Implementation of strategies for reducing dropout rates of learners with mild intellectual disabilities in inclusive primary schools in Bugesera District, Rwanda
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This study aimed at identifying the extent to which strategies for reducing dropout rates of learners with mild intellectual disabilities were implemented in inclusive primary schools in Bugesera District, Rwanda. The target population was 195 respondents who included teachers, headteachers, learners with MID and officers in charge of Child Friendly School initiative (CFS). A sample size of 62 respondents was obtained through the use of purposive sampling, stratified random sampling and simple random sampling methods. Data collection instruments were questionnaires for headteachers and teachers, interview guide for officers in charge of CFS initiative, focus group discussion for learners with MID and lesson observation schedule. Data collected was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Quantitative data was presented using descriptive statistics, and was entered in SPSS for analysis. Qualitative data was presented using verbatim reporting. The study found out that teachers were not using special methods recommended to teach learners with MID, teaching/ learning resources were not enough and limited support services were provided to learners with mild intellectual disabilities. Though teachers reported to have advanced level in teaching, none had a specialization in the area of learning disability and intellectual disability. The study also found that although teachers had supportive opinions on inclusion of learners with MID; they had limited knowledge of inclusive practice. Furthermore, learners with MID were not happy with the way they were accommodated in inclusive primary schools. The study concluded that strategies for reducing dropout rate were inadequately implemented in inclusive primary, thus the high dropout rate of learners with mild intellectual disabilities. The study recommended that the Ministry of Education introduce Special Needs Education course in Teacher Training Colleges and in servicing others in the area of Special Needs Education. Adequate funding specifically for learners with MID should be provided so that ample specialized teaching and learning materials can be provided.