Instructional constraints faced by learners with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: a case of Joy Town Special primary school, Thika, Kenya
Wang'ang'a, Annerose Wanjiku
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The study is about the instructional constraints facing learners with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) at Salvation Army (SA) Joy Town special primary school, Thika Kenya. Duchenne is a type of muscular dystrophy that affects boys almost exclusively because the mutated gene is on the X chromosome and because males have only one thus there is no other X-chromosome to counteract the defective gene. Muscular dystrophy is a general term describing a number of inherited disorders which are characterized by progressive muscle weakness without there being any structural abnormality in the central nervous system. Instructional constraints in this study are the academic difficulties encountered by learners at SA Joy Town special primary school. They include: constant ill health, mobility problems, poor posture, fatigue, poor teaching methods, inappropriate curriculum, and lack of a modified environment among others. SA Joy Town was chosen because it accommodates learners with various categories of physical disabilities and has a national outlook since it admits learners from all over the country. The study adopted a descriptive design because it aims at getting a true picture of a situation, behavior or attitude of individuals and the community at large. The target population was 43 which included: 20 learners, 20 teachers, one head teacher and two teacher aides. The study population was 23 and included: 10 learners, 10 teachers, one head teacher and two teacher aides. The researcher used interviews and observation guide to collect data .Piloting was done at Dagoretti special school for the physically handicapped (PH). Content related validity was used as a measure to determine validity. Correlation of 0.05 confidence levels was used to judge the interviews guides for the learners, teachers, head teacher and teacher aides and the observation guide. A reliability of 0.97 was established for the learners' interviews, 0.91 for the head teacher's interview, 0.78 for the teacher aides' interview, 0.98 for the teachers' interviews and 0.93 for the observation guide. These were found to be good enough as they showed that the instruments were reliable. The researcher used descriptive statistics where tables of frequencies and percentages %were used in analyzing data. Results revealed that there were major instructional constraints facing learners with DMD which included: an inappropriate curriculum, constant ill health, mobility problems, and lack of specialized equipment, inability to manipulate reading and writing materials, slowness in completing learning tasks among others. Further research should be carried out on other types of dystrophies. Study should also be carried out on other challenges facing learners with muscular dystrophy for example emotional factors, social factors and health factors among others.
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