Factors hindering integration of students with special needs in primary and secondary schools of Borabu division : Nyamira District
Omurwa, Johnson Buddy
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International declarations such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (1990), and the World Conference on Special Needs Education in Spain (1994), compelled nations to embrace integrated education. Literature reviewed reveal that developed countries such as, the US and Britain have established laws and acts which have streamlined the provision of service delivery for learners with special needs in regular school settings. In Kenya, the idea of integration of such learners was suggested more than 40 years ago, yet not much has been achieved. Although various education commissions such as the Ominde Commission (1964), the Gachathi Commission (1976), the Kamunge Commission (1988) and the Koech Report (1999) have for a long time advocated f'or integration of learners with special needs, very few schools are integrated. The Government of' Kenya gazetted the "People with Disabilities Act, 2003" which became a law in 2004. It stipulates the need to provide education to people with disabilities. This study investigated what factors have impeded the integration of students with special needs in Borabu Division of Nyamira District, Kenya. This study was guided by theories from: Okumbe (1998) "Educational Management Theory" adapted from Scientific (Classical) Management Theory by Taylor (1856-1917) and Fayol (1841-1925), Hobbes (1975), "The Future of Children" and Rogers (1969) "Unconditional Positive Regard". The population of the study comprised the Kenya Ministry of Education staff, Headteachers and their deputies of both regular primary- and secondary- schools and teachers and headteachers of integrated programmes in Borabu Division of Nyamira District, Kenya. The study employed a descriptive research design where the dependent variables were those factors that impede integration and the independent variables included age, gender, academic qualifications, teaching experience, type of institution and type of training. Cluster and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 20% of the population of all teachers and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) staff of Borabu Division to form a sample for the study. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. Data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Descriptive statistics, that is, frequency distribution and percentages were used. The findings indicated that major factors that hinder integration of students with special needs in Borabu Division include: lack of training in special education by most teachers; lack of and inadequate physical and learning facilities; lack of adequate plans and preparations for integration; absence of policy on special education and lack of awareness by parents about special needs education. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made by the researcher: The Ministry of Education and Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) should consider starting and implementing a special education curriculum at all levels of teacher training colleges and teachers already in the field should be given comprehensive in-service training on special needs education.