Adaptations of Schools Environment in Murang' a District to Suit the Requirements of Children with Special Needs
Wakahiga, Peter Mbira
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This study sought to determine the adaptations made in school environments to suit the needs oflearners with special educational needs (SNE) in Murang'a District of Central Province, Kenya. The study was linked to the eco-systemic theory. The theory expounds on the importance of the interaction between learners and the environment for good development. However in the case of learners with SNE, the environment in public primary schools has to be modified for effective interaction. A sample of 12 public primary schools was randomly selected from the 207 primary schools in Murang'a District. The study adopted a descriptive survey design to determine the adaptations that had been made in public primary schools to make a barrier free environment for learners with SNE. The researcher targeted the headteachers and school management committees Chairpersons as respondents so as to gather information on the environmental modifications done and what remained to be done. An interview schedule and an observation guide were used to collect the information. A pilot study was carried out in two schools which were not included in the main survey. Test-retest method was used to ascertain reliability of the research tools. Data was analyzed and interpreted using percentages and frequencies. Qualitative data was summarized in narrative form. The findings of the study were that, some environmental modifications were done in some schools. However, in most of the schools no environmental modifications were done. In some schools individual learners with visual impartment were bought spectacles while others were bought goats for income generating purpose. In three of the primary schools, some three learners with hearing impartment, mental challenges and physically impairments were taken to special schools for the deaf, school for the mentally handicapped and school for the physically handicapped respectively. The findings show that there is a need to have the primary schools' environments modified to suit learners with various special educational needs since learners with SNE were enrolled in all the primary schools. The researcher recommended the complete modification of the public primary schools environments to make them barrier free for learners with SNE. The researcher also recommended that serious campaign be launched to sensitize the non-disabled learners, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders on the needs of learners with special learning needs.