Education for learners with hearing impairment in an inclusive setting in primary schools: a case study of Kajiado County, Kenya
Ruitururi, Daniel Mbugua
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This study sought to examine the barriers faced by learners with hearing impairment in participating in education in an inclusive learning environment in Kajiado county. The study adopted an exploratory study design where 7 teachers, 2 head teachers and 8 learners with hearing impairment were purposively sampled. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Quantitative data was analyzed using a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 23) while qualitative data was analyzed using thematic approach. Continuous triangulation of both qualitative and quantitative was done to make holistic interpretation of the empirical data and conclusions drawn. The study explored three key categories of barriers to participation in education by learners with hearing impairment; economic, socio-cultural and school-related barriers. It was concluded based on empirical evidence that household poverty is the main economic barrier that hinders participation in education by learners with hearing impairment. All these barriers lead to school dropout by children with hearing impairment, lack of exposure and increased cases of inequality among school going children. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that; the curriculum for learners with hearing impairment should be reviewed by relevant education stakeholders. The government of Kenya should put in place efficient mechanisms to aid in the utilization of Community Development Funds (CDF), Free Primary Education (FPE) and create community sensitization programs about the learning needs for children with hearing impairment.