Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Winston Massam

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Mweru Mwingi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Assessment of learners with special needs (LSN) can be a challenge in inclusive classrooms since they may require individualized assessment approaches that account for their unique needs and abilities. Most of the disabilities in inclusive classrooms are termed invisible since they cannot be seen. There is a need to adapt assessment practices and content that will take into consideration the individual needs of LSN for appropriate assessment. The objectives of this study were to assess strategies teachers use to assess LSN in an inclusive classroom; to assess challenges teachers and learners encounter during the assessment; to explore what teachers think, would be the solutions to ensure effective assessment in an inclusive classroom. The study adopted a qualitative approach via a case study design. The participants included the headteacher, teachers, and LSN from Elimu Bora primary school Kilifi County Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to select the teachers and learners in grade 5. Data was collected through interviews of the head teacher and teachers to establish the assessment practices employed on LSN in an inclusive setup. In addition, focus group discussion (FGD) with learners and classroom observation were conducted to ascertain what the teacher respondents said was applicable in classrooms and to identify strategies that can be employed to enhance the accessibility of assessment of various learning areas to learners with various categories of special needs. Furthermore, documents such as class registers, curriculum designs, schemes of work, lesson plans, progress records, and learners’ exercise books were analyzed for corroboration of data collected from interviews and FGD. The findings revealed that adapted assessments for LSN were highly inaccessible and that these learners were treated just like regular learners during the internal and external assessments. At the end of the study, the teachers and learners indicated that assessment needs to be adapted to increase access to examinations. The study, therefore suggested that providing necessary accommodations in testing should be done with caution to avoid compromising the reliability of results. Such accommodations include adapting assistive aids such as wheelchairs, the physical environment, curriculum content and assessment, the addition of extra time, task simplification, grading adjustments, and employing various assessment strategies such as written, oral, observation and peer assessment.