Psychological Dispositions of Depression and Academic Performance of Learners with Visual Impairment in Selected Special Primary Schools in Kenya

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VI, Issue VI, June 2019 | ISSN 2321–2705

Psychological Dispositions of Depression and Academic Performance of Learners with Visual Impairment in Selected Special Primary Schools in Kenya

Atieno B. Owaga, Dr. Nzoka S. Musila, Dr. Tom Abuom

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Department of Early Childhoood Education and Special Need Education, Kenyatta University, P.O Box 43844-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Abstract:- The aim of this study was to establish the influence of depression levels on academic performance of learners with visual impairment. A descriptive survey study design was used to carry out the study in special public primary schools for learners with visual impairment in Kenya, namely: St. Francis Primary school- Kapenguria, St. Oda primary, Thika primary and Kibos primary school. The study group consisted of 4 head teachers, 5 class teachers, 2 teachers in charge of guidance and counseling and 98 learners with visual impairment were selected for the study. Data was collected through questionnaires for class teachers and students with visual impairment, and interview schedules for the head teachers and teachers of guidance and counseling. The collected data was cleaned, coded and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages with the aid of SPSS version 21.0. Quantitative data was presented using tables, bar-graphs and pie-charts. Mean and standard deviation were also used to describe the distribution of depression dispositions of learners with visual impairment. Qualitative data were categorized into patterns, presented using texts and discussed. Findings revealed that both male and female learners with total blindness and that had high level of depression were more affected by academic performance than those with low vision. The study concluded that learners with impaired vision were less able to perform activities of daily living, less mobile, more isolated, suffer higher rates of depression and had a reduced overall quality of life when compared to their sighted counterparts. The study recommended that the Government should ensure that special schools for learners with visual impairments have professional counselors who will assist the learners with VI in dealing with their emotional and behavioural disorders. The findings of the study may be useful to the school administrators, doctors, teachers and other paraprofessionals in special needs education in executing measures that would moderate the possible negative effects of depression.

Keywords: Depression, Academic performance, Learners with Visual Impairment