A Critical Examination Of The Strategies Needed For Effective Teaching Of Virtual Impaired Children In Primary Schools

Special Education Project and Seminar Material

A Critical Examination Of The Strategies Needed For Effective Teaching Of Virtual Impaired Children In Primary Schools


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Children with physical disabilities make up one of the most socially neglected groups in society today (Helander, 2011). They face different forms of exclusion which affect them in different ways due to factors such as the kind of disability they have, where they live and the culture or class to which they belong (UNICEF, 2013).

Specifically, visually impaired students are the consequences of a functional loss of vision, rather than the eye disorder itself (Komba & Ndibalema 2009). Eye disorders leads to visual impairments can include retinal degeneration, albinism, cataracts, glaucoma and muscular problems that result in visual disturbances, corneal disorders, diabetic retinopathy, congenital disorders, and infection (Davis & Hopwood, 2002). The effect of visual problems on a child’s development depends on the severity, type of loss, age at which the condition appears, and overall functioning level of the child (Khurshid & Sufiana, 2011). Many children who have multiple disabilities may also have visual impairment resulting in motor, cognitive, and/or social developmental delays (Taylor, Pezzullo & Keeffe, 2006).

A young child with visual impairment has little reason to explore interesting objects in the environment and, thus, may miss opportunities to have experiences and to learn. This lack of exploration may continue until learning becomes motivating or until intervention begins (Khurshid & Sufiana, 2011). Because the child cannot see parents or peers, he or she may be unable to imitate social behaviour or understand nonverbal cues (Davis & Hopwood, 2002).

In addition, formal education for persons with visual impairment has a historical background in Nigeria. However, education for persons with visual impairment has never reached the majority of this group. Education for the visually impaired was introduced in the 90’s in segregated settings, confined to special boarding schools, and mostly run by philanthropic organizations, especially non-governmental organizations (NGO) and faith based organizations (FBO). However, only about few of these children are enrolled in schools (Mnyanyi, 2014). Moreso, due to the limited number of special schools and distance from the children’s homes, more and more regular schools are enrolling children with visual impairment, but most of these schools lack financial resources, tactile teaching materials and trained special education teachers. Basing on these arguments, the question which may be raised immediately is, do teachers teaching pupils with visual impairment have enough skills to support their learning?


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Teachers are critical in increasing involvement and minimizing underachievement in schools, especially if there are children who are thought to need more assistance to learn (Spillane, 2000). When magnifier glasses are used, some children with poor vision can read as well as or better than their classmates who do not have visual impairments or blindness (Richardson & Placier, 2001). Students with visual impairments or blindness may do poorly on academic assessments owing to lacking reading abilities. Certain ocular abnormalities have a more negative effect on reading performance than others (Saxe, Gearhart & Nasir, 2001). Students with visual impairments or blindness confront particular reading obstacles, and teachers must develop specialized abilities to assist them in their education. Teachers in Nigeria, like in other countries, are urged to use a learner-centered approach. However, teachers continue to teach in the conventional manner (Mnyanyi, 2014; Msonde, 2011; Saxe, Gearhart & Nasir, 2001). The employment of conventional teaching techniques results in insufficient learning for students, as teachers are more likely to utilize inadequate teaching and learning resources. For children with disabilities who are enrolled in regular schools, the situation is much worse. Ineffectiveness in providing inclusion education services is a consequence of the employment of a high number of teachers who lack knowledge and skills in working with children who have special needs or disabilities. Students who are blind or visually impaired do not do better on final tests and are therefore ejected from the educational system (Mwakyeja, 2013). In general, nothing is known regarding the evolution of instructors’ abilities to work with visually impaired children in Nigeria. Additionally, it is unknown if instructors’ abilities benefit visually impaired children enrolled in Nigerian elementary schools. As a result, this research will measure instructors’ abilities to assist visually impaired children in primary schools in Ekiti State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to critically examine the strategies needed for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain whether there is adequate provision of inclusion education services for visually impaired children in primary schools.
  2. Determine whether primary school teachers effectively offer support services for visually impaired children.
  3. Ascertain whether learner-centered approach is appropriate for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools.
  4. Ascertain the extent to which teachers possess the skills required for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools.

1.4 Research Question

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. Is there adequate provision of inclusion education services for visually impaired children in primary schools in Ekiti State?
  2. Do primary school teachers effectively offer support services for visually impaired children in in Ekiti State?
  3. Is learner-centered approach appropriate for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools?
  4. To what extent do teachers possess the skills required for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will help both policy designers and implementers to understand various issues relating to children with visual impairment for their efficient and effectiveness in the process of fulfilling their duties. In other words, the findings help the policy makers to rethink and put into considerations the visually impaired primary school pupils. Also, the findings of this study contributes profoundly to the existing body of knowledge and literature related to the strategies needed for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools. Furthermore, this study is also beneficial to the academic institutions and individuals who might be interested in carrying out related researches in the future.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally examine the strategies needed for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools. However, the study will further ascertain whether there is adequate provision of inclusion education services for visually impaired children in primary schools, determine whether primary school teachers effectively offer support services for visually impaired children, ascertain whether learner-centered approach is appropriate for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools, and ascertain the extent to which teachers possess the skills required for effective teaching of virtual impaired children in primary schools.

The study will be delimited to selected primary schools in Ekiti State.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Visual Impairment:

This refers to a significant loss of vision, even though the person may wear corrective lenses.

Teacher:

This is defined as a person who have knowledge skills and special straining in teaching, explaining and educating.

Children:

A child means every human being below the age of 18 years. In this context, children mean primary school pupils.


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