Children with Visual Impairments in Tanzania. An investigation of the Challenges which Children with Visual Impairments face in Learning and Participation in Inclusive Primary schools.
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This study aimed at investigating the challenges which children with visual impairments face in learning and participation in inclusive primary schools. It was a qualitative case study design, which specifically aimed first, to examine how the learning environment affects learners with visual impairments in inclusive primary school. Second, to explore the social interaction of learners with visual impairments in learning and participation in the inclusive schools. Purposive sampling was adopted and one school was selected from one municipality in Tanzania. The study involved 15 learners with visual impairments, 10 sighted learners and 6 teachers. Thus the sample size included 31 respondents. The data were collected through semi - structured interviews and non-participant observation. The data was subjected to transcription and thematic analysis, of which the results are presented in accordance to themes, categories and direct quotes. The findings revealed that there were insufficient teaching and learning resources; shortage of teachers, particularly specially trained teachers and unfavourable physical environments. The findings further showed that there was also poor cooperation among teachers themselves as well as between them and parents. It was also revealed that there was a high rate of stigmatization to learners with visual impairments. On the other hand, the findings also showed that there was no affirmative policy on inclusive education in the country. Based on the findings, the investigator recommends that there is a need for the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) and different stakeholders to collaborate and show their commitment in the provision of inclusive education by providing enough and relevant materials for the learners with disabilities; recruiting more teachers (especially the specialized ones in inclusive education), and making sure that the developed curriculum is flexible enough to meet the needs of each individual learner. The investigator further recommends that more education be provided to the parents of children with visual impairments and other forms of disabilities on the importance of educating their children. Also, the policy planners should incorporate inclusive education in the curriculum for general teachers’ education.
Mastergradsoppgave i tilpasset opplæring, Avdeling for lærerutdanning og naturvitenskap, Høgskolen i Hedmark, 2014. Master in Adapted Education. Faculty of Education and Natural Sciences. Hedmark University College, Spring, 2014