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Why the government needs to reconsider Educating deaf learners in an inclusive setting


Date Posted: 2/2/2021 10:57:00 AM

Posted By: Teacher edna  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 138

Why the government should reconsider educating deaf learners in an inclusive setting.

It is the universal right of every child to acquire education. The Kenyan constitution also recognizes special groups such as those living with disability. Learners with disabilities have equal rights as their normal peers to acquire education.

In this article my main focus will be on the hearing impaired learners. The government of Kenya in the recent past introduced inclusive education. Let us first understand what inclusion means. Inclusion is the practice of educating learners with special needs with the 'normal' children in the regular classroom. The regular classroom adapts to child's needs. In inclusive education it assumed that the regular teacher meets all the needs of learners in the classroom. However this is not the case. Educating the deaf in an inclusive setting has faced challenges as outlined below.

1.As a result of free primary education there is a high number of pupils compared to the ratio of teachers. As a result the deaf child in an inclusive class may lack attention from the teacher.

2.The Kenyan constitution recognizes Kenya sign language as one of the official language. Deaf learners have difficulties learning a second language. There is fear that once a deaf learner is placed in a regular classroom he or she will be forced to take Kiswahili a second language in national examination.

3. Some parents view deafness as a curse hence they will not be willing to let their children learn with the deaf in the same classroom.

4. Kenya has a shortage of sign interpreters hence it may be difficult to supply adequate personnel in a regular classroom.

5.The deaf learner may be isolated as a result of communication barrier with the peers.

6.Some deaf learners get educational financial support from

donors and may loose this support if they join regular schools.

7.According to Johnson et al(1989).some schools for the deaf have been denied examination registration of candidates by the district education officer for fear of lowering the schools mean score. Education system in Kenya ranks schools according to their means sore obtained in national exams regular head teachers may be uncomfortable with the deaf for fear of lowering the mean score.
All these challenges can be met by increased awareness on inclusive education. Placing deaf children in inclusive setting demands provision of relevant facilities such as teachers competent in sign language.

Deaf learners Who can benefit from inclusive education should be given a chance to learn in a regular classroom while those who may not fully benefit like the profoundly deaf should be placed in a special institution.

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