Influence of Habilitation on Academic Performance of Learners with Spina Bifida: a Case of Joytown Special School, Kiambu County, Kenya.
Wairimu, Mundia Beatrice
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of habilitation process on academic performance of learners with spina bifida at Joytown special school, Kiambu County, Kenya. In spite of habilitation services available in the institution the learners have continued to perform dismally. The study focused on the habilitation process for academic performance of learners with Spina Bifida. The objectives of study were to establish the extent to which performance on academic of learners with SB has been influenced by habilitation process, to determine the Daily/Living skills acquired as a result of habilitation process, to examine the methods and materials used in habilitation process and finally to establish the qualification level of the personnel offering habilitation at Joytown special school. The study was guided by Social Cognitive Theory. The target population of the study was 45 participants; 1 head teacher, 20 learners with SB at Joy town primary school, 20 teachers, 2 teacher aides and 2 therapists. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 1 head teacher, 20 learners with SB, two therapists, 10 Teachers and 2 Teachers’ aides. Three instruments were used to collect data: Interview guide for Head teacher, Teacher aide, learners, Therapists and Questionnaire for teachers at Joy town specials school. Observation schedule was also used to find out how the habilitation is carried out. Piloting was done at Dagoretti special school in Nairobi County. Descriptive statistics was mainly used in data analysis. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically from emerging themes. The coded data from quantitative statistics was entered into the computer for analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. After the data was analyzed, it was presented in form of tables, frequencies and percentages. The study found out that the habilitation is important in improving the academic performance and also in self reliance for those who gained ADLs. When participating in learning, the study found out that the learners had diverse limitations including poor motor skills, slow in completing assignments, low concentration in learning tasks and mobility problems A lot need to be done in order to improve on the effectiveness of habilitation done at Joytown special school. Government need to draw policies to necessitate the equipping of the institution’s habilitation center. Some teachers handling these learners do not have training in special education, hence the need for in-service training.