Psychosocial Challenges of Physically Challenged Secondary School Students in Ogoja Educational Zone
This study aimed at investigating the Psychosocial challenges of physically challenged secondary school students in the context of inclusive education in Nigeria.The study was carried out in selected mainstream schools in Ogoja Educational Zone of Cross River state. The researchers employed mixed method paradigm; both descriptive cross-sectional and naturalistic phenomenology designs to collect the data. Probability and non-probability sampling were employed to select the sample; 67 teachers/counselors. Tools used to collect data were questionnaires; for who were the key respondents, and interview guide for teacher counselors and the support staff. Convergent model was used to analyze and interpret the data. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19.0 and presented using frequencies, means and percentages while qualitative data was analyzed. The study found that learners with physical disabilities in integrated schools suffer low self-esteem, however, they enjoy warm peer acceptance from both teachers and the support staff relate indiscriminatively. It was also found that teachers with special training education are very few in the mainstream schools and the need for disabled friendly school environment was alarming. It recommended that the Government should provide adequately educational services for persons with special needs and disabilities, strengthen National Educational Development and Research Centers (NEDRC), increase in-service training of teachers who handle learners with special needs, and provide qualified teacher- counselors in mainstream schools and rehabilitation centers. Parents need to be sensitized on issues concerning disabilities and their key role in assisting them to maximize their abilities and thus function at their best.
Keywords - Psychosocial challenges, Physically Challenged, Disabilities, Secondary School Students and Ogoja Educational Zone