Inclusive education for learners with intellectual disability in public primary schools-Kenya
Mbugua W. Martha, Cheboi K. Solomon, Omuga O. Basio, Madigu O. Nancy
The move towards inclusive education remains elusive. There is dramatic difference in the educational opportunities provided for children with Intellectual Disability (ID) and without ID. In rural and Peri-urban areas of Kenya only 15% of children with ID are included in regular schools. A descriptive cross sectional survey was undertaken to identify factors influencing inclusion of children with ID in regular classrooms by teachers. The study adopted a mixed method approach and multi-stage random sampling technique. Quantitative data was analysed using statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) version 20.0. Manifest content analysis was used for qualitative data. The overall inclusion rate was (38.1%), however a few teachers 38.5%  adjusted lessons to suit ID pupils while 26.7% (56) offered individual attention to ID pupils. Teachers whose schools used medical report for admission were five times (AOR 5.567, 95% CI 0.728-5.556, P=0.018) more likely to include pupils with ID than teachers whose schools had no clear admission criteria. Concerning the assistance offered by teachers to children with ID in the class, teachers who offered individual pupil support and those who organized peer tutorial were highly associated with inclusion (AOR 71.697, 95% CI 1.899-4.989, P=0.029) and (AOR 25.9111, 95% CI 1.102-8.685, P=0.003) than respondents who did nothing supportive. Parents’ involvement in inclusion, number of pupils with ID in the class, enrolment criteria, and environment adjustment, and policy adoption, willingness of the school administrators to include ID children, curriculum flexibility, Funding and availability of adequate teaching facilities are central factors to the inclusion. Support, supervision, and coordination with special education teacher were are other factors. The study revealed high number of ID pupils in regular classrooms but inclusive education remains elusive. This is due to non-adjustment of lessons to fit the needs of ID pupils and failure to have an individual education plan for ID pupils in classrooms. The implementation of successful inclusion is a complex issue involving key players such as policy makers, parents, teachers, pupils and school administration. Therefore, this study calls for the development a clear contextualized inclusion guideline tailored for public schools.