Curriculum Barriers to Teaching Orientation and Mobility in Selected Schools for Learners with Visual Impairments, West Pokot and Siaya Counties, Kenya
The purpose of the study was to assess the curriculum barriers to teaching orientation and mobility in selected Schools for Learners with Visual Impairments in Kenya. The objectives of the study were to explore why orientation and mobility was not being included in the school time table, the administrative support available, teacher-pupil ratio, the perceptions of teachers and learners towards the teaching of orientation and mobility. The ecological systems theory developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner (1979) was utilized to guide the study. The theory focuses on learner’s development within a setting of frameworks of connections that shape the learner’s surrounding environment and each has an impact on a learner’s development. The study used descriptive survey research design. The study was carried out in selected Schools for the Visually Impaired in West Pokot and Siaya counties which were both residential. The target population consisted of teachers, the head teachers, deputy head teachers and learners. Purposive sampling was utilized to pick the teachers, head teachers and deputy head teachers and stratified sampling technique was used to select learners who required orientation and mobility training. The size of the sample was 44 respondents which included 21 teachers, the head teachers and the deputy head teachers from each school (4 in total) and 19 learners. Questionnaires, observation schedules and semi-structured interview guide with open-ended question layout were utilized to gather information. Piloting of the study was conducted in a selected School for learners with visual Impairment in Kisumu County. Content validity was utilized. Supervisors’ views on the standard of the instruments developed were sought after. Test re-test was used to establish the reliability of the instruments. Quantitative data analysis was done using descriptive statistics which included frequencies and percentages. Qualitative data analysis was accomplished by categorizing the data collected in themes and made interpretations from the data. The study established that the following were greatly lacking; educational programmes set up for orientation and mobility training, syllabus, time, poor administrative support, resources and curriculum based establishment hence its exclusion in the official school timetable. In this study it was concluded that lack of syllabus, time, resource and curriculum based establishment are the main curriculum barriers to the teaching of orientation and there was need to establish a curriculum to guide in the teaching of orientation and mobility according to grade-level. It was recommended that the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development should take the initiative to establish a curriculum tailor-made to address the issues of the visually impaired in regard to orientation mobility training.