Status of Learning Amid Covid -19 For Learners with Disabilities and the Accompanying School Closures: A Case of Selected Counties in Kenya
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The Covid-19 pandemic brought changes to the scenario of teaching and learning in institutions of education. The shift from face-to-face traditional mode to online platforms brought many challenges along with it. This ‘new norm’ of pedagogy also posed challenges to learners with disabilities in learning institutions across Kenya especially when using online platforms to study. This study presents preliminary results obtained from the study conducted in selected Counties to map out the learning experiences of learners with disabilities during the learn-from- home time related to the COVID-19 lock down in Kenya. The objective of the study was to gather information about the situation in the community, how children continued with their learning, and what challenges there. The study was conducted in selected Counties to learners, teachers and parents that were purposively selected for this exercise. Qualitative data collection methods were used by the researcher to collect primary data. The researcher’s aim was to use the data collected to examine the consistencies, contradictions, milestones, achievements among other important issues relevant to the effects of COVID- 19 in education. Semi-structured interviews were employed to interview the participants and the collected data was analysed qualitatively using the self-determination theory. The findings showed that most of the learners with disabilities students faced mental stress challenges as they were leveraging in poverty and hunger due to low economies as a result of lack of sells hence affecting learning at home, sexual harassment for learners with disabilities and no learning was going on due to lack of electricity and lack of gadgets to enable e-learning, lack of materials, lacked of parental responsibility, they were idling and roaming around at home, anxiety was affecting especially class eight candidates and that both parents and learners had different attitudes towards learning. The findings further revealed that learners with disabilities were not ignorant in their learning and their disabilities were not obstacles to excel in education.