Determinants of inclusion of learners with special needs in public primary schools in Kisumu municipality, Kisumu county
This study sought to investigate determinants of inclusion in public primary schools in Kisumu municipality, Kisumu County, Kenya. It was conducted in 24 out of 118 schools in Kisumu Municipality. Five research objectives were set to guide the study. Specifically the study sought to establish the extent to which teachers are equipped with knowledge to teach learners with special needs, to assess teachers‟ and learners‟ attitudes towards inclusion of learners with special needs, to establish the extent to which availability of facilities and resources influence inclusion of learners with special needs and to determine the extent to which curriculum content supports inclusion of learners with special needs. The target population for this study consisted of 24 head teachers, 120 teachers and 240 learners. This study adopted the descriptive survey design to find out determinants of inclusive education in public primary schools. Simple random sampling was used in the study to select 24 headteachers, 120 teachers and 240 class 7 pupils as sample size. Data were collected using questionnaire and an interview schedule. Data analysed through frequencies, percentages and charts. The findings in the study were that headteachers and teachers education in public primary schools. The findings indicated that 65% of teachers had no training in SNE while another 96% indicated willingness to train in SNE. The physical facilities and teaching/learning resources were found to be inadequate and inappropriate to accommodate learners with special needs. It was also noted that schools lacked assistive devices such as ramps and accessible toilets. The findings indicated that 92% of teachers had a positive attitude as shown by the appreciation of inclusion of learners with special needs in the regular schools. However, 65% of the teachers had a problem of having pupils with special needs in their classrooms. This is an indicator that a large number of teachers still need to be sensitized on the important of inclusion. This is a challenge to the Ministry of Education as it needs to come up with strategies on attitude change. Further, the study revealed that the curriculum content does not support inclusive education. Based on these findings, the study recommends that the government should restructure teacher training college curriculum so as to include areas of specialization in special needs. Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development should also come up with curriculum that takes care of all learners with special needs in all classes in the primary schools. The Ministry of Education should provide additional financial support to facilitate acquisition of specialized facilities and teaching/learning resources towards inclusion. Sensitization programmes should be launched targeting „normal‟ learners who may still have negative attitude towards inclusion. The study recommends a study on the emerging challenges faced by the stakeholders in the implementation of inclusive education in public primary schools in Kisumu Municipality.