The Nature,prevalence,causes and methods used by teachers to correct the reading difficulties experienced by middle basic school learners with visual impairments in Zambia: A case of Magwero and Ndola lions' schools for the blind
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The study investigated the nature, prevalence, causes and methods used by teachers to correct the reading difficulties experienced by middle basic school learners with visual impairments in Zambia. The objectives of the study were to: identify the nature of reading difficulties among middle basic school learners with visual impairments; determine the prevalence levels and causes as well as to establish the methods used by teachers to correct the identified reading difficulties. The study used the survey design. The target population was one hundred and sixteen middle basic school learners and twenty-six middle basic Special Education teachers in six residential schools for the blind. The sample consisted of forty-five learners and fourteen special education teachers. Random and purposive sampling were used to arrive at the pupil and teacher samples. In collecting data, questionnaires were administered to learners and teachers. Teachers were also interviewed and learners were engaged in focus group discussions. The study instruments were piloted at Munali Special Unit in Lusaka before they were used in the study. Qualitative and quantitative data analyses were used. The findings of the study revealed that more than half (56.3%) of learners with visual impairments experienced tactile reading difficulties while 43.6% of the respondents experienced phonological and phonemic reading difficulties. 48.8% of all the respondents indicated that the reading difficulties were caused by inadequate reading materials and 44% of them stated that the reading difficulties were caused by challenges in distinguishing letters and dots. Besides these findings, 72% of the respondents also indicated that the identified reading difficulties could be corrected if learners were given adequate special homework and individualized attention. The study concluded that learners with visual impairments experienced a very high prevalence of reading difficulties contrary to the reading abilities expected at their levels. Major recommendations were made among which were that the Ministry of Education should formulate deliberate policies to enhance the acquisition of reading skills among learners with visual impairments and that the Ministry should purchase adequate reading materials for the learners under review. The Curriculum Development Center and the Examination Council of Zambia should prepare reading materials that are suitable to learners with visual impairments.
Special education--study and teaching--Ndola--Zambia
- Education