Influencing Performance In Mathematics In Kenya Certificate Of Primary Education Examination Of learners With Hearing Impairment In Meru County, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to analyze the factors influencing learner’s poor performance in mathematics in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination for learners with hearing impairment in Meru County. Despite efforts made by the Ministry of Education to offer Education to the learners with hearing impairment, these learners continue to perform poorly in Mathematics in KCPE examination. The study specifically sought to: examine teaching strategies used by teachers in the selected primary schools for Hearing Impairment, determine perceptions of teachers towards hearing impaired learners and their education. The study also sought to establish the auxiliary services offered to learners with HI to be able to benefit from education in the selected schools and lastly identify the resources available to facilitate education for learners with HI in the selected schools for learners with hearing impairment in Meru County. There are two schools for hearing impaired in Meru County. The study was carried out in the two primary schools for learners with hearing impairment. These are Njia and Kaaga School for Hearing Impaired. The two schools were selected for the study because the schools are a representative group for learners with hearing impairment in Kenya. Through purposive sampling, respondents were selected to respond to the research instruments. Questionnaires and interview guides were administered by the researcher. Piloting of the instruments was done in Isiolo Primary School for learners with hearing impairment that was not included in the final sample. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics which included frequencies, percentages and categories. The study established that all teachers in special education schools in Meru County had attained some training on special education and they were conversant with sign language. It was also revealed that Mathematics teachers used a combination of more than three teaching strategies in implementing curriculum among learners with hearing impairment in primary schools for HI in Meru County. Some of these strategies included illustrations, demonstrations, group work and question and answers among others. The most commonly used strategy was question and answer followed by group work both of which encourage comprehensive learner participation hence likely to impact positively in their performance. It was also shown that most mathematics teachers had positive attitudes towards the learners with hearing impairment. Teachers cared about what the learners did at school and were very willing to help them both in academic work and general welfare matters. Provision of auxiliary services including hearing aids, sign language interpretation, speech therapy, and psychological and medical support were inadequate. Resources such as trained staff members who were conversant with sign language, school nurses, library, resource room, classrooms and assistive devices were inadequately provided. This study recommended that the government, NGOs and other stakeholders should offer more to support SE systems through monetary and material support in order to ensure that learners with HI are well empowered by putting in place the necessary resources and facilities to better their learning. Campaign on attitude change should be intensified to change teachers who have negative attitudes and perceptions towards the HI learners. The sign language curriculum should be moderated to suit the intellectual capabilities of learners with HI and more dictionaries provided. The responsible organs should address the issue of understaffing and further seek to mitigate the challenges faced by educators in the SE. The study suggests that further research is required with other forms of disabilities or impairments since this study dealt with only hearing impairment.