Determinants Enhancing Teachers’ Proficiency in English Braille: Case of Primary School for the Blind, Kiambu County - Kenya
Kagendo, Kilingii Martha
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The purpose of this study was to identify determinants enhancing teacher‘s proficiency in English Braille teaching in a primary school for the blind, Kiambu County, Kenya. Specifically the study sought to identify teachers‘ attitude towards the Braille literacy, identify teachers‘ competence in using Braille code, determine the level of teachers‘ training in Braille code, and identify the extent of availability and suitability of Braille teaching materials. The findings of this study may be useful since determinants for enhancing teachers‘ proficiency in teaching English Braille in the study area are identified. Since this was a case study, a school for the blind in Kiambu County was purposively selected for the study. Descriptive research design was used to describe the factors affecting the learning of English Braille from the teachers. The target population of the study was 224 consisting of 35 teachers and 189 upper primary learners. The researcher used a sample size of 68 respondents to represent the whole study population. The primary data was collected using questionnaire and interviews guide. Questionnaires for those who could read print and interview guides for the respondents who could not. The data collected was first organized then coded and keyed into the computer for analysis. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data which was reported in form of frequency tables and calculated into percentages. Bar graphs and pie charts were also used in presentation for clarity. The study found out that, teachers had mixed attitude towards teaching of Braille the reason being heavy workload, pre-braille experience and the teacher‘s level of academic qualification. Teachers‘ competence in teaching of Braille was affected by proficiency in Braille writing and reading, professional & academic training and experience of years in teaching. Workshops, refresher courses as well as seminars on Braille need to be organized to enhance teachers‘ competence on effective Braille teaching. The level of training sufficient for a Braille teacher was found to be diploma plus visual impairment professionalism and a diploma in special needs. The area of study had no adequate or sufficient Braille materials for enhancement of Braille literacy. The Braille materials were not locally available and had to be ordered nationally or internationally which comes with exorbitant prices. The study recommends that Braille teachers be given in-service training to raise their competence and proficiency in Braille. The government to be involved provision of adequate and sufficiency Braille equipments.