Exploring Giftedness among Learners with Juvenile Delinquency in Selected Rehabilitation Schools in Kenya

No Thumbnail Available
Kinyua, Peter Mbugua
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Studies on the nature and characteristics of children who are gifted and talented show that these children are inquisitive in nature. They may question the rules, customs and traditions of their respective societies. Their questioning on rules, customs and traditions may lead to rejection by family members, teachers, peers and society as a whole. Feeling frustrated and different from their peers, these children may become rebellious. They may rebel in school, home or in the society and end up being labeled delinquents. In Kenya, children manifesting behaviour and social problems (juvenile delinquents) are referred to Rehabilitation Schools and Children Remand Homes as stipulated in 2001 Children’s Act. Bearing in mind that there are no special programmes for learners who are gifted and talented in Kenya, there was need therefore to explore giftedness among learners with juvenile delinquency in Rehabilitation Schools in Kenya. The purpose of this study was to explore giftedness among learners with juvenile delinquency in selected rehabilitation schools in Kenya. The study population comprised of teachers, social workers and children in Rehabilitation Schools in Kenya. Random sampling was used to select three Rehabilitation Schools; two for boys and one for girls representing 33.3% of the rehabilitation schools in Kenya. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected and analyzed. All learners in the selected schools participated in the study. The study utilized Ravens Progressive Matrices, teachers and peer nomination forms and Observation Checklists to identify children who are gifted. Children’s committal records were also analyzed. The study revealed that about 13% of children in the rehabilitation schools are gifted and talented. If this population is not well taken care of the Kenyan society may end up losing a very important human resource. When the special abilities of persons who are gifted and talented are recognized and nurtured they may end up using these special abilities for the benefit of the society. When these abilities are not recognized they may be used against the society. There is need therefore to sensitize different stakeholders on the nature and needs of children who are gifted and talented. The major problem behavior with those learners who are gifted and talented is running away from home. Majority of these children came from homes where parents were either unable to control their children’s behavior or were not providing adequate supervision. It was also established that rehabilitation schools lacked adequate facilities to take care of children who are gifted. The study recommends that department of children services work with the Ministry of Education in the provision of education in the rehabilitation schools. It was further recommended that there is need to sensitize members of the public and teachers on the nature of children who are gifted and talented. These children should also be properly assessed before they are taken to Children Court to establish the cause of behavior problems
Department of Special Needs Education, 214p. 2014, RJ 506 .J88K5