A comparative study of grade three hearing impaired pre-scholars and non pre-scolars in reading skills : The case of Lusaka Boys and Girls Basic Schools

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Mulenga, Grace
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the difference in reading Performance between the grade three hearing impaired pre- scholars and non Pre- scholars, in 2 selected basic schools of Lusaka Urban. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used. A sample of 20 hearing impaired children were selected and since this was the only number available in the two schools they were all selected. For data collection, the Basic Skill Assessment Tool (BASAT) was used to test the children. For the teachers, the Senior Education Standards Officers (SESOs) and the District Education Standards Officers (DESOs), semi structured interviews were used. The data collected using the BASAT, were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), while data from interviews were analysed qualitatively by grouping similar themes together using comparative techniques. After the analyses of data, tables of frequencies and percentages were used in the examination and presentation of data. The study revealed that, there was a difference in performance between the hearing children who had been to pre- school and those who have not. The study also revealed that, most children started grade one without being to pre- school, no communication in terms of acceptable sign language used in school. The study also revealed that, those who have not been to pre- school, started grade one at a very late age of 9 to 10 years old. The study also revealed that, there were no pre- school classes existing in the two basic schools. The policy makers also acknowledged that, there was a lot that needed to be done as far as special education for hearing impaired is concerned. Findings of this study explain why early intervention is necessary in the deaf child or hearing impaired child. They explain the importance of the early years and the kinds of early educational experiences that children with hearing impairment require. Basing on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made to the Ministry of Education, the policy makers, the curriculum planners, head teachers, teachers and parents in an effort to improve the educational provision of the hearing impaired children in the country. a) The Ministry of Education should introduce assessment as a requirement before entry into grade one. b) The Ministry of Education should introduce early childhood education for hearing impaired children. c) The Ministry of Education should provide counseling services for parents with young hearing impaired children on the need for their children to begin school early.
Hearing Impaired , Hearing impaired children , Hearing disorders in children