Determine the level of community involvement in decision making in financing special needs education programmes

Dr. Benson Charles Odongo and Dr. Henry Nyabuto Onderi

Community participation is a key ingredient for education intervention and socio-economic development. Education access, retention and participation are achieved through emphasis on inclusive education in regular schools for learners with special needs and disabilities and community participation through financing. In Kenya the financing of SNE is the constitutional obligation of both the government and the community. The occurrence of low accessibility to SNE in spite of increased government financing to the programmes suggests that the community may be supplementing less than the obligated deficit left by the Free Primary Education (FPE) initiative funding. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of community involvement in decision making in financing SNE programmes. The study adopted descriptive survey research design and utilized Community participation theory proposed by Wilcox (1999). Random sampling technique was used to select the 11 participating schools out of 32 public primary schools undertaking SNE programmes and purposive sampling to select the participants which included a population of 22 teachers and 1438 parents. Then purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used in selecting a sub-sample of 11 head teachers and 10% of the accessible population of 144 parents in the 32 special public primary schools in Mombasa County. Questionnaire and interview guide format were utilized in the data collection. Validity and reliability were ensured through face validity and application of split- half during piloting respectively. Data was analyzed by both quantitative and qualitative techniques. In quantitative data analysis, statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was applied to generate descriptive statistics then presented using percentages and frequency distribution tables while qualitative data analysis used thematic approach. Key findings suggest that first; the level of community involvement in decision making in financing SNE programmes was low as most parents rarely attended school meetings and were less involved in financial discussions, monitoring and evaluation.

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