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INVESTIGATION INTO THE PROBLEMS FACED BY STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN THE STUDY OF ECONOMICS IN THE PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF ENUGU STATE

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Abstract

This study was anchored on investigation into the problems faced by students with special needs in the study of economics in the public secondary schools of Enugu State, Nigeria. The area of study is made of two (2) public secondary schools: St. Theresa and urban Girls’ secondary schools; in which the population size was 250 and the sample size was 154. To carry out this study, four (4) research questions were used, which were structured questionnaires that served as the only instrument applied in the collection of data. In the collection of data, 154 questionnaires were administered to the students with the aids of their teachers in the two (2) different schools at different time. Simple mean statistics was adopted as the simplest means used in the analyzing the data collected. At the end of the research conducted, the researcher found out that there are factors responsible for the problems faced by the students with special needs. These include right to education, right to employment, right to social integration, stigmatization, negative attitudes from the society, poor health care system and legal support system. On the other hand, the other factors militating against the excellent performances of the students include: the bad attitudes of students toward economics as subject of study, teachers’ qualifications, teaching and learning methodology, facilities available for teaching and learning of economics. Based on these, the researcher recommended that public secondary schools management should organize orientation and re-orientation programme immediately after the intake of the students to enhance them understand the values, benefits and equally the rudiments to success of the subject he/she has come to study. Finally, the researcher also recommended that the school management board should endeavor to organize seminars, workshop or job orientation programmes for their teachers. This will in the long way afford them the opportunity of being updated in the courses or subjects in questions and the best methodology of teaching and learning them, thereby bring their lessons home to the students.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background to the Study

       All round the world, the field of special needs education and its clients always face all forms of problems and barriers that range from physical, social, economic to attitudinal changes; these barriers in the field often exclude its beneficiaries from acting fully and effectively in their environments or societies. Persons with special needs lack right to education, right to employment, right to social integration. These persons suffer stigmatization, negative attitude from the society, poor health care systems and above all legal support system become a fantasy. All these are due to the non-recognition on the field of special need education faced globally, especially in Nigeria (FGN, 2004).

       In 2006, an international disability movement took a bold step with the adoption of the convention on the rights of persons with disability. The united nations really worked to change the attitudes and approaches of the society and governments of all nations to special need education issues, toward ensuring that persons with special need have full equality and participation in public and social lives. This design of the convention of the united national has the intention to break all barriers facing special needs education and its beneficiaries. It is also human rights instrument that contains development dimension, which is intended to realize equality and participation of persons with special needs in all development processes.

       Very recently, the United Nations General Assembly has emphasized that the genuine achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Education For All (EFA) and other globally agreed development goals, needs the integration and inclusion of the rights and opinions of persons with special need in all endeavours at national, regional and international levels. The General Assembly in realizing this goal convened high level meeting of disability in 2011 at the level of Head of Government to discuss the way towards 2015 and beyond. The aim of this target as adopted as an action-oriented document that provides policy guidance that will assist in translating the international commitment for a disability inclusive society and strengthen goal effort to ensure accessibility for inclusion of persons with special needs in all areas of development. Looking at the effort of the United Nations in the convention, its laudable intention is to promote accessibility remove or break all kinds of challenges or barriers facing persons with special needs in our society.

       The trend in social policy in many countries of the world during the past three (3) decades in the special needs education has been on promoting inclusive programmes and how all barriers facing person with special needs be removed and to combat exclusionary and disciplinary practices  (Disabled People International, DPI, 2005; Lindsay, 2007, Mittler, 2000). The fundamental principle of special needs educations is that all children with special needs learn in a least restrictive environment, regardless of any difficulties and differences they have (UNESCO, 2003). But, throughout the world, children with special needs are often marginalized within or indeed, even sometimes excluded from the scheme of things (Ainscow and Haile-Giorgis, 1998).

       This work, therefore, will discuss on the investigation into the problems faced by the students with special needs in the study of economics in public secondary schools of Enugu State, Nigeria.

Statement of Research Problem

The problems faced by the students with special needs in the study of economics in the public secondary schools include inadequate and unaccess funding, barriers of  access to education, policy issues, unavailability of facilities, poverty, negative attitudes of people to the disabled, barriers of parents’ involvement, non-implementation and inadequate funding for inclusive education, lack of supporting legislation, inadequate or unemployment of professionals and even the administrative barriers have contributed adversely to the students of special needs in their studies. The students of special needs also placed the challenges of developmental disability which include the autism spectrum disorders, behavioural disorder, head/brain injury, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, petal alcohol syndrome (PAS), mental/intellectual disability and even the learning disability contributed to the challenges or problems to the special need students.

Purpose of the Study

       The main purpose of this study is to find out the problems faced by students with special needs in the study of economics in public secondary schools.

Specifically, the study will:

·     Determine the attitudes of students towards the study of economics.

·     Ascertain the facilities available for the teaching of economics

·     Ascertain the teaching methods used in teaching economics to the special needs in the public secondary school.

·     Find out the various ways of improving students’ performance in the economics.

Significance of the Study

       The significance of this study cannot be over-emphasized. The study is essential because of its benefits to the students, teachers, school administrators, researchers and the general public.

       To the students, the study of the problem faced by students with special needs will help them to identify their areas of weakness in the course and make immediate remediation.

       To the teachers, it will help them to us the appropriate teaching of economics and the method to impact prerequisite of economic skills on the students.

       To the school administrators, this study will help them to make provision for teaching aids or instructional materials that will facilities the acquisition of economic skills.

       To the researcher, this study will serve as guide for further research.

       To the general public, it will expose them on the unlimited benefits of economics in our modern society and also change their perception about the course.

       The result of this findings will go a long way to minimize the problems faced by the students with special needs in the study of economics in public secondary schools.

Scope of the Study

       The scope of this study was focused on the investigation of problems faced by the students with special needs in the study of economics in public secondary schools of Enugu State, Nigeria.

Research Questions

·     What are the attitudes of students with special needs in the study of economics in the public secondary schools

·     What are the facilities to be available for the teaching of economics in public secondary schools.

·     What are the methods to be adopted in teaching economics to the students of special needs in the public secondary schools.

·     What are the various strategic ways of improving students of special needs performance in the study of economics.

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