An Assessment of The Preparedness on Implementation Of Special Needs Educationpolicy on Children With Disabilities in Public Primary Schools: A Case of Mount Elgon District Kenya.
The purpose of this study was to assess the preparedness on implementation of special needs education policy on children with disabilities in public primary schools in Mt. Elgon District. Despite the government effort, initiative and investment in education, education opportunities for learners with disabilities remain to be a major challenge in public primary schools in Mt. Elgon District. Existing literature indicate that learners with special needs and disabilities in Kenya do not access adequate education services (Republic of Kenya, 2009). This study dealt with the following objectives: to determine the availability of infrastructure for implementation of SNE Policy in public primary schools, establish the preparedness of trained teachers in handling learners with disabilities in public primary, determine modes of assessment of learners with disabilities in public primary schools and establish availability of teaching/learning resources for learners with disabilities in public primary schools in Mount Elgon District. The study used survey research design as an overall plan for collecting data in order to answer the research questions. The study was guided by classical liberal theory of equal opportunity and social Darwinism by Darwin (1975). Out of forty two (42) primary schools in Mt. Elgon District, 26 schools were sampled for the study using simple random sampling technique. Three hundred and eighteen (318) teachers, 377 parents and 26 headteachers constituted the respondents of the study. The instruments for data collection were questionnaire for the teachers, headteachers and interview schedule for parents. The reliability of the research instruments was ascertained by a test and re-test method in the pilot study. A reliability coefficient was then calculated to show the relationship between the two sets of scores obtained. A reliability coefficient of 0.5 showed that the instrument was reliable. The instruments were formulated with the help of supervisors and then validated in the school of Education. Data collected were analyzed and edited to create consistency and completeness. After which the data were presented using narratives and statistical values. The study established that Special Needs Education Policy in Mt. Elgon Public Primary Schools suffers slow implementation. This is evident the fact that a few of the teachers at 78(25%) had obtained necessary educational and professional training to help learners with disabilities. This in itself slows down the implementation of SNE policy as well as making it hard for the government to cater for such children in the schools where heads never submitted statistics on children with special needs. In order to increase access to quality and relevant education for learners with disabilities at primary and other levels of education, it is recommended that, the government of Kenya develop a national policy that comprehensively defines and identifies all areas of special needs, train more personnel and improve infrastructure among others. There is need to carry out a comparative study on assessment of Special Needs Education Policy in public primary schools and Special schools. There is also need to assess the effectiveness of learning in Special Units in Public Primary Schools.
- School of Education