Challenges in Teaching and Learning of Learners with Hearing Impairment in an Integrated Education Programme in Public Primary Schools in Nairobi County, Kenya
Murunga, Evelyn Yabunga
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Including children with hearing impairment in mainstream schools has generated a lot of debate across the globe with many campaigning for the rights of these children to be educated separately in special schools in which they can access information through sign Language. Pupils with hearing impairment have been found to lag behind in academics as compared to the visually and physically impaired on account of their problems in communication, socialization, curriculum adaptation, modifications and sign language interpretation. This study investigated challenges in teaching of the hearing-impaired learners in regular public primary schools in Nairobi County, Kenya. The research objectives were to establish challenges in relation to instruction strategies, teacher preparedness, provision of teaching and learning resources and the curriculum content delivery. The study adopted a case study design and targeted 5 public primary schools with special units for hearing impaired pupils in Nairobi County. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the headteachers of the five schools (5), teachers (25) who are trained to handle pupils with hearing impairment and pupils with hearing impairment (167) who comprised of the study population and a census sampling technique was applied to select all the units in the study population who comprised the sample size. Data collection tools were questionnaires, interview schedules and observation guide. Data were coded and entered in the computer for analysis using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0.The findings were represented in the forms of frequency counts, means and percentages. The results of data analysis were then presented using frequency distribution tables and bar graphs. The study established that challenges related to instructional strategies used by teachers include variation between spoken and sign language, teacher competence in the use of appropriate strategies and lack of facilities that support the instruction strategies. Challenges in relation to teacher preparedness were; difficulty in explaining abstract concepts, inability to appropriately use teaching aids, inability to train the children to listen, lip-read or sign, failure among teachers to choose appropriate instruction strategies, communication barriers with learners and inadequate evaluation of hearing impaired pupils. Challenges related to provision of teaching and learning resources were; teachers not being able to expose learners to variety of reading materials, inadequate hearing aids leads to HI learners not being able to follow lessons while lack of adequate lighting makes use of signing ineffective. Challenges as a result of the appropriateness of the current curriculum included that the curriculum has no provisions of instruction strategies for integrated education programme and as a result, teachers are left to device their own teaching strategies. Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made; that the teachers training curriculum should be modified to include instruction strategies for integrated education programme for the hearing impaired pupils to equip teachers with skills to implement the integrated education curriculum; that the Ministry of Education should ensure that public primary schools offering the integrated education programme are equipped with assistive devices to enhance curriculum delivery for SNE learners; that the Ministry of Education should facilitate in-service training for teachers in SNE to ensure that they are adequately prepared to implement the integrated education curriculum and that the Ministry of Education through KISE and KICD should modify the current curriculum to incorporate aspects of SNE under the integrated education curriculum.