Challenges facing teachers in learning resource management in primary schools and units for mentally challenged learners in Kiambu District, Kenya
Makumi, Mary Wangui
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The purpose of the study was to find out the challenges faced by the teachers in resource management in schools and units for mentally challenged learners. The objectives of the study were to: analyze the educational problems faced by the mentally challenged learners; identify available learning and teaching resources versus the number of mentally challenged learners in Kiambu district; find out about adequacy and quality of human resource which include teachers, teacher aides and caretakers; identify the sources of financial support to the special schools and units and how it is utilized; investigate the community involvement towards supporting the learning. training and employment of the mentally challenged persons; and establish the kind of attitude teachers, parents and community have towards learning resources for M.H. learners. The study used a descriptive survey design targeting all the headteachers and teachers from the 35 schools (33 special units and 2 schools for mentally challenged). Purposive sampling was used to select 10 schools. In addition, all the 10 headteachers from the selected schools were also selected to take part. Simple random sampling was used to select 20 teachers (2 per school), giving a total of 30 respondents. A questionnaire designed for headteachers and another one for teachers were used as the main tools for data collection. A pilot study was conducted in one special unit school. The purpose of the pilot study was to pre-test the data collection tools and clear any ambiguity. Data was both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme for analysis. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. The results were presented frequency tables and bar charts. The study established that most schools were inadequately equipped with teaching/learning facilities and also lacked enough teachers who had trained on special education. The study established that the main source of funds to develop school/unit facilities were from the government, well wishers and co- operative donors, however these funds were not adequate to run the institutions. It was established that the major educational problems that faced learners with mental challenges were: negative attitude by the community and parents towards the learners, lack of enough schools and lack of financial support and support services. The study recommends that: more teachers should be empowered through in service training to handle learners with mental challenges in inclusive setting (mild challenges); the Government should provide more funds in schools in order to improve on schools infrastructures, for example, classrooms and provision of enough assistive teaching and learning resources; the schools administration should ensure that there is conducive environment for learners with mental challenges; among other recommendations.