SOCIAL EXPERIENCES OF PUPILS WITH LOW VISION IN SELECTED REGULAR SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF LUSAKA AND MBALA DISTRICTS, ZAMBIA

Alice Kabwe, Joseph Mandyata, Oswell C. Chakulimba

Abstract


The study sought to investigate the social experiences of pupils with low vision in Lusaka and Mbala Districts in Zambia. The study used qualitative approach and case study research design. The sample size was 52 consisting: 16 pupils with low vision, 16 sighted pupils, 14 teachers, 2 head teachers and 4 heads of department. Purposive sampling techniques was used to select participants. Data from pupils was collected using focus group discussion guides, while data from head teachers, heads of departments and teachers was through use of interview guides. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically. The study revealed that, the attitude of majority of teachers and sighted pupils, was negative in the two study districts. Pupils with low vision were not easily socially accepted either in rural or urban schools. The study further showed that, pupils with low vision were often; discriminated, teased and bullied in regular class and school settings, hence, finding it difficult to participate effectively in social activities. Additionally, teachers and sighted learners were of the view that pupils with low vision were, pretenders, while head teachers and heads of department, disagreed with this view. Interventions, schools had put in place to help improve social experiences of pupils with low vision in regular schools, ranged from: sensitization and advocacy; creation of positive social environment; modification of social activities in order ensure social acceptance of pupils with low vision. In view of these results, the study recommended that, the strengthening of sensitization and advocacy initiatives on social inclusion of pupils with Low vision in order to reduce stigmatization, discrimination, teasing and bullying practices was necessary in the study schools.

 

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visual impairment; low vision; social experience, attitudes; regular school

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References


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