Teachers awareness and intervention for primary school pupils with learning disabilities in inclusive education in Makadara Division Kenya
The introduction of inclusive education poses different challenges to pupils with LD in primary schools. This is because they cannot cope with the regular school curriculum like their non-disabled peers. The purpose of this study was to assess the teacher awareness and intervention for pupils with Learning Disabilities in inclusive education in Makadara Division. The study was guided by the following objectives: to establish teachers' awareness and intervention for pupils with LD, to establish teachers' opinion towards inclusive education for pupils with LD, to establish teachers academic and professional preparedness for effective inclusive education, to find out the challenges facing the success of inclusive education and recommend on the ways of improving the success of inclusive education. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population for the study was 26 primary schools in Makadara Division. Out of the 26 targeted schools, 10 primary schools were studied. The target respondents were primary school teachers (regular and special education) and the head teachers. A total of 30 respondents were sampled for the study; out of which 28 responded giving a response rate of the primary data was collected using structured questionnaires, interviews and observations schedules. The reliability of the instruments was tested using split-half method. Content analysis was used to analyze interview schedules. It was established that 68% of the respondents were aware of the meaning of inclusive education, 63% were aware of the inclusive education practices in the schools and 79% of the respondents had identified pupils with Learning Disabilities in their schools. The study also established that teachers had interventions such as using different learning strategies e.g. using corrective approaches for reading as indicated by 64% of the respondents. Other interventions included: providing options for pupils to demonstrate their knowledge or skills, accommodating individual differences among the pupils by identifying a preferred style of learning and either providing instruction and direction in the preferred style or teaching in a multi-sensory fashion that stimulate both auditory and visual perception, modification of activities into simpler units and planning them from simplest to the most complex ones; this is to enhance the understanding of the pupils with Learning Disabilities. The study found that 63% of the teachers were of the opinion that pupils with learning disabilities should be left to adapt to the arrangements prevailing in mainstream schools. It was further revealed that only 29% of the teachers had received in-service training to handle pupils with Learning Disabilities. It was found that the main challenge to inclusive education was covering the syllabus in time for the examinations. The study concluded that: teachers were aware of inclusive education in their- schools, teachers had different interventions in place to ensure the success of inclusive education e.g. the use of corrective approaches, direct instructions, systematic phonics and using connectivity' with pupils' individual learning needs and that teachers were not professionally prepared to cope with pupils with learning Disabilities in inclusive education. The study recommended that more awareness be created in order to ensure that pupils with Learning Disabilities benefit from education just like their- non disabled peers. It was also recommended that teachers should come up with other intervention measures on how to handle pupils with learning disabilities to ensure the success of inclusive education.