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Agriculture Matters in Nigeria

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The National Policy on Education (2004) made it clear that integration mode of education is the ideal choice as far as education of students with hearing impairment is concerned. The policy statement went further to emphasize learning side by side and in the same classroom and environment as the best way of educating children with special needs as they will later be absorbed into the same society at the end of their academic sojourn. To further shed more light on the concept of integration, in the words of Oguntunji (2003), He defined integration as a system in which we absorb or enroll or fuse normal learning children as well as other with special needs into regular schools and regular classes. This closely tallied with the definition of Gbegbin (1991), he defined integration as being synonymous with mainstreaming in which is a sort of education programme in which the children with disabilities attend classes with normal children on part time or full time basis.

Thus, it can be clearly seen that integration is aimed towards reducing or totally eliminating the incidence of discrimination usually suffered by children with disabilities in general and those with hearing impairment in particular.

Integration system of educating children with hearing impairment can thus be described as a situation whereby children with hearing impairment attend a regular school and learn in the same classroom/environment with their normal hearing counterpart. In this situation, the teacher should have a good knowledge of educating the children with hearing impairment as well as sign language. This can also be seen as a salient requisite for teaching in an integrated school.

Furthermore, Integration can be said to be boosting the social caqpability of children with hearing impairment as they mix freely with their normal hearing counterpart. This will further lead to improve self concept, confidence, health competitive spirits and thus stabilized their emotions (Oguntunde 2003). It should however be noted that educating children with hearing impairment is an expensive venture especially if segregation method is adopted. In segregation, the children are isolated in a school meant for children with hearing impairment alone. In this case, the children are taught by special teachers, that is, whose have undergone various training to enable them perform their duties well. The cost of training these children will be enormous given the fact that they are usually few in number.

Therefore, Integration minimizes the cost of teaching these children alone as they are merged with their hearing counterpart. Another salient feature of integration system of educating children with hearing impairment is access to equal academic and vocational training with their normal hearing counterparts. In this situation, all the facilities and opportunities available to hearing children are also available to these with impairment. This will enable the brilliant ones among them progress rapidly with their colleagues. This opportunity might not be available in a segregated school as most of the facilities there are limited and insufficient.

However, It has been observed by many researchers that the kind of integration being practiced in most of so-called integrated schools is worrisome. As observed by Mba (1995), there are certain lapses in integration as being practiced in most schools. He went further to elaborate that most schools practice a kind of integration whereby the children with hearing impairment will be separated from their hearing counterparts and kept in special classes for instructional purposes under the tutelage of special teachers. They will only have the opportunity to interact with their hearing colleagues during break time, sports, games and other outdoor activities.

Thus, as far as this is concerned the aims and objections of integration has been defeated. Apart from the fact that this is a special kind of segregation, these children are likely to face certain problems. These problems include inability to have access to a variety of subjects and disciplines as would have been the case in a fully integrated settings.

Furthermore, it has been discovered through interaction with the children with hearing impairment that those of them who attended integrated schools are most superior academically compared to those who finished from special/segregated schools.(Balogun, 2003), He carried out a study that identifying the superiority of the children with hearing impairment who finished from integrated schools over those who finished from segregated schools. He discovered that those who finished from integrated schools tend to be more superior academically compared to those who finished from schools.

Various arguments usually ensured between the proponents of integration/inclusive education and those of segregation. The proponents of segregation are of the opinion that the students with hearing impairment benefit nothing from an integrated or inclusive class as more emphasis is on the hearing students. They also argued that most of the teachers in integrated schools do not know sign language and thus cannot communicate with the students not to think of teaching them anything. On the other hand, proponents of integration believe that there should be no democration of hearing and students with hearing impairment. They believed that segregation can easily lead to discrimination. Although, both schools of thought have tangible opinions and explanations, it is necessary to make efforts toward examining how these students cope in an integrated setting before making inference. Thus, this research work examined the academic achievement of students with hearing impairment in integrated schools in Oyo State.


Integrated school system has been promoted by several researchers as the best schooling system for students with hearing impairment. Even the federal government as stated in the National Policy on Education (2004) is of the opinion that handicapped and children with special needs in general and those with hearing impairment in particular should be educated within the same setting as their hearing counterparts, but recent developments have shown that the academic achievement of the children have not been all that encouraging. In order to find out more about this situation, it is thus necessary to examine how these children's performance in an integrated school setting so as to determine the suitability or otherwise of the system. Thus, this study examined the academic achievement of some major subjects.




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