Factors Influencing the Use of Assistive Technology in Teaching Mathematics to Learners with Visual Impairments in Special Primary Schools in Kenya
Chege, Mary Wairimu
Awori, Beatrice Bunyasi
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Learners with visual impairments (VI) in Kenyan primary schools usually perform poorly in Mathematics as compared with the other examinable subjects. With this regard, this study sought to identify factors that influence the use of Assistive Technology (AT) in teaching Mathematics to learners with VI in special primary schools for the Blind in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive research design targeting 76 learners with VI in classes seven and eight, and 10 teachers of Mathematics from 5 special primary schools. Purposive sampling was used to select 10 teachers, while simple random sampling was used to select 20 learners with VI. Interview guides and observation checklist were used for data collection. The study established that the major factors influencing use of AT devices included: inadequate time for syllabus coverage, high cost of AT devices, inadequate teacher training in the use of AT devices, rigid curriculum and negative attitudes of learners. The study recommends that: the government should allocate more funds for AT devices and conduct regular classroom supervision to ensure efficient use of AT devices.