AVAILABILITY AND STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING RESOURCES FOR INCLUSION OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU STATE
The purpose of the study was to determine the availability and strategies for improving human and material resources for inclusion of students with special needs in secondary schools in Enugu state. To achieve the purpose ten specific objectives and corresponding research questions we posed; and two hypotheses were postulated. The survey research design was used for the study. The instruments for data collection were two sets of questionnaire, an observation checklist and a key informant interview schedule. Five experts in Health, Physical and Special Education and measurement and evaluation validated the instruments. Crombach Alpha was used for test of reliability. The population for the study was 978 respondents which comprised 942 Principals and Vice Principals; thirty special education specialist and six chief supervising principal. The sample for the study consisted of 603 principals and vice principals, thirty special education specialists, two chief supervising principals and eight secondary schools which were used for pilot study. Percentage scores were used for answering the research questions while chi-square statistic was used for verification of postulated hypotheses. The results of the study showed that: Grand average availability percentage scores of 7.3 and 13.8, 6.5 and 19.3, 3.2 and 11.4, 11.6 and 18.3, 5.2 and 15, 14.7 and 21.4 and 2.5 and 5.8 for human and material resources respectively for inclusion of students with physical and learning disabilities, hearing impairment, emotional or behavioural disorders, visual impairments and mental retardation in the same respect were available in the schools but below the required since they were all below the benchmark of above 50%. Grand average available percentage scores of 16.4 and 3.1 in human and material resources for urban and rural schools respectively and 30 and 11.3 in the same respect indicated that the human and material resources for inclusion of the special needs were available in the schools based on urbran – rural locations but below the required, since the availability percentage scores were below the acceptance level of above 50%. Hypothesis of significant difference in the proportion of available human and material resources for inclusion of the special needs between the urban and rural schools. Hypothesis of significant difference in the proportion of available material resources for inclusion of the special needs between the urban and rural schools. A twenty one item improvement strategies deemed appropriate by experts on availability of human and material resources for inclusion of students with special needs. Relationship between the findings of the study and the reviewed theories were highlighted. It was concluded that human and material resources for inclusion of students with special needs were not available in secondary schools in Enugu state. The researcher recommended among other things that the improvement strategies formulated in this study be adopted, developed and implemented for effective inclusion of special needs persons in secondary schools in all the states of the Federation.