|Vyšlo: 31.prosince 2014
|Published: December 31st, 2014
| Ewa, James Abua.
A Survey of Basic Facilities and Service Provision for the Successful Inclusion of the Students with Hearing Impairment in Inklusive Education Setting in Cross River, Akwa IBOM & Rivers State of Nigeria.
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A Survey of Basic Facilities and Service Provision for the Successful Inclusion of the Students with Hearing Impairment in Inklusive Education Setting in Cross River, Akwa IBOM & Rivers State of Nigeria
Abstrakt: Obviously, since the challenges of life change with time, education should aim at bringing up children with hearing impairment to face these changes and make necessary adjustment in their lives for successful living. Hence education programs and service provisions should therefore be dynamic. To realise these important functions, programs and services designed for the students with hearing impairment in an inclusive education setting should not be on exemption, since the society itself is dynamic in many respects, its fundamental needs equally change with time which hitherto makes societal objective changes also, owing to advancement in scientific inventions, innovation in trends and practices of inclusive education. Bearing this in mind, this paper sought to ascertain the level of provision and availability of basic facilities and services necessary for the successful inclusion of students with hearing impairment. The survey focused on the availability and use of assistive technology devices by the hearing impaired students, recruitment and training of teaching and supportive staff, communication strategies adapted by the teachers, medical and socials services .Data were collected using a Likert-like questionnaire from the sampled secondary schools in the states under investigation. The researcher analysed the data using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation co-efficient. The results revealed that much is yet to be put in place in the states under study for the successful inclusion of students with hearing impairment into inclusive education setting.
Keywords: Hearing impairment, Models of service provision for the Hearing impaired students, inclusive education, Multidisciplinary approach.
Acknowledgement: This article is one of the outcomes of the research project funded by IGA Palacky University Olomouc _2013_013 Czech Republic.
All students are unique differing from one another intellectually, socially and physically. Most students are taught in regular classes, without the need for special services and the class teacher feels capable of meeting their instructional needs. Some students on the other hand deviate so greatly from ‘normal’ limits that the regular classroom teacher must seek special help in dealing with their learning and behavioural problems.
Hearing impaired students may have learning problems/difficulties in one or more several of the academic areas such as reading, arithmetic, language and spellings. These individuals may lack social adjustment, motivational or self management skills and are often described with terms such as hyperactive, dull, poor attention span, underachiever, clumsy and poor memory due to the presence of hearing loss. This is more pronounced where the hearing loss occurs at birth or among hearing impaired children with hearing parents. Their estimated intellectual ability may differ from their actual achievement. Some students with hearing impairment exhibit a wide range between the skills they excel in and those that are problem areas. Others are merely slow in acquiring school related skills and behaviour. In some occasions, some hearing impaired students may demonstrate only one problem area such as reading comprehension, where as others may have a combination of learning and behavioural problems (Ojile, 2006, Mercer & Mercer, 1989).
In the past, many hearing impaired students were placed in special education classes that separate them from their non hearing impaired counterparts, but with the current trend in policy formulation which marks a shift from segregation to inclusion, these students’ needs have been directed to be met as much as possible in classes/schools with non handicapped peers (Mercer & Mercer, 1989). Historically, the education of persons with special needs has been categorised into different stages ranging from sheltered workshops, segregated placement alternative, mainstreaming, integration, resource room services etc. With the present call on inclusive education, efforts are being made to get the special needs persons (hearing impaired students) educated in the regular school setting. The placement of the hearing impaired students in inclusive education classes will necessitate the regular and special education teachers cooperate in planning and delivering instruction for the betterment of the hearing impaired students in the mainstream society.
Statement of the problem:
The thrust of this paper is to ascertain the extent to which service provision and availability of facilities are put in place to ensure effective inclusive education programme of the hearing impaired students in the states under study.
This study is aimed at identifying the various models of service provision and availability of facilities that will facilitate effective inclusive education programme for the hearing impaired students.
A programme developed for the hearing impaired students is a comprehensive school/educational setting at which the hearing impaired students receive formal training based on the needs of the society. The rationale for educating the hearing impaired children is that each child ought to be given opportunity to be educated in order to earn a living and to contribute to the development of the society (NPE, 2004). The type of education the hearing impaired students are given determine to a large extent their roles in the community/society.
Creating an inclusive society is the main objective of inclusive education. Special needs education incorporates an eclectic array of pedagogies from which all learners may benefit. It is assumed that human differences are normal and that learning must accordingly be adapted to the needs of the child rather than the child fitted to pre-ordained methodologies regarding pace and nature of the learning process. It should be noted that prior to the Salamanca statement and frame work for action, various measures of providing services for the special needs persons were advocated for around the world. This was with aim of making education accessible for persons with special needs in general and hearing impaired in particular.
Inclusive education paves a way for a training ground for people oriented society that respects both differences and the dignity of all human beings. Thus the right of every child to education is proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is reaffirmed by the World Declaration of Education for All (EFA). Every person with disability has a right to self expression with regards to education as far as can be obtained. It can therefore be deduced that inclusive education as proclaimed by the Salamanca Frame work for action is an expression as well as a merger of the already existing services to serve the hearing impaired persons.
Bishop (1989), in Aiyeloso (2007),identified different categories of educational service models for the hearing impaired students and these include among others: regular class placement; the consultative service process; itinerant services; residential special schools; special day schools; home/hospital bound services.
Ikpaya (2004), also in a like manner opines that the educational services provided for the hearing impaired students include: the regular classroom, where the hearing impaired and their non hearing impaired counterparts mixed up together to be educated with some or no modifications where necessary. The resource room services plus the regular class according to him, is a facility where the hearing impaired students fall back for supplementary services by a special education teacher where the regular class teacher cannot measure up. Itinerant services on the other hand, are provided in a situation where there is dearth of special education teachers in a locality or region. In this process a special education teacher combines two, three or more schools to render special education services to clients as may be arranged for the convenience of either of the parties. In the special day school/residential schools respectively, the hearing impaired students are attended to and return home to their parents/guardians at the close of the day’s school activities in the special day school. Where as in the residential school for the deaf, the hearing impaired clients are given education and housed in the facility. This approach holds outright segregation practices. In the hospital/home bound facility, services are provided to hearing impaired students who apart from hearing impairment condition may have additional ill health accompaniment.
Meeting the special needs of the hearing impaired continues to be a formidable task for both regular and special education teachers. At the elementary/primary level, teachers are faced with the problem of helping the hearing impaired children to acquire basic work skills and numerous other skills. While at the secondary level, teachers are faced with the challenges of helping adolescent hearing impaired students to acquire academic content, vocational skills and life management skills. Therefore, to meet the educational needs of the hearing impaired students in inclusive school setting, teachers must develop strategies and techniques that will enable them to alter the type and amount of instruction. Altering the type of instruction might involve signing the reading passages on tapes or using a sign language interpreter. While altering the amount of instruction mean increasing demonstration and practical activities. Therefore, for the hearing impaired students to succeed in inclusive school settings, they required a systematic instructional programme that is planned according to their individual needs. The individualized approach does not imply that each student must be taught in a one to one or small group instructional approach. It does mean that the hearing impaired students receive daily instruction (teaching), tailored to their educational needs.
In the like manner, Aiyeleso, (2007), citing Miller (1999), opines that multidisciplinary approach is essential in providing comprehensive services to any group of special needs children and hearing impaired in particular in an inclusive educational setting. Team approach is very necessary at the initial assessment of clients to determine the degree of hearing loss, appropriate educational placement, and medical services/treatment required, vocational training as well as counselling services to facilitate proper adjustment for optimal benefit and to reduce the psychological effects of hearing impairment on the students.
The supportive staffs includes: Interpretation services: These are qualified professionals that serve as a link between a teacher and the hearing impaired students. The role of the educational sign language interpreter is to facilitate communication for the hearing impaired students. Sign language interpreters serve as a links between hearing impaired students and their hearing counterparts in many ways. It may be an educational link between a hearing impaired student and a learning process or it may be a communication link between a hearing impaired individual with a hearing person. Most hearing impaired students cannot benefit much from oral language because most of the words spoken are not visible on the lips. So the sign language interpreter serves as a link. There are two types of interpreters: oral and cued speech.
Oral interpreter ‘mouths the speech to the hearing impaired students using facial expressions, while cued speech interpreter mouths the word to the hearing impaired and as well uses hand signs.
Obani (2006), posits that for effective inclusion of hearing impaired to hold sway in an educational setting in Nigeria, some special arrangements and adjustments need to be made in the school practices. Also, some specialized attention and handling will be needed. The special and peculiar arrangements will include the provision and use of special teaching/learning equipment and materials to facilitate learning for the hearing impaired students. Some of the specially trained staff will be recruited to provide special teaching and services not provided/given or expected in the regular class or schools. Such specially trained staff would special education teachers, and supportive staff such as sign language interpreters, audiologist, class attendant etc for the optimum functioning of the hearing impaired students in the inclusive schools.
Social services: The social worker often provides a direct link between classroom teachers and parents/guardians of the hearing impaired students. Social workers assist parents in coping with the family problems that may arise as a result of hearing impairment. They are responsible for providing information on availability of job placement and as well ensuring proper adjustment at the place of work of the hearing impaired individuals. They also assist both parents and teachers in obtaining specialized consultation on care as well as on proper placement of the hearing impaired individuals in school or rehabilitation setting.
Audiology services: The audiologist plays an important role in the education of the hearing impaired students. Through his specialized training, indulges in measuring/assessing the hearing levels of the hearing impaired students for proper placement options and/ or recommends for the use of hearing aids/amplifications where applicable.
Counselling services: Vocational counsellors assist the hearing impaired students on vocational interest and how to adjust in the job placement and also training older hearing impaired individuals to prepare them for a re-entry into the mainstream of the society.
Medical services: The medical doctors play important roles in the initial assessment and diagnosis of persons with hearing impairment especially when health related problems are prominent. They evaluate and prescribe proper medication for the hearing impaired patients when the condition requires medical attention. Others include behaviour modification services and community based rehabilitation services.
The place of Assistive technology (AT) devices in inclusive education of the hearing impaired students in Nigeria.
Raskind (2008), opines that the use of Assistive technology devices to enhance learning is an effective approach for the hearing impaired students. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are available to help individuals with different types of disabilities ranging from cognitive problems to physical impairment to overcome their challenges. Students with hearing impairment often experienced greater success when they are allowed to use their abilities (strengths) to work around their disabilities (challenges). AT devices/tools combine the best of these practices. AT devices have the potentials to enhance the quality of life for students with hearing impairment by providing them with the means to compensate for their difficulties and highlight their abilities. This is because hearing impaired students have individual strengths, limitations, interests and experiences. He further observed that selecting appropriate technology tools for the hearing impaired students required a careful analysis of the dynamics of interaction between the individual, technology tool/device, task and context in which the technology will be applied.
Ewa (2014), observes that selecting appropriate AT tool for the hearing impaired students requires parents, educators and other professionals to take a comprehensive view to carefully analysing the interaction between the students, assistive technology tool, the task to be performed and the settings where the tool/device will be used. Moreover, it is needful to bear in mind that AT assessment is an ongoing process and it is critical to periodically re-evaluate the match even after a technology tool has been selected. For this will ensure that hearing impaired students receive maximum benefits from AT and is able to reach his/her full potentials.
Government commitment in inclusive education of the hearing impaired students in Nigeria:
In developing countries like Nigeria, educational services for children and youths with special needs are far from being adequate and are in conflict with the educational philosophy with respect to the Education for All (EFA) programme. ‘It seems that in these countries, children with special needs are a third world within a third world’ (Hammerman 1981 as cited in Adelowo 2006). As a result of this, these children are only superficially mentioned in development plans, may be to please some funding agencies. Or even sometimes when the funds are obtained, education has to compete for allocation with other areas of the economy and special needs education is either given minimal consideration or simply placed among ‘the bring up later’ issues/items or even dropped entirely.
Another factor which does not favour the adequate development of education of the special needs children (hearing impaired) and youths in the inclusive education setting in Nigeria is ignorance and negative attitudes on the parts of the school heads, teachers, regular students and parents of non handicapped children (Obi, 2004 & Okuoyibo, 2006). Over the years, majority of education and economic planners have not come to terms with the need to educate these children even with the fact that they can be educated. Therefore, the political desire to include them in the educational development plan has been negligible.
In the same vein Nwazuoke (2010), observes that inclusive education for the hearing impaired students in Nigeria cannot succeed under the present circumstances characterized by poor infrastructural facilities, poor funding for special need education, inadequate preparation of personnel for the programme including the absence of all necessary training equipment/materials for our teachers in training in our various higher institutions offering courses in special education and as well the absence of technological devices in our schools to be used by teachers and the hearing impaired students as well. He observes further that inclusive education in Nigeria has far more reaching implications and is bedevilled in the areas of personnel preparation, pedagogy, curriculum, learning environment, funding, Conditions of service, school management structures, monitoring and evaluation. So if the goals of inclusive education of the hearing impaired students are to be attained in Nigeria, he calls for adequate attention to be paid to areas concern with personnel preparation, for it is a cardinal factor. Therefore, capacity building in support of inclusive education for all categories of children/individuals living with disabilities should apart from training of graduate specialists in managing the special needs children, should also focused on the training of regular classroom teachers so as to be able to respond appropriately to the challenges posed by educating the hearing impaired students in their classrooms. This then calls for serious government commitment in the areas of training and turning out of teachers who are well equipped with the skills of communicating with the hearing impaired students.
Paradoxically, however in Nigeria, an attempt to create inclusive education system over the years tends to rather exclude the hearing impaired students from reaching their optimum levels with their other peers. This unpleasant situation is unconnected to the lapses associated with inadequate preparation of teachers to acquire necessary skills in the teaching and instructing the hearing impaired students in the inclusive school setting.
Teachers’ recruitment / training for inclusive education practices in Nigeria:
Ewa (2013), holds sway that appropriate preparation of educational personnel especially teachers stands out as a key factor in promoting progress towards inclusive education of the HI students. Teachers are the pivots on which the wheels of inclusive education rotate. Hence good and effective teaching is the key to effective learning in an inclusive classroom environment. No doubt, good teaching emanates from good and well trained teachers. It involves the skills and ingenuity of the teachers to restructure the curriculum, redesign the environment and change one’s behaviour so that the hearing impaired learners would have experiences, resources and support they needed to develop their sensibility, compassion and intelligence. Moreover, the teacher is the initiator of the learning process, the facilitator of the learning skills and is regarded as the single most important factor of fostering the frontiers of knowledge in the inclusive education setting (Umar 2010 in Ewa, 2013).
For the purpose of training and retraining programs of teachers to carry out with the work of educating the hearing impaired students in the inclusive classroom environment, both special and regular teachers involved in teaching and in education of the hearing impaired children be given equal opportunity to acquire skills related to their teaching and instructional activities which serve as healthy avenues for the inclusive education programme.
The survey research design was adopted for this study. The reason is that the survey design allows the researcher to make inferences and generalization of the population by selecting and studying the sample for the study. The population consisted of students, schools heads/teachers, and officials from the state ministries of education in the states under study. A total of 400 respondents made up of 270 students, 70 schools heads/teachers and 60 officials from the states ministries of education were randomly selected for the study. The simple random sampling technique was adopted using the hat and draw method to obtained the sample. A five point Likert-like questionnaire was the main instrument used for data collection. The instrument was validated by experts in the Measurement and Evaluation/Statistics in the Faculty of Education, University of Calabar, Nigeria. The test re-test reliability method was applied to ascertain the reliability index and was found to be high. At the end of the exercise, 400 copies of the questionnaire were retrieved with the help of some research assistants.
Hypothesis by hypothesis presentation of results:
There is no significant relationship between availability of supportive staff and successful inclusion of hearing impaired students.
The result of the analysis is presented in Table 1:
Significant at .5 level, Critical r=.113, df 398
The result of the analysis presented in table 1 reveals that the calculated r-value of 0.69 is greater than the critical r-value of 0.113 at .5 level of significance with 398 df. With this result the null hypothesis was rejected. This result therefore means that availability of supportive staff has a significant relationship with successful inclusion of hearing impaired students.
There is no significant relationship between the use of Assistive Technology (AT) devices and successful inclusion of hearing impaired students.
The result of the analysis is presented in Table II.
Significant at.5 level, Critical r-value=0.113, df 398.
The result of the analysis as presented in Table II showed that the calculated r-value of 0.61 is greater than the critical r-value of 0.113 at .5 level of significance with 398 df. With this result the null hypothesis was rejected. This result therefore means that the use of Assistive technology devices has a significant relationship with the successful inclusion of hearing impaired students.
There is no significant relationship between Government commitment and the successful inclusion of hearing impaired students.
The result of the analysis is presented in Table III.
Significant at .5 level, Critical r-value=0.113 with 398 df.
The result of the analysis presented in Table III showed that the calculated r-value of 0.73 is greater than the Critical r-value of 0.113 at .5 level of significance with 398 df. With the result, the null hypothesis was rejected. The result therefore means that lack of Government commitment significantly affects the successful inclusion of hearing impaired students in the three states under investigation.
Discussion of the findings:
The finding in Hypothesis one, which states that availability of supportive staff significantly influences the successful inclusion of the hearing impaired students agrees with the work of Obani (2006), who posits that for effective inclusion of hearing impaired students to take place in our educational system, some special arrangements and adjustment need to be made in the school practices. Also, some special attention and handling will be needed. The special and peculiar arrangements will include the provision of special teaching/learning equipment and materials to facilitate learning for the hearing impaired students. Some specially trained supportive staff will be recruited to provide special teaching and services not normally given or expected in regular classes or schools. Such specially trained staff include: special education teachers and supportive staff such as sign language interpreters, audiologists, class attendants etc.
In the same vein, the finding in Hypothesis Two which states that the use of Assistive Technology (AT) devices have significant effects on the successful inclusion of the hearing impaired students is in consonance with Raskind (2008), who upholds that Assistive Technology (AT) devices have the potentials to enhance the quality of life for the hearing impaired students in the inclusive educational environment by providing them with a means to compensate for their difficulties and highlights their abilities.
Moreover, the finding in Hypothesis three on lack of Government commitment to the course of inclusive education of the hearing impaired students is in line with what Nwazuoke (2010), observes that inclusive education for the hearing impaired students cannot succeed in the present circumstances with poor infrastructural facilities, poor funding for special needs education, inadequate preparation of personnel for the programme including the absence of all necessary training equipment/materials for our teachers in training in our various higher institutions offering courses in special education and as well as the absence of vital technological devices in our schools.
From the results/findings of the study, it can be deduced however, that in Nigeria, an attempt to create an inclusive education system over the years tend to rather exclude students with hearing impairment from reaching their optimum level with their non hearing counterparts. This ugly situation is unconnected to the lapses of inadequate preparation of teachers, poor infrastructural/facilities development, attitudinal barriers, inadequate funding and/ or lack of serious government commitment to the course of inclusion adversely affect the inclusive education programme which can rightly be said is only operational theoretically but not in reality. Therefore, to ensure equity and accessibility to qualitative education for the hearing impaired students in the inclusive education setting in Nigeria, all that it takes to make the inclusive education programme successful must be put in place. These can be achieved by:
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