Factors influencing parti
Disability education requires special education and related services. Participation for children with disability in education is equally important as that of their counter parts in mainstream schools as it enables the learners to acquire the physical and social competencies needed to succeed in school and the community. Sessional paper no I of 2005 and Gender Policy highlights some of the challenges that hinder participation of children with disabilities. This included cultural stigmatization in communities, inadequate facilities, lack of adaptive curriculum that is flexible and relevant and inadequate capacity among teachers to handle children with disability. The purpose of the study was to establish factors influencing participation of the children with disability in Primary Schools in Kisumu District. The objectives included; establishing the effect of curriculum offered, examining the effect of educational facilities, determining how socio-cultural stigmatisation affects participation and the role of teachers in the participation of children with disabilities in primary schools. A descriptive survey design was used to bring out the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the study. A sample size of 93 respondents was used and data was collected by use of questionnaires and focus group discussions for the learners and in-depth interview for head teachers, panel head teachers and Quality assurance officers. Observation was also carried out to determine the adequacy of the physical facilities in the schools. Data was analysed by use of SPSS for quantitative while qualitatively data was built on the key thematic areas of the study which was discussed to compliment the quantitative data. The study fmdings were derived from the views of the learners and that (It the key informants which included, head teachers, panel heads and Quality assurance officers. revealed that normal curriculum was preferred which left out the special groups of disability who need a more flexible and practical oriented curriculum; There was lack of adequate infrastructural facilities like libraries, books, special rooms and assistive devices; Cultural beliefs and negative attitude had a negative impact on participation of learners and lastly teachers lacked frequent in-service training, conferences and seminars to accommodate varied groups of disabilities. From the study, conclusions can be drawn that special schools require funding for physical infrastructure, a curriculum that is adaptive to the needs of the disabled, campaign programmes to sensitize the communities about disability and teachers being exposed to in-service training on special education. The study therefore recommended that there was need for more funding for infrastructure by the government; a curriculum that is flexible and relevant for learners with disabilities should be developed, sensitization of the society on effects of cultural beliefs and negative attitudes associated with learners with disabilities and frequent in-service training, seminars and conferences for teachers to enable them deal with emerging issues. Areas for further research to focus on factors influencing participation of children with disability in integrated schools; Examine the effect of infrastructure on participation in education of children with disabilities in integrated schools and special units and Participation of children in various categories of special schools.
University of Nairobi, Kenya