Parents Balancing between Insecurity and schooling Needs of Children with Disabilities in Pokot north District, west Pokot county, Kenya
Krop, Lokwete Ambrose
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the challenges the parents of children with disabilities from the pastoral communities face in conflict zones. The area of study was Kacheliba Mixed Integrated Primary School for the Physically Handicap (PH) in Kacheliba Division. The study was guided by two theories; Humanistic and Rational Choice Theories. The two theories testify on the “real self” and ability to choose between wants and goals respectively showing how parents are confronted with a burden to choose between two conflicting issues in life; providing security and educational needs of their children with disabilities. The population studied comprised parents of children with disabilities sampled out using snow ball method, and purposively selecting special teachers and regular teachers from Kacheliba Mixed Integrated Primary School in Kacheliba Division. The pilot study was conducted in Tartar Integrated Primary school with one special teacher, two regular teachers and eight parents of children with disabilities in and out of school. The instruments used were questionnaires, interviews schedule and observation checklist which were treated with utmost confidentiality while observing ethical values. The responses to the items were tabulated and data analyzed electronically using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The results are presented in form of frequencies and percentages, tables, pie- charts and graphs. The findings indicated that the prevailing societal attitudes about disability arise from myth, superstition, and self-blame. The intensity of insecurity and cattle rustling influenced the decision to enrol, retain, cause closure of schools, and sometimes learners with disabilities drop out of school. There is need to involve parents of children with disabilities in the provision of special education given that parental support is a critical ingredient in addressing insecurity concerns and fulfilling schooling needs of children with disabilities. other recommendations include the need to initiate policy changes to bridge the funding gap that forces parents to be overburdened with financial obligations to complement the FPE framework; strengthening the links between schools and society to enable families and the communities to participate in and contribute to the educational process of children with disabilities; design effective and flexible curricular frameworks that are accommodative of local needs and situations, as well as to diversify pedagogical practices; and mount peace initiatives, deploy security personnel and conduct regular disarmament exercises to prevent incidents of insecurity that tend to interfere with the schooling needs of children with disabilities. Other remedies include the introduction of improved low-cost boarding schools, addressing poverty, financing and training special teachers, creating awareness on disability and facilitation of parent support groups. Further research is required on the impact of insecurity and drought stricken areas, the impact of cultural malpractices on the education of the girl-child, and the low transition and high dropout rates among learners with disabilities in Pokot North District.