also used to identify the physical facilities/resources available. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used to analyse, present, and interpret data using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Analysis of data was done thematically using the objectives of the study. The key findings of the study were: Most of the resources/facilities are available but not adequate, the teaching/ learning methods were average which was not very effective to ensure the learning process takes place for the SSN, the accessibility of university facilities, transport services and accommodation in the university were suitable to the students with SSN and students with special needs were comfortable but were stigmatized at least once in the university. Recommendations included: The university management should come up with a strategic policy that will ensure the provision of all resources/facilities, employ more resource room personnel and have different resource rooms to cater for each group of SSN, university management should provide training for the lecturers to improve their knowledge and skills in teaching students with special needs through workshops and seminars and inter-departmental approaches, The university management should have a strategic plan for continuous maintenance and increase of all the physical accessibilities to the facilities, transportation and accommodation and the university management should provide awareness of their students with special needs through seminars/ workshops, creating a university common course on inclusive education and increase programmes on disability sensitization so as to enhance inclusivity for all persons in the university.