Mr. David KavinjeChikati is a Lecturer in the Department of Education at Taita Taveta University where he is also the current Chairman of the Department. Before joining Taita Taveta University, Mr. Chikati served as a part-time lecturer at Egerton University, Maasai Mara University and Kenyatta University. He also served as a high school teacher for several years. Besides the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Education being awarded to him by the University of Nairobi, Mr. Chikati is also a holder of Master of Education Foundations Degree and Bachelor of Education (Science) Degree both from Egerton University, Kenya.
TITLE OF THESIS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION FOR LEARNERS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS IN KENYA: A CASE OF THIKA SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND, 1945-2003
This study set out to trace the historical development of education for Learners with Visual Impairments (LWVI) in Kenya from 1945 to 2003 using Thika School for the Blind (TSB) as a case. This was deemed an important problem worth studying by the researcher, given the fact that many aspects of special education have not received due attention in the country. Specifically, the study set out to document the historical account of the development of education for the LWVI in Kenya from 1945-2003 as well as to analyze the government’s participation in the development of education for LWVI in Kenya from 1945 to 2003 with reference to TSB. The study also examined the significance of TSB to persons with visual impairments and the society at large. The study was guided by the Social Development theory. Historical research design was employed in data collection, analysis and interpretation. Data was collected from the archives, from oral interviews and through research into secondary materials in libraries. Collected data was then evaluated through external and internal criticisms before being analyzed qualitatively through triangulation and deduction of themes. The research findings reveal the development of education for the LWVI at TSB as a pioneer school for the blind having started as an institute for the blind in 1946, changed into a primary school in 1954 and the establishment of a secondary school in 1967. From the institute at Thika, there arose other forms of education for LWVI such as vocational education from the time of the establishment, pre-primary school education from the year 1959 as well as the introduction of teacher training programs for teachers of LWVI. The study also established that the government has played a key role in educating the LWVI at TSB and other institutions for the LWVI. Contributions by the government include its support on raising the capital grant for the establishment of TSB in 1946 and subsequent provision of yearly grants for running of the institute. In addition, the government also formulated policies that governed provision of special education in general which affected the education for LWVI. Through its programs, TSB created capacity for the persons with visual impairments and the society through both education and employment. The study came to the conclusion that provision of education for LWVI in Kenya had changed from charity model in 1940s to a human right model by 2003.