Influence of Socialization on Academic Performance of Learners with Hearing Impairment in Thawabu Inclusive School in Embakasi, Nairobi City County, Kenya
Owuor, Everlyne Achieng
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The purpose of this study was to determine influence of socialization on performance of learners with hearing impairment in an inclusive Thawabu Primary School of Embakasi, Nairobi City County, Kenya. The study was guided by research objectives which sought to; establish modes of communication that promote socialization between learners with hearing impairment and hearing peers; enhance academic performance in Thawabu inclusive public school; establish strategies for boosting socialization of learners with hearing impairment and hearing peers to enhance their academic performance in Thawabu inclusive public school and establish challenges facing teachers in enhancing socialization to improve academic performance of learners with hearing impairment in Thawabu inclusive public primary school. The study targeted all learners with hearing impairment in Thawabu public primary school in Embakasi sub-county. The research design used in this study was case study design. Structured questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. Purposive sampling technique was employed to select the school and learners with hearing impairment while hearing learners were randomly selected. Key informants were a headteacher, deputy headteacher, 10 teachers, learners with hearing impairment and hearing learners from Thawabu School. Pilot study was conducted in Wangu Primary school of Nairobi County. Piloting consisted of one (1) school head/teacher, two (2) teachers, five (5) hearing learners and (5)five learners with hearing impairment. Content validity was adopted where unclear directions, cluster questions, and wrong phrasing of questions were opened and cross-checked. Reliability was established through test re-test method which involved administering the same questionnaires at an interval of two weeks to the same group of respondents, and then comparing the two scores. A total of 32 respondents participated in the study. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer program version 11.5, and frequencies and percentages used to summarize the data. The study found that: modes of communication among learners with hearing impairment, hearing learners and teachers create social and educational change for improvement of academic standards in the school and narrows the gap between those with hearing impairment and their hearing counterparts. Strategies like family support program (assisting children and families in language learning), family-infant-toddler program, and competent and consistent administration system promote learning. Socialization influences incidental learning of learners with hearing impairment to put them at par with their hearing peers on matters related to both academic performance and social advancement. Socialization makes learners with hearing impairment comfortable, self-esteemed, and self-actualized, hence improving educational performance. The study recommends that the government should add specially qualified teachers of learners with hearing impairment in Thawabu inclusive public school to help promote socialization and to increase inclusivity of leaners with hearing impairment.