Challenges in teaching learners with dysgraphia in public primary schools in Manyatta Division, Embu County, Kenya.
Nyaga, Esther Njoki
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The purpose of this study was to identify challenges in teaching learners with Dysgraphia in Public Primary Schools in Manyatta Division, Embu County. The objectives of the study were; To identify challenges in teaching learners with dysgraphia in Manyatta Division; To find out teacher competency in teaching learners with dysgraphia in Manyatta Division; To establish academic related challenges caused by dysgraphia; To identify the assessment procedures for learners with dysgraphia in Manyatta Division. The study was based on Maturational theory. Literature was reviewed under the following subheadings; perspective of LD, characteristics of dysgraphia; instructional materials for learners with dysgraphia; effects of dysgraphia on academic performance of the learner and interventions for dysgraphia. The study adopted a descriptive survey design which was conducted in 4 primary schools from Manyatta Division. The target population included the class teachers, the headteachers, learners with dysgraphia from the sampled schools and EARC Co-ordinator. The sample size included 4 headteachers, 4 classteachers, 1 EARC Co-ordinator and 220 pupils. Data was collected using questionnaires for the class teachers, observation schedule to learners identified with characteristics of dysgraphia and interview guide for head teacher and EARC Coordinator. A pre-testing of the research instruments was done to establish reliability. Expert opinions of the supervisors from the Department of the Special Needs Education was obtained to determine the validity of the instruments. Data was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The results show that 75percent of teachers lack instructional materials that cater for LD. Only 25percent of teachers can identify cases of LD and give special attention. Lack of standardized tools for assessment at the EARC center may have led to poor identification and placement of LD. The researcher concluded that learning of the learners with dysgraphia is inadequate and this has been contributed by; lack of enough teachers trained in LD to identify learners with dysgraphia and apply appropriate teaching strategies, inadequate instructional materials that cater for LD and lack of standardized tools for assessment at the EARC center. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education should oversee special education training to all education officers and teachers. The EARC centers to be equipped with standardized tools for quality assessment of LD cases and teachers to be provided with instructional materials that cater for LD. Parents to be educated on LD in order to understand their children and provide necessary support toward the education of these learners. The researcher recommends a similar study to be carried out at a wider scope for generalization of results that would benefit children in the entire republic.