Assessment of the implementation of inclusive education management practices in public primary schools in Kakamega East sub-county, Kenya.
Tsisindu, Denis Otundo
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The national education system has been characterised by inadequate educational management practices and facilities that do not respond well to the challenges faced by Learners With Special Needs (LWSNs). These learners are gradually and deliberately pushed out of the school system because schools are not sensitive to their learning styles and background. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess the implementation of inclusive education management practices in public primary schools in Kakamega East Sub-county. The study objectives were; to assess the management strategies put in place by schools to meet the diversity of LWSNs, to identify the teaching and learning strategies put in place by teachers to meet the academic needs of LWSNs, to determine the attitude of teachers towards inclusive education and to find out barriers hindering the implementation of inclusive education; in public primary schools in Kakamega East Sub- county. The study was based on the theory of Normalisation and it made use of the descriptive survey research design. The target population was 90 head teachers, 999 teachers and one Educational Assessment and Resource Centre (EARC) coordinator. The schools were stratified according to zones and simple random sampling was used to select, 18 head teachers and 200 teachers, while the EARC coordinator was selected by the purposive sampling technique. Instruments for data collection were the questionnaires, interview schedules and document analysis. Content validity was used to determine the validity of the research instruments while the test-re-test method was used to test reliability using the Pearson Product moment of correlation coefficient (r) value. Data was then analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics and the results were presented in form of frequency tables. The research findings revealed that inclusive education and its management practices have not been effectively implemented in public primary schools in Kakamega East Sub-county; whereby LWSNs are rarely involved in student leadership activities, and the local administration rarely works in liaison with the school to make the community responsive to LWSNs. The results also indicated that teachers lack relevant skills to meet the academic needs of LWSNs and they rarely address learners’ needs through the individualised education programmes (IEP). The findings also revealed that the attitude of teachers towards inclusive education was negative whereby most teachers believed that inclusion of LWSNs is quite demanding and it results to poor syllabus coverage, lack of curriculum and examination adaptation and modification to suit individual needs of LWSNs are key barriers to inclusion and that the school infrastructure is not modified and adapted so as to meet the needs of LWSNs thus making these learners find it difficult to fit into the school environment. The researcher recommended that regular inspections should be carried out in schools as a follow up measure of ensuring that inclusive education and its management practices are implemented to the latter. Teachers who are not trained in special needs education (SNE) should be given an opportunity to undergo training so as to equip them with the necessary skills and attitudes towards LWSNs. There is need for further infrastructural, social adaptations and modifications so as to curb barriers to inclusion.
- School of Education