1.1 Background of the study
The basic philosophy of Nigerian education emphasizes integrating the individual into a sound and effective citizen by providing educational opportunities from primary to the tertiary level. Since the mid-1960s, Government‟s commitment has been the use of education as a tool for social change and for national development. The recommendations from the first national curriculum conference of 1969 culminated into the National Policy on Education (NPE) first published in 1977, revised in 1981, 1998 and 2004. In its introductory sentence, it states that education in Nigeria is an instrument “par excellence” for effective national development.
In 2000, the Federal Government stated that with the return of democracy, her commitment was to pursue people- oriented educational policies as its guiding principle (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2000).The Current Policy on Education emphasizes educating the primary age children, with the compulsory free Universal Basic Education (UBE), yet many children are still not in schools for one reason or the other, because they are physically challenged. Some of their physical disabilities include: blindness, deafness, mental retardation, and social/emotional maladjustment among others (NPE, 2004). They are physically challenged because of their peculiar problems which normal children do not have. These problems prevent them from fitting into the society easily since they have some difficulties in learning and job placement.
However, people realize that handicapped children deserve the same opportunity which normal children have. If the Nigerian society has adopted a policy of universal education, then it should include education for everyone. Therefore, if the handicapped are not opportune to learn in normal educational settings, they should, at least be given the opportunity of exposure to special education which is in line with the Federal Government‟s desire as found in the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004). The basic premise is to enable every individual to pursue an all-round development through life-long learning. In 1977, the Nigerian Government set up some specific national objectives for special education. These include the following:-
i. equal educational opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their ability and challenges to learn;
ii. a census of all handicapped children and adults;
iii. establishment of a National Teachers‟ College for special education;
iv. incorporation of courses on teaching methods in special education into the curriculum of Teachers‟ Training Colleges and
v. provision of special education units in the public schools to achieve integration where possible (NPE, 1977).
The National Policy on Education has been aiming to achieve the goals of education as stated in the1970s and 1990s particularly the need to create opportunities for the disabled to acquire vocational education as contained in the Draft on Disability Policy (DRDP) National Policy on Special Education (NPE, 2004). However it was in the 1980s that a comprehensive plan was launched to make vocational and technical skills
subjects an integral part of the school curriculum, especially at both basic and secondary school levels.
Art and crafts is one of the vocational subjectsthat aimedat preparing the youth for work, thereby equipping the physically challenged with skills for self- employment, but the question isto what extent arethe special schools equipped or what are the problems of special schools? Do the students see art and crafts as positive vocational subject? Do they have the materials and human resources for effective teachingof the Arts and Crafts? These and other related questions led to the research with the view to proffer possible suggestions for effective teaching and learning of the subject since the physically challenged are not equipped with manipulative skills for self-reliance and job creation after leaving school. The Federal Ministry of Education is expected to coordinate special education activities in collaboration with relevant ministries, non-governmental organizations and some international agencies such as United Nations Children Educational Fund (UNCEF), United Nations Development Prograrmme (UNDP), and World Health Organization (WHO).
This research is focused on the role of art and crafts in educating students in special schools for the deaf and dumb, and the training of these physically challenged students towards acquiring vocational skills at post-basic levels. The institutions involved are located in Jigawa State; (the Deaf Special School Hadeja); Kaduna State Special Education, Kaduna State and Tudun Maliki Special Education in Kano State. It appears Government‟s objectives to provide equal education opportunities for all children with special needs are not met because of lack of a uniform and appropriate curriculum for all beneficiaries. Higher institutions of learning that cater for the training of teachers for
special education in the country are quite few. Among them are; Federal College of Education Special, Oyo State and Modupe Cole Center Akoka in Lagos (Garuba, 1996). Of recent, there is a section in Kaduna Polytechnic, University of Jos and Bayero University, Kano where training courses in special education are conducted, but are not equipped to cater for training of special teachers.
1.2 Statement of the problem:
Despite the fact that the physically challenged are included in the design of Government‟s National Policy on Education, physically challenged students have difficulties in learning because they are physically challenged. They cannot learn very well in normal educational settings as such should be given the opportunity of exposure to special education which is in line with the Federal Government‟s desire as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (2004). Students who finishedfrom special schools cannot perform well to become self-reliant or as self-employedafter leaving school .This shows that there are problems. One of the problems is the implementation of art and crafts program in special schools. If properly taught art and crafts will play a significant role in educating physically challenged students. The problem of the study therefore, is how to evaluate the teaching of art and crafts to the physically challenged persons,and to make art and crafts perform its expected functions for the students. Furthermore,the extent of the success of art and crafts teaching in the schools needs evaluation. Evaluation is the best process of finding out the level of achievement. From evaluation, the problem of teaching art and crafts in special schools necessitates attention hence, the study.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the study:
The study seeks to evaluate the teaching of art and crafts to the physically challenged students. The objectives were to:
a. assessthe general perception of students, teachers and officials of the ministries of education in Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano States on art and crafts teaching to students with disabilities in special schools.
b. assess the level of implementation of vocational education inthe special schools within the selected physically challenged institutions.
c. identify the types of art and crafts that are being taught.
d. assess the quality and adequacy of art/crafts teaching staff, and
e. examine the availability and adequacy of teaching materials and facilities for art and crafts teaching.
1.4 Research Questions:
The following under listed research questions were developed to guide the study. They were:
1. What is the general perception of students, teachers and officials of the ministries of education to the study of art and crafts in special schools or for students with disabilitiesin Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano State?
2. To what extent have the special schools implemented vocational education (art/crafts)?
3. What forms of art and crafts lessons are being taught to students with disabilities?
4. How adequate and qualified are the art and crafts teaching staff?
5. What are the types of available facilities and materials for teaching art and crafts to the physically challenged students?
Hypotheses were formulated to facilitate the solutions for the research questions. They were;
Ho1 There is no significant difference between students‟ teachers‟ and officials‟ perception of art and crafts teaching in special schools inJigawa, Kaduna and Kano states.
Ho2 There is no significant difference between teachers and students perception on the implementation of art and crafts as a vocational subject in the special schools.
Ho3 There is no significant difference betweenthe types of art and crafts that is being taught to students in special schools inJigawa, Kaduna and Kano states.
Ho4 There is no significant difference between students and teachers from Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano states on the adequacy and quality ofart and crafts teaching staff in the special schools involved in the study.
Ho5 There is no significant difference between students from Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano states on the adequacy of materials for the effective teaching and learning of art and crafts in the special schools.
1.6 Justification of the study:
Since the disabled are not opportuned to learn in normal educational settings, efforts should be made to give them proper education in all fields which is in line with the Federal Government‟s policy. The provision of equal educational opportunities for all individuals regardless of their ability challenges to learn in normal educational setting requires special support, training environment, modification and special material
development. If provision for the education of the disabled students is not made, their potentialities will remain undeveloped resulting in great wastage of human resources and they may have difficulty to adjust to the society.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study will helpprovide information to students on how to develop positive attitude toward art and crafts education, by training them to have sense of craftsmanship to demonstrate their skills for solving their personal problems as well as conduct independent thinking and enhance high general knowledge in art education.
The knowledge and skills gained through art and crafts in vocational education by the deaf and dumb children will give them the opportunity to develop manipulative skills that will enable them to function effectively in the society within the limits of their capacity. They will through the information provided in this study become more independent through self-employment in the existing industries after leaving school.
The study will provide the deaf and dumb students with more effective opportunities to develop and sustain motor and visual skills through art. It will enable teachers to understand and appreciate the demands of teaching special education to the physically challenged students by knowing the type of disability and proffering solutions. It is expected that information sourced from this study will be useful to the planners and educators of arts in order to be able to recognize the values of arts and crafts and to develop appropriate programs in art and crafts for the physically challenged. It will help build quality teaching in special education so that the physically challenged students can have a better chance for future employment and independence. The findings of this research will provide information on the relevance of teaching-learning art and crafts to the
physically challenged, as well as suggest other areas for further researches into various areas of art values for the disabled. The study will be one of the few reported attempts to provide useful information for art teachers with necessary skills and resources that will serve as a guide in handling different levels of children with disabilities based on the findings.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study is on the perception of students, teachers and administrators on the teaching of art and crafts tothe physically challenged. It includes the extent of the art and crafts programme, types of art and crafts taughtquality and availability of teachers and facilities, equipment and materials. Specifically, theDeafin Special School,Hadeja-Jigawa; Kaduna State Special Education School and Tudun Maliki Special Education Kano State were chosen because they are in the North West Geo political zone and for easy accessibility to the researcher. The study is limited to the deaf and dumb (JJS level) in the Junior Secondary Schools.
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