Challenges of teaching pupils with intellectual disability in inclusive primary schools in Tanzania : the case of Temeke District, Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges of teaching pupils with intellectual disability in Temeke municipality in Dar es Salaam. It was guided by three objectives and related research tasks, namely (i) to identify pupils with intellectual disability, (ii) to assess the types of teaching and learning facilities used for pupils with intellectual disability in inclusive primary schools and (iii) to examine the challenges encountered by teachers in teaching and learning activities in inclusive primary schools. The study employed mainly the qualitative approach aided by quantitative elements and in particular employing a case study design. A total of 105 participants comprised the sample size. These included head teachers and academic teachers, regular classroom teachers, teachers having attended a short training course for special-needs children, pupils without disability (class monitors and monitresses) selected from standards IV, V, VI and VII and an educational assessor from Mtoni deaconic centre. The participants were obtained through purposive and random sampling techniques. Data were collected through interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions, observation and documentary review. Qualitative data were analysed through thematic analysis and Quantitative data were analysed with the help Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 15 and presented in frequencies and/or percentages graphs and tables. The study findings revealed that inclusive primary schools enrolled only a mild type of intellectual disability, and pupils with ID were wrongly placed in inclusive classes due to lack of assessment or inadequate assessment measures done at Mtoni Assessment Centre. The centre assesses the cognitive, psychomotor and physical ability, which lacks a scientific experimentation, using a team of clinical experts, thus they use only an educational diagnostician. The findings further revealed that teaching for teachers and learning for pupils with ID are both faced with many challenges such as lack of trained teachers, lack of proper teaching and learning facilities and poor teaching methodology. To attain meaningful education and overcome the challenges for successful teaching of pupils with ID, the following have to be incorporated: learning by doing, cooperative learning and peer tutoring among pupils and the use of teaching aids such as pictures. The study recommends that the Government through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and various stakeholders, need to ensure the supply of important teaching and learning facilities like textbooks and teaching aids, multimedia and sports facilities, and should train special needs teachers and provide clear guidelines for teaching pupils with ID. Further studies are recommended on how special needs training courses and teaching and learning facilities can be adequately conducted to influence the quality of teaching staff for special needs education.
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Handicapped children, Education (elementary), Inclusive primary schools, Primary schools, Temeke district, Dar es Salaam region, Tanzania
Ngata, A. G. (2011) Challenges of teaching pupils with intellectual disability in inclusive primary schools in Tanzania : the case of Temeke District, Dar es Salaam