1.1 Background to the Study
Ours is a society that has yet to see past dependency on a persons physical appearance in valuing the person. What still determines for the average Nigerian parent their children’s academic pursuit is physical appearance and gender. While many argument have been made against the latter few have begun to engage the question of the former. Even in jobs and positions that require purely the intellectual deposit of the individual, attention is paid more on the physical appearance.
This is ironically seeing that statistically, Nigeria has a very high number of disabled children especially in the northern part of the country. So that the question always lingers and asking what the situation is in the face of this number. When a whooping number of the country’s future work force is physically impaired, one would immediately assume that considerable effort has been put into creating an enabling environment educationally to help assuage there disability and find ways to make sure they contribute almost all of their inherent potentials as we find achieved in developed countries.
Unfortunately, we haven’t gone past the stage of understanding that a child’s being disabled is hardly a deterrent to his achieving anything. Again, this goes hand in hand with the lack of an educational orientation in the north. Compared to other regions of the country the Muslim dominated north is still lagging behind academically, so that solving this present problem requires solving another.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is a very disappointing feeling when a child is born physically disabled. And ironically, the burden is felt more by the parents. The child, if he is born with this disability always learns to cope with it and in most cases sees his condition as normal till he grows up and begin seeing he isn’t very much like other but by that time he has acquired for himself adaptive mechanisms. The parents on the other hand invest so much emotion in the handicap and see only that in him or her. Through time, these invested limited perception of the child sediment into attitudes that stifle their overall educational plans for the child, if there are any in the first place.
This is the problem that has called this research into being namely to inquire into parental attitudes towards the education of their disabled children with parents of Muslim children as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
1.3.1 To what extend do the attitude of these parents affect the education of their disabled children.
1.3.2 How much cultural orientation inform these attitudes.
1.3.3 Is the education of the parents a panacea out of many for combating the issue.
1.3.4 How much can government and Muslim leaders help in reorienting the parents and children in the face of the above problem.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this research work is to diligently study the attitude of parents to the education of their disabled Muslim children. In doing so we hope to map out the tones of these attitudes, how they are formed, the process of it’s formation and it’s implications on the well being of the child, his mental health and self worth.
The process through which this attitude is formed will help in determining the recommendations that will be made at the end of this research work.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research work will shed the much needed light on one of the most cogent reasons why the Muslim parts of the country are today the least educated and by extension formulate a clear picture of the factors behind the underdevelopment of the region.
This research work is of importance to hospitals and child healthcare provider. This is as the presentation of the attitudes of the parents on the education of their children and how these attitudes are formed will provide them with tools with which to counsel them in the event that their children become disabled whether at birth or later on.
The prevalence of cases of polio in the Muslim north has shaped the way residents view the sickness and consequently their psychological submission to it and allowing it shape the future of the child.
1.6 Research Hypothesis
Every research is an enquiry into the truth, correctness or feasibility or falsehood of an assumption. Here, the assumption is that a child’s physical state determines Muslim parent’s attitudes toward his or her education.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on parents of Muslim disabled children. This is so as most cases of child disability are found in the Muslim populated regions so that a better and wider study and can made there. And since majority if these parents in question are uneducated, the questionnaire form of gathering data might not be workable so the interview form and literature review would be used. The disabilities to be emphasized are the physical ones as the mentally impaired are usual surrounded by a different set of factors altogether.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
As pointed out in the scope of the present study, the questionnaire form of gathering data might not work here as most of the parents in question are in themselves illiterates. The implication is that the researcher has to conduct personal interview which takes time and resources and limits the number of case studies.
1.9 Definition of Terms
This includes any impairment an individual might be living with. It may be physical, mental or involve the hampering of physical and mental development that make living a normal life relatively difficult for those living with it.