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 Table of Contents  
CLINICAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35-41

A study on available support systems in inclusive setting for the students with mental retardation


Department of Special Education, Sweekar Academy of Rehabilitation Sciences, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication21-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Jayanti Pujari
Department of Special Education, Sweekar Academy of Rehabilitation Sciences, Secunderabad - 500 009, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-4264.153567

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  Abstract 

The present study is an exploratory study to find out the existing support system in the primary schools of two Districts of Telengana. The study primarily focused on identifying the available support system in the primary schools which facilitate the learning of children with mental retardation. The objective of the study was to find out the support system available for the students with mental retardation in terms of academic support, social support, emotional support and physical support in inclusive setting in the primary schools. A total number of 100 teachers (both regular and resource teacher), 50 students and 20 primary school were selected by purposive sampling procedure. The data was generated with the help of 4 type of questionnaire. The major findings of the study show that the academic and social support as perceived by regular teacher was in average level where as academic and social support perceived by resource teacher are in high level. The emotional support provided by peer is high level. The physical support was studied under three catogerise i.e. toilet and sanitation facilities, mobility and barrier free environment are in low level. The study concludes that adequate support system is key to the success of inclusive education.

Keywords: CInclusive setting, mental retardation, support system


How to cite this article:
Pujari J, Annapurna M. A study on available support systems in inclusive setting for the students with mental retardation. Indian J Cereb Palsy 2015;1:35-41

How to cite this URL:
Pujari J, Annapurna M. A study on available support systems in inclusive setting for the students with mental retardation. Indian J Cereb Palsy [serial online] 2015 [cited 2017 May 29];1:35-41. Available from: http://www.ijcpjournal.org/text.asp?2015/1/1/35/153567


  Introduction Top


Inclusion is an educational approach and philosophy that provides all students with community membership and greater opportunities for academic and social opportunities. Inclusion is about making sure that each and every student feels welcome and that they are unique needs and learning styles are attended to and valued.

Motshekga [1] emphasizes the point that without a new mindset and right support system in place inclusive education system will remain no more then idealist education system. Thus one of the major tasks is to successfully change the character of our school and ensure the establishment of inclusive education with necessary support system.

The aim of inclusive education is to identify and reduce barriers. Kapp [2] describes that the term barriers of learning as a generic term referring to heterogeneous group of deviations. These barriers to learning are barriers which arise from impairment, negative attitude, in flexible curriculum inadequate support system. These barriers do have an impact on emotional behavioural and social wellbeing of the learner.

In Andhra Pradesh the inclusive education has been implemented by Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) [3] under Rajiv Vidya Mission. Resource teachers are appointed in the mandals which are divided in to different divisions. The resource teachers prime duty is to guide the regular teacher on educating the children with disability and to provide home based training.

The focus of this study is exploration of the existing support system in the schools of Ranga Reddy District. The aim of the study is to report the available support system which facilitate the learning of children with mental retardation.

Objectives

  • To find out the academic support system available for the students with mental retardation in inclusive setting in the primary schools of Rangareddy District
  • To find out the social support system available for the students with mental retardation in inclusive setting in the primary schools of Rangareddy District
  • To find out the emotion support system available for the students with mental retardation in inclusive setting in the primary schools of Rangareddy District
  • To find out the physical support system available for the students with mental retardation in inclusive setting in the primary schools of Rangareddy District.
Sample

A total number of 100 teachers (both regular and resource teacher), 50 students and 20 primary school were selected by purposive sampling procedure. 4 categories of sample were used for the study. They were:

  • Teachers working in government primary schools (Regular teachers) of Rangareddy and Hyderabad District
  • Resource teacher appointed under SSA (Resource Teachers) of Rangareddy and Hyderabad District
  • Students of 4 th and 5 th class of government primary schools (students) of Rangareddy and Hyderabad District
  • Government primary schools working under Sarva Shiksha Abiyaan (SSA) of Rangareddy and Hyderabad District.
The data was collected with the help of 4 types of Questionnaires. There were 19 questions in academic support system, 10 questions in social support system, 15 questions in emotional support system and 19 questions in physical support system which is divided into three categories toilet and sanitation facilities, mobility and barrier free environment. Total 63 questions were there in the questionnaire.

Data was generated with the help of questionnaire. Collected data was tabulated and analysed with the help of percentages.

The [Table 1] and [Figure 1] show the different levels academic support provided by the regular teachers to the students with mental retardation in Government primary schools of both Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts. The percentages shows that in Rangareddy out of total sample of 26 teachers, 50.25% of sample shows average level of Academic support and 40.74% sample shows high level of academic support. Where as in Hyderabad district out of total sample of 23 regular teachers 73.91%of sample shows average level of academic support.
Figure 1: Percentages showing the level of academic support from regular teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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Table 1: Percentages showing the level of academic support from regular teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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The result of the study shows that out of the total sample of 26 teachers in Rangareddy district 84.6% sample shows the high level of social support and 15.38% sample shows the average level of support. Whereas in Hyderabad district out of the total sample of 24 teachers 66.66% of the sample shows the high level of support and 33.33%.of the sample shows average level of support.

Analysis shows that two districts were showing the high percentages in the high level of academic support [Table 2].
Table 2: Percentages showing the level of academic support from resource teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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The [Table 3] shows the different levels of social support provided by the regular teachers to the students with mental retardation in the Government primary schools of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts. The results of the study shows that in the total sample of 27 teachers in Rangareddy district 62.96% of the sample shows average level of support, and 37.03% of the sample shows high level of social support. In Hyderabad district from the total sample of 23 teachers 65.21% of the sample shows average level of support and 21.73% sample shows high level of support and 13.04% of the sample shows low level of support [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Percentages showing the level of social support from regular teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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Table 3: Percentages showing the level of social support from regular teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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The [Table 4] and [Figure 3] shows the different levels of social support provided by the Resource teachers in the primary schools of different mandals of both Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts. Out of the total sample in Rangareddy district 84.65% of the sample shows high level of support, and 15.38% of the sample shows low level of support. In Hyderabad district out of the total sample of 24 teachers 58.33% of the sample shows average level of support and 37.5%of the sample shows high level of support and 4.16% of the sample shows low level of support.
Figure 3: Percentages showing the level of social support from the resource teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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Table 4: Percentages showing the level of social support from the resource teachers of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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When we compare the percentages of both districts there is so much variation between the high level of social support given by the Resource teachers. In Rangareddy district shows more high level of social support than Hyderabad district and Hyderabad district shows more average level of support than Rangareddy district.

The [Table 5] and [Figure 4] shows the different levels of emotional support provided by the students of 4 th and 5 th class of both the districts - Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad. The result of the study shows that students in the schools of Ranga Reddy district all the 35 students show high level of emotional support to their peers with mental retardation. And the students in the schools of Hyderabad district, from the total sample of 15, 93.33% show high emotional support and of 6.66%. shows average level of support.
Figure 4: Percentages showing the level of emotional support of Rangareddy and Hyderabad district

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Table 5: Percentages showing the level of emotional support of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts

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When we compare the scores and percentages of the students of two districts, the percentages the difference is very small and negligible. All the students are showing high level of emotional support for their peers with mental retardation.

The first objective is to find out the level of the Academic support for the students with intellectual impairment in inclusive setting. The academic support by the regular teachers is very important for the success of inclusion. In the present study Academic support has been studied with the help of questions pertaining to

  • Resource teacher and resource room facilities in the schools
  • Training programmes related to special education
  • Assessment for the students with intellectual disability
  • Individualized educational programme implementation
  • Curricular adaptations.
All the above mentioned areas are very essential for academic support. For successful inclusion, the regular teacher in the classroom should know the assessment procedures for the children with intellectual impairment, about IEP, using resource room and resource teacher facilities, using specific teaching learning material, reinforcements etc., then only it will be the successful inclusion.

The findings of the study shows that the academic support provided by the regular teachers in both Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts are in average level. This may be due to

  • Adequate training needed by regular teachers to improve their knowledge in teaching special skills to the children with M.R
  • Resource room facility is not available in the primary schools
  • The guidance of the Resource teacher in not sufficient as he visits as per his schedule
  • The student teacher ratio in the government primary schools is also another reason for non-availability of adequate academic support in primary schools for the children with intellectual impairment. It is difficult to take individual care of the child where strength of the class is more.
This finding also supports the finding of Coates [4] emphasizes about the need of techniques and further preparation and training will lead to meet the educational needs effectively.

Another studies Soodak, Podell and Lehman [5] and Fox and Yesseldyke. [6]

Conducted studies and emphasized that teachers who possessed low teaching efficacy, who lacked experience in teaching or who had low use of differentiated teaching practices and teacher collaboration were found to be less receptive in inclusion. Inadequate training and lack of administrative leadership, general education teachers did not make significant medications in their teaching strategies to address the needs of students with disabilities.

The second objective is to find the level of social support available to the students with Mental Retardation impairment in the inclusive setting in the primary schools of Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts. Social support has been studied with the help of questions pertaining to

  • Greeting and responding appropriately to others
  • Wait for his turn and standing in a line
  • Interacting with opposite sex properly
  • Providing time tables in school rules in pictures of easy understanding
  • Using pictures and drawings to teach daily routines
  • Providing models to improve behaviors like sharing, caring to others
  • Try to enhance the self esteem and self confidence by the teacher
  • Setting play groups
  • Giving opportunity to participate in school functions.
By knowing and implementing all these things, then only the regular teachers gives adequate social support in the school. Then only it will be the key for successful inclusion.

The findings of Stephanny Freeman, Alkin, Marvin [7] have conducted a study on Academic and Social attainments of children with mental retardation in General education and special education settings. They found in their studies that when comparing children with mental retardation in general education and special education classrooms, integrated students perform better than their comparable segregated students on measures of academic achievement and social competence.

The findings of the study shows that the social support given by the regular teachers to the children with intellectual impairment in an inclusive setting is average level. Above discussed reasons for academic support also may leads to the average level in the social support. The academic and social support shown by Resource teachers of the Rangareddy Shows high level where in Hyderabad district, resource teachers show high level in academic support and average in social support. The study of Minke et al. [8] conducted on the collaborative teaching in inclusive educational setting founds that general special educators working collaboratively in inclusive setting had higher levels of personal efficacy and higher self-ratings of competence and satisfaction in teaching students with disabilities than general educators who taught in traditional classroom arrangements.

The Resource teachers are special educators and they have the knowledge about curricular adaptations, assessments and IEP and the effect of reinforcements for the students with Mental Retardation. Resource teachers came from different disciplines like visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental retardation. SSA conducting multi disability training programmes and they are trying to give the professional knowledge about all categories of disabilities to the Inclusive education resource teacher. Then it will be easy for him to deal with all the students with disabilities. But quality and quantity of these training programmes should be improved by SSA. Then only the successful results come through inclusion.

  • The adequate supervision is also needed on these inclusive educational programmes by the authorities of SSA.
The other objective is to find out the emotional support system available in primary schools for the children with Intellectual impairment.

The results show that the emotional support given by the peers of children with intellectual impairment shows high level in the primary schools of both districts of Hyderabad and Rangareddy. The findings of the study supports the study of Gregor and Forlin [9] who conducted study on the attitude of the students towards peers with disabilities, the result show that there is an increased acceptance of students with disabilities by their mainstream peers.

Judith, Tamura [10] have conducted a study on Effective social interaction strategies for inclusive setting. Interactions and social skill strategies for use with children with and without disabilities for the purpose of increasing social interactions between children with and without disabilities in educational setting. Rebecca [11] conducted a study and found that Latina girls were more favourable towards children with disabilities before and after the intervention.

The fourth objective is to find out the level of physical support system in inclusive setting to the children with intellectual impairment. The questions based on under different categories like,

  • Toilet facilities and sanitation
  • Mobility support
  • Barrier free environment.
The above points are very important for the students with disabilities to cope up within the inclusive setting. If all the supports and facilities related to infrastructure and physical environment in the school are provided it will be more accessible for the students with intellectual impairment which leads to success in inclusive setting.

The results show that both in Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts show low level of physical support. In Toilet and sanitation facilities, only two schools have aaya facility that provided by the school headmaster at his personal interest and pay but SSA is not providing this facility.

In mobility the schools show the average level of support and only some of the schools have ramps without railings. In some schools only, the class rooms are adequately wide for moving wheel chairs. There are no directional arrows in the schools.

In barrier free environment, total sample shows low level of support. In many schools drinking water and electric switches are not reachable for the students with intellectual impairment.

The physical support system is not adequate in the primary schools of Rangareddy and Hyderabad.

SSA is now concentrating to construct the school buildings with ramps and other facilities like toilet and sanitation and with barrier free environment in the primary schools. But it will take some time and they should do the effort quickly and effectively.

Then only the aim of universalization of elementary education fulfils successfully and we get the fruits of inclusion.

The major findings of the study are:

  • In academic support system, among the regular teachers of both Rangareddy and Hyderabad districts, 52.25% and 73.91% of the sample show average support, 40.74% and 21.73% of the sample shows high level of support respectively
  • In social support system 62.96% and 65.21% of the samples show average level of support and 37.03% and 21.73% of the sample shows high level of support
  • In academic support system resource teachers shows 84.60% and 60.66% of high level of support and 15.38% and 33.33% of average level of support respectively
  • In social support system 84.6% and 37.50% of the sample shows high level of support and 15.38% and 55.33% of the sample show average level of support
  • In emotional support system 100% and 93.33% of the sample show high level of emotional support.


Limitations of the study

  • The findings of the study cannot be generalized because the size of the sample is small
  • To get an accurate data multiple choice questionnaire would have more effective
  • Combined sample of private and government schools would have helped on getting exact picture
  • The study was done only for the students with intellectual disability, data on support system for other disabilities would have been more meaningful.
Recommendations

Research study should include children with different disabilities such as Hearing impaired, visual impaired, Orthopaedic Handicapped, Multiple disability, children with behavioural problem, learning disability and others. Research study should include all the Government schools up to high schools. Research study should include all the private and government schools with inclusive setting.

 
  References Top

1.
Motshekga A. Statement by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, MP, on the progress of the review of National Curriculum Statement. Available from: http://www.education.gov. [Last accessed on 2011 Aug 17].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Kapp. Inclusive teacher′s attitudinal ratings of their students with disabilities. J Spec Educ 1994;40: 230-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan. Education for all, Guidelines of The Government of India, 2002.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Coates Peer acceptance of included students with disabilities as a function. J Spec Educ 1989;33:50-61.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Soodak, Podell, Lehman. Cultural perspectives on the effect of cultural attitudes towards inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities. Int J Inclusive Educ, 1998;8:311-28.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Fox NE, Yesseldyke JE. Implementing inclusion at the middle school level, Lessons from a negative example. Exceptional Children 1997;64:81-98.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Freeman S, Alkin. Marvin getting along with classmates in regular schools, A review of the effects of integration on the development of social relationships. Int J Inclusive Educ 2002;12:47-61.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Minke. Integrating students with disabilities in Hong Kong, classroom teachers attitudes and beliefs, J Int Special Needs Educ, 1996, p. 7-11.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Gregor, Forlin. The search for a model of effective inclusive practice through the Inclusive school, Br J Special Educ 2005 32,42-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Judith. Tamura The special/general education integration initiative for students with specific learning disabilities: A "snapshot" of program change. J Learn Disabil 2007;27:435-53.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Rebecca. A study on the importance of awareness and communication for the inclusion of disabled students with life-limiting and life threatening conditions in mainstream schools. Br J Special Educ 2007:33;15-7.  Back to cited text no. 11
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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