Determinants of Academic Achievement among Learners with Visual Impairment in Integrated Primary Schools within Kakamega County, Kenya
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The purpose of this study was to assess the determinants of academic achievement among learners with visual impairment within integrated primary schools in Kakamega County Kenya. The concept of integrated education for learners with special needs which include visual impairment has been one of the major priorities for the government and teachers in Kenya today. However, the performance of learners with visual impairment in integrated primary schools in Kakamega County has been low for decades. They are continuously outperformed in end term and national examinations by their counterparts without any impairment. The determinants of the poor academic achievement in integrated primary schools in Kakamega County had not been studied. This created the need for the researcher to assess the determinants of academic achievement among learners with visual impairment in integrated primary schools in Kakamega County. Study objectives included to assess the influence of teaching methodologies on academic achievement of learners with visual impairment in integrated schools, to establish the influence of types of teaching and learning materials on academic achievement of learners with visual impairment in integrated schools, to find out the influence of teachers and learners attitude towards integration of learners with visual impairment on academic achievement of learners with visual impairment in integrated schools and to identify how parental involvement influences academic achievement of learners with visual impairment in integrated schools within Kakamega County. The study was guided by the classical liberal theory of equal opportunities as advanced by Sherman and Wood. This was done through the use of a descriptive survey study design. The main target population for the study was the class teachers and visually impaired upper class pupils in Kakamega County. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the needed respondents. Primary data was collected by use of structured questionnaires. Data was grouped, coded, cleaned and analyzed descriptively using SPSS to generate frequencies and percentages. The collected data was presented in tables generated using SPSS and figures generated using Microsoft excel 2010. The results of this study revealed that in Kakamega County, academic performance of learners with VI was greatly influenced by teaching methodologies employed, teaching and learning materials used, teachers attitude towards integrated education and parental involvement. The researcher therefore concludes that to enhance academic performance of learners with VI in Kakamega County, appropriate teaching and learning materials for VI learners need to be provided, teachers attitude towards integrated education must improve, parental involvement must be increased and better teaching methodologies must be employed while educating learners with VI. All the ethical issues pertaining to research were adhered to during the entire process of this study.