Guidance Service Provision in High Schools for Pupils withVisual Impairments: A case of sefula and Mumbwa High Schools for the Blind
Mwamba, Faith Kyulabantu
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This study evaluated school guidance service provision in high schools for pupils with visual impairments in Mumbwa and Sefula High schools for the Blind. The sample consisted of forty eight respondents from two co-educational boarding high schools running a unit for the visually impaired pupils. The sample had a total of thirty six pupils with visual impairments, two head teachers, two counselors and eight teachers. The head teachers, counselors and teachers responded to a semi-structured interview guide while the pupils with visual impairments discussed in a Focus Group Discussion and responded to a questionnaire.This study utilized both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The instruments were both open and closed guides. The following variables relevant to the provision of guidance services to pupils with visual impairments in high schools were studied: problems pupils with visual impairments faced, types of the guidance services available for pupils with visual impairments and pupils' evaluation of the guidance services in high schools. Data analysis was done through categorizing themes that emerged by descriptions and statistical interpretation. Triangulation of both qualitative and quantitative techniques was employed.The overall analysis revealed that there were peculiar problems pupils with visual impairments faced. These include lack of modified materials in science, mathematics and graphs, lack of orientation in subject selection, no specialized teachers in subject courses, no textbooks transcribed in Braille, inadequate time to take down notes, not enough Braille paper and radio cassette recorders to use in the resource room, not able to participate in writing weekly tests and having to depend on one or two resource teachers to transcribe Braille work. In addition, pupils revealed that they faced problems in relating with the sighted fellow pupils and teachers in terms of getting assistance in their school work. Royal National Institute of the Blind (2005) alludes to the fact that what a sighted person is able to accommodate through vision in order to build an experience, a visually impaired experiences through touch or verbal description from people around.The results further revealed that, avocational, educational, health, social/personal and vocational guidance services provided in the schools were not meeting the specific needs of the visually impaired. The pupils with visual impairments' evaluation of the guidance services in these high schools were that generally, these services were of no benefit to them since their needs did not tally with those of the fellow sighted peers. In order to improve and effectively implement guidance service provision to pupils with visual impairments in these two schools, the study recommended that the Ministry of Education should send trained Counselors, specifically skilled, to handle pupils with visual impairments in these schools. These Officers should be assigned to the guidance units on full time basis and be equipped with appropriate methodologies in accordance with counseling ethics. It also recommended that resource teachers should be trained in subject content at high school level in order for them to be able to supplement on what pupils with visual impairments learn from the classrooms. In this respect, the Ministry should endeavor to organize in-house workshops for resource teachers found in high schools running units for pupils with visual impairments. This may enable teachers to be equipped with subject content and counseling skills if inclusion is to be beneficial for these pupils.
SubjectSpecial Education--Study and teaching--Sefula-Zambia
Educational Couselling(visual impairments)-mumbwa-Zambia
- Education