Academic Achievement of Learners with Down Syndrome in Special Primary Schools for Learners with Intellectual Disability in Kiambu County, Kenya
Lydia Wanjiku, Kamau
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This study sought to analyse academic achievement of learners with Down syndrome in special primary schools for learners with Intellectual disability in Kiambu county. The study was guided by the following objectives: To Analyse academic achievement of learners with Down syndrome in special schools; to identify the instructional resources used by teachers to teach learners with Down syndrome; to assess the instructional strategies used in teaching learners with Down syndrome; and to examine the instructional challenges caused by Down syndrome secondary conditions. The study was guided by Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) of 1986 by Albert Bandura. This study adopted descriptive survey design. The study targeted the 6 head teachers, 74 teachers and 147 parents from the six special primary schools for learners with Intellectual disability in Kiambu County. Purposive sampling method was used to select the 6 head teachers, 44 teachers were randomly sampled and 40 parents were conveniently sampled translating to a total of 90 respondents. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the headteachers and teachers. Interview guide was conducted on parents/guardians and observation checklist was used by the researcher to observe learners with Down syndrome in class. Piloting was done at Waithaka special school to enhance validity and reliability of the research instruments. Questionnaires from the respondents were checked for completion. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer program. The findings were presented in form of frequency tables, pie charts and bar graphs. Data collected from the interviews and observation schedules were analyzed using narrative descriptions. Study findings revealed that most of the learners with DS had communication difficulties. The findings further indicated that even though communication books, charts, pictures, visual schedule timetables and drawing items were available in special schools, they were inadequate. Secondary conditions of DS were characterized by fatigue, sleep complications, slow motor developmen, speech problems, poor counting skills, poor memory, lack of competetition among peers and poor social skills. The study concluded that engaging students with Down syndrome based on the individuality of their learning profiles had positive impacts on teachers' experiences. The study recommended that teachers should involve a wider body of professionals in order to improve the secondary conditions of learners with DS. The Ministry of Education should allocate more funds on instructional materials to special schools so that the resources can be adequate for all learners.