Analysis of Educational Assessment Services for Students with Special Needs in Gatagara Schools - Rwanda
Pierre, Nteziryayo Jean
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the educational assessment services for students with Special Needs (SN) in HVP schools in Rwanda. The objectives of the study were to examine the assessment services available for students with SN, determine the availability of assessment tools, establish whether teachers and assessment officers are trained to assess students with special needs and find out whether there were some education policies supporting assessment of students with special needs. The study was conducted in special and inclusive schools. This study was based on scaffolding model and Multiple Intelligence theories. The scaffolding model theory refers to the practice of providing guidance and support to children as they move from one level of competence to another. The multiple intelligence theory states that children have different ways of learning and different intelligence they use in their daily lives. The target population involved 678 students, 116 schools’ staff and 1 in charge of SNE in the Ministry of Education. A sample of 68 students, 18 schools’ staff and 1 ministry education staff were used. Purposive sampling technique was used to select school staff and Ministry staff. Simple random sampling was used to select students and stratified sampling technique was used to select teachers. The researcher used a questionnaire to collect data from the students, where closed-ended and open-ended questions were utilized to provide needed information for the study. An interview schedule was also one of the techniques that the researcher used to get information from school staff and ministry staff. A pilot study was done to enhance reliability and validity of the researcher instrument. Data collected from the field were edited, coded and analyzed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS). Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data were analyzed using thematic approach. The findings revealed that all students with disabilities were not assessed before they are placed in any educational setting. Majority of schools indicted that schools did not have enough assessment tools. All teachers were not professionally trained to assess students with SN but all have had an in-service training on inclusive teaching approaches. The study revealed that there are policies, and programs that intend to support education of students with special needs. The study recommended that the Government of Rwanda should put in place an EARC centre that can provide appropriate educational assessment services for students with special needs. The Ministry of Education should also equip schools with enough assessment tools and equipment and ensure there is adequate multi-disciplinary team in the schools and organize educational assessment training for teachers and assessors.