A Dissertation from Mr. Jerome Mbago

The study aimed at investigating the role of mathematics and scienceplan on improving mathematics instructions for secondary schools learners with visualimpairment in Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions Tanzania. The study wasguided by four objectives which were; First, to examine mathematicsteaching methods used in teaching learners with VI Second, to determinethe mathematics teachers’ competencies to teach learners with VI. Third, to examine whether mathematics mode of assessment in use considerthe special needs of learners with VI. And lastly, to examineinstructional challenges faced learners with VI during learningmathematics. The study used qualitative approach. Semi-structuredinterview was chosen as the main data collection method. In addition tosemi structured interview, non participant observation was also used. Toensure reliability and validity of the results, the tools used werepiloted and examined and made unambiguous. Interview scripts werechecked several times to check consistency and comprehensibility. Inorder to generate in depth knowledge of the phenomenon, purposivesampling was used to get participants of the study which involved fourmathematics teachers teaching students with VI two from each school,four students with VI two from each school and the Director of specialeducation from the MoEST making a total of nine participants. Data wereanalyzed using thematic analysis where interview transcription andcoding was done to obtain the main themes and categories. Presentationand discussion of the findings was done regarding the emerged themes andcategories supported by the verbatim quotes from the participants toensure validity of the findings. The study findings indicate thatteaching and learning mathematics to involve: expository teachingmethod, remedial sessions and ineffective group discussions; mathematicsassessment adaptations including alternative format of questions,additional time, separate examination rooms and examination paperspresented in braille format for blind students and large prints for lowvision students. The findings show moderate collaboration betweenmathematics teachers and specialist teachers of students with VI,students with VI were supported by the specialist teachers and lack ofcooperation and support between sighted learners and learners with VI inmathematics subject. The main findings revealed challenges encounteredby students with VI in learning mathematics to include: shortage ofskilled mathematics teachers, shortage of mathematics teaching andlearning materials, lack of knowledge of using mathematical devices bothto students and their teachers. The study also revealed negativeattitude of students, mathematics teachers and teachers with VI towardsmathematics. The study recommended the government through the MoEST toincorporate specialized training of mathematics in the curriculum ofteachers training colleges in order to produce enough teachers withskills and ability to teach mathematics subject to learners with VI inprimary and secondary schools. The MoEST should consider in-serviceteacher training considering areas of knowledge of braille andmathematics braille notations, the use of specialized devices, knowledgeof mathematics subject itself and knowledge of how to teach studentswith VI. For effective teaching and learning of mathematics to learnerswith VI, instructional materials such as mathematics text and referencebooks in braille, curriculum which stipulate clearly all possiblemodification and the specific needs of the VI students and moderntechnological learning materials should be considered. The ministry ofeducation should raise awareness on the importance of mathematics tostudents with VI.