Use of Information, Communication and Technology in Promoting Learning for Hearing Impaired Learners in Special Schools in Mombasa County, Kenya
Mwatsaka, Agnes Mwaka
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Information and Communication Technology plays an important role in teaching of learners with hearing impairment. Despite the significant role of ICT in promoting learning among learners with hearing impairment, its usage in promoting learning among learners with HI across the country however has been on a small-scale especially in remote areas with limited infrastructure that supports ICT. The purpose of this study was to determine the use of information communication and technology and its impact on promoting learning for the hearing impaired in special primary schools and units in Mombasa County. The specific objectives of the study were to; examine the extent of use of ICT in special schools and units in Mombasa County, determine the importance of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in promoting learning for learners with hearing impairments, establish the impact of ICT in promoting learning in schools for learners with hearing impairments and to find out the challenges faced in the application of ICT in schools for learners with hearing impairment. The study was anchored on the theory of Diffusion of Innovation and Capability Theory. The study adopted descriptive survey design. The study was conducted in special schools and units for learners with hearing impairment within Mombasa County. The target population comprised of all learners with HI and their teachers in 3 public and one private primary schools in Mombasa County. There was a total of 223 learners with H.I and 30 teachers. Simple random sampling was applied to select the target population and get the study sample size. That was 77 respondents comprising of 66 Hearing Impaired Learners, 6 Teachers and 2 Head teachers/Deputy Head teachers. The study collected primary data using questionnaires and interview guides. The study revealed that laptops and desktops were inadequate, ICT enabled locally relevant teaching materials, in local languages, to be created and disseminated quickly and affordably, whether learners using voice communication aids were able to gain confidence and social credibility at school and in their community and schools had limited infrastructure. The study concludes that desk computers and laptops were inadequate. ICT enabled education to be tailored to individual learning needs and abilities. Learners using voice communication aids were able to gain confidence and social credibility at school and in their community. Computers were used to control hyperactive children. There was lack of education/school administrators of ICT support. The study recommends that all schools promoting education for learners with hearing impairments should implement and invest in ICT in order to ensure that learners get sufficient ICT facilities required for their education to ensure there is uninterrupted learning in schools. The Ministry of Education needs to strengthen policy and regulatory framework with regard to implementation of ICT in schools with specific references to special schools and units. All special schools should implement voice communication aids to help learners gain confidence and social credibility at school and in their community. All schools should have adequate Information and Communication Technology (ICT).