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Inclusion/integration of children with hearing impairment in pre-primary education in Tanzania
Inclusion/integration of children with hearing impairment in pre-primary education in Tanzania
The study investigated the inclusion/integration of children with hearing impairment in pre-primary education in Tanzania. The worldwide inclusion of young children with disabilities into regular pre-primary schools/streams in Tanzania is a subject worthy of investigation. The government of Tanzania has pledged to provide education for children with disabilities in pre-primary education in an inclusive setting. Inclusive education is considered as a means to eliminate exclusion in society and build an inclusive society. However, it is observed that, despite the advocacy of inclusion, exclusion in education still exists; more importantly in early childhood education programs. Early childhood experience shapes the whole life of the individual and is a foundation for the later stage of child development. Early childhood education can thus be perceived of as a springboard for primary education and other subsequent levels of education. Most children with disabilities face great challenges including failure and drop out in primary education. Therefore, there is a need to ensure a solid background education in pre-primary education, specifically in an inclusive setting, the most preferable educational setting providing education to all children worldwide and in the respective country. The study was guided by four research questions; the first question focused on the policy concerning children with disabilities in pre-primary schools. Second, the methods and ways used to identify, assess and place children with hearing impairment in schools in Tanzania were considered. The third consideration focused on the kind of activities and support provided during the teaching and learning process in the pre-primary learning environment and the fourth governed the challenges facing integration/inclusion of children with hearing impairment in Tanzanian education. The study was conducted in two regions: Dar es Salaam and Shinyanga. Two schools in Dar es Salaam and two schools in Shinyanga were purposively selected for data collection. The study employed a document review, semi-structured interviews and direct observation methods in the collection of data. Various documents were reviewed to generate the required information on policy, regulations, guidelines and key information about the children. Teaching, learning activities and play were observed. Teachers were interviewed concerning their personal details including qualifications, professional background and experience, specific information about each child observed during classroom observation and their views and opinions concerning inclusion of children with hearing impairment- more specifically, hard of hearing and deaf (HH/D) children- in pre-primary education. Results revealed that in general the government of Tanzania has put some effort into providing an education service for children with disabilities. Education was realized as a basic human right for every child regardless of the status of the child. However, much needs to be done to ensure that this right is fully realized. Also, there was no guideline at national level for identifying and assessing children with disabilities, e.g. screening procedures. HH/D children and likewise other children with severe disabilities were educated in segregated settings such as special schools and special units/classes in integrated settings. Teaching and learning activities were based largely on the observations generated by the interaction of teacher and child. Environmental and personal factors and child personality influenced the interaction during the classroom learning process and out-door play activities. Environmental factors included the nature of classroom and school environment, classroom structure, size and space. Personal factors observed focused on gender, age of teachers, academic and professional qualifications, teaching experience, training in special education needs (SEN) and motivation to teach pre-primary children with HH/D. Moreover, the study observed a shortage of support provision to teachers, schools, children and their parents. In addition, several challenges exist concerning policy, the school management, HH/D teachers, parents of HH/D and the HH/D children. The whole HH/D ecological system was subjected to various difficulties affecting the child at the center. Generally, the study found that the ecology of the HH/D was affected by many factors; thus, it was recommended that the provision of pre-primary education for the HH/D should consider all systems surrounding the individual child.
Inclusion, Integration, Pre-Primary, Tanzania
Mkongo, Joyce Idd
2019
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Mkongo, Joyce Idd (2019): Inclusion/integration of children with hearing impairment in pre-primary education in Tanzania. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
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Abstract

The study investigated the inclusion/integration of children with hearing impairment in pre-primary education in Tanzania. The worldwide inclusion of young children with disabilities into regular pre-primary schools/streams in Tanzania is a subject worthy of investigation. The government of Tanzania has pledged to provide education for children with disabilities in pre-primary education in an inclusive setting. Inclusive education is considered as a means to eliminate exclusion in society and build an inclusive society. However, it is observed that, despite the advocacy of inclusion, exclusion in education still exists; more importantly in early childhood education programs. Early childhood experience shapes the whole life of the individual and is a foundation for the later stage of child development. Early childhood education can thus be perceived of as a springboard for primary education and other subsequent levels of education. Most children with disabilities face great challenges including failure and drop out in primary education. Therefore, there is a need to ensure a solid background education in pre-primary education, specifically in an inclusive setting, the most preferable educational setting providing education to all children worldwide and in the respective country. The study was guided by four research questions; the first question focused on the policy concerning children with disabilities in pre-primary schools. Second, the methods and ways used to identify, assess and place children with hearing impairment in schools in Tanzania were considered. The third consideration focused on the kind of activities and support provided during the teaching and learning process in the pre-primary learning environment and the fourth governed the challenges facing integration/inclusion of children with hearing impairment in Tanzanian education. The study was conducted in two regions: Dar es Salaam and Shinyanga. Two schools in Dar es Salaam and two schools in Shinyanga were purposively selected for data collection. The study employed a document review, semi-structured interviews and direct observation methods in the collection of data. Various documents were reviewed to generate the required information on policy, regulations, guidelines and key information about the children. Teaching, learning activities and play were observed. Teachers were interviewed concerning their personal details including qualifications, professional background and experience, specific information about each child observed during classroom observation and their views and opinions concerning inclusion of children with hearing impairment- more specifically, hard of hearing and deaf (HH/D) children- in pre-primary education. Results revealed that in general the government of Tanzania has put some effort into providing an education service for children with disabilities. Education was realized as a basic human right for every child regardless of the status of the child. However, much needs to be done to ensure that this right is fully realized. Also, there was no guideline at national level for identifying and assessing children with disabilities, e.g. screening procedures. HH/D children and likewise other children with severe disabilities were educated in segregated settings such as special schools and special units/classes in integrated settings. Teaching and learning activities were based largely on the observations generated by the interaction of teacher and child. Environmental and personal factors and child personality influenced the interaction during the classroom learning process and out-door play activities. Environmental factors included the nature of classroom and school environment, classroom structure, size and space. Personal factors observed focused on gender, age of teachers, academic and professional qualifications, teaching experience, training in special education needs (SEN) and motivation to teach pre-primary children with HH/D. Moreover, the study observed a shortage of support provision to teachers, schools, children and their parents. In addition, several challenges exist concerning policy, the school management, HH/D teachers, parents of HH/D and the HH/D children. The whole HH/D ecological system was subjected to various difficulties affecting the child at the center. Generally, the study found that the ecology of the HH/D was affected by many factors; thus, it was recommended that the provision of pre-primary education for the HH/D should consider all systems surrounding the individual child.