The influence of teachers' perception on learners' achievement in inclusive education in public primary schools in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya
Okuto, Justine A
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The teachers' opinions, attitudes, views, feeling and beliefs have been considered an important factor to enhance learner's achievement in inclusive education (School Empowerment Programme, MOE, 2004). The ability of teachers to cope with learner's diversity play major part when including all children into the regular or mainstream education. Teachers' rush to complete the syllabus in a given duration could affect how they interact with learner with disabilities, therefore, it was necessary to establish teachers' perceptions on learners' achievement in inclusive education setup. Descriptive survey research design was adopted in the study. Simple random sampling was carried out to select 18 out of a total of 58 public primary schools in Nakuru Municipality. Simple random sampling was also used to pick 326 teachers out of the 1026 teachers in public primary schools in the municipality. The main data collection instrument was the questionnaire that was administered to teachers in the sampled schools. An interview schedule was also used to collect information from the head teachers of the respective schools. Data from the field were collected by the researcher, coded and analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics. Generally the results of the study indicated that though the principle of inclusive education is acceptable in education circles, its practical implementation was faced with serious setbacks ranging from infrastructure deficiency to incoherent policy positions by the Ministry of Education. However, the greatest setback was that about 46% of the teachers were not adequately prepared to handle the challenges imposed by an inclusive classroom. All these played a great role in shaping teachers' perceptions towards inclusive education in their classrooms and the successes achieved in learners. The perceptions included a general apathy towards inclusion due to lack of adequate training on the part of teachers and facilitation of the implementation process by availing enough financial and material resources. The study concluded that if interventions were put in place to influence change of teachers' perceptions towards inclusive education and adequate resources were provided, learners' performance would also show a corresponding positive change. The study therefore recommended allocation of sufficient resources towards teachers' capacity-building for teaching in inclusive setups as well us provision of the necessary infrastructure and teaching/learning resources.