Influence of parental characteristics on enrolment of preschool children with visual impairement in integrated schools in Nairobi county Kenya
Children with visual impairment have unique educational needs. In order to meet their unique needs they must be enrolled in schools for visually impaired to access specialized service. In the year 2000 UN General Assembly unanimously agreed on a goal of access to education for all children by 2015 EFA. UNESCO got the authority to implement this goal but still implementation continues in a slow speed. Some of the challenges that hinder enrollment of children with visual impairment include parental level of education, parents' income, parents' attitude and family size. The purpose of the study was to establish influence of parental characteristics on enrollment of preschool children with visual impairment in integrated schools in Nairobi County. The objectives included establishing relationship between education of parents and enrollment of preschool children, determining how parental income affects enrollment, establishing relationship between parents attitude towards enrollment of preschool children, Examining effects of family size on enrollment of children with visual impairment in integrated schools. Research design used was descriptive survey design. The respondents were 22 who provided information for both quantitative and qualitative. The relevant data was collected using questionnaires for teachers and interview schedule for parents and children. Documentary analysis was used to collect data on enrollment. Data analysis was done where tables frequencies and percentages was used to produce quantitative data. Qualitative data was constructed on the thematic areas which corresponded to the objectives which added quality to the quantitative data. The findings revealed that parents' educational level was moderate and they had highest enrollment of children. Those with low level of education had the lowest enrollment. Parents who had low income they lived from hand to mouth thus this influenced enrollment hence others retaining their children at home. Parents' attitude towards enrollment of children with visual impairment affected enrollment. Parents who had negative attitude had few children enrolled. Parents with positive attitude had more children who were enrolled in integrated schools. Finally family size influenced enrollment of children with visual impairment, large family sizes had lowest enrollment of children. Parents lacked seminars workshops and sensitization campaigns to allow them to enroll their children. Parents also lacked income for transport for their children. They do not have parents associations and support groups. This indicated that schools requires workshop and seminars to sensitize parents, funding for transport and feeding programs, formation of parents association and support groups. The recommendations were workshops and seminars were needed for parents to educate them on visual impairment. Campaign programs to sensitize the community about visual impairment. Future researchers should therefore focus on influence of parental characteristics on enrollment of preschool children who are visually impaired in special schools in Nairobi County. Further research should also be done on influence of social economic status of parents on enrollment of children with visual impairment in Nairobi County.