Original Research

Foundation Phase teachers’ knowledge on common visual problems affecting children

Boitumelo M.L. Ramantsi, Tuwani A. Rasengane, Thuthukile Jita
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 13, No 1 | a1106 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v13i1.1106 | © 2023 Boitumelo M.L. Ramantsi, Tuwani A. Rasengane, Thuthukile Jita | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2021 | Published: 11 January 2023

About the author(s)

Boitumelo M.L. Ramantsi, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Tuwani A. Rasengane, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Thuthukile Jita, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Vision disorders are a public health problem as they cause a delay in academic progress and affect learners’ future career. Teachers spend most of the time with children at school and can help in the early identification and referral of children with visual problems.

Aim: To evaluate the knowledge of Grade R to Grade 3 teachers on children’s visual problems before and after educating them on the different visual disorders that affect learners in the classroom.

Setting: Low socio-economic status (Quintile 1) schools in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Methods: Convenience sampling was carried out to include Grade R to Grade 3 teachers from 11 Quintile 1 schools. In this quantitative study, two questionnaires with nine items each were administered to determine the teachers’ knowledge. A 45-min educational session on common vision disorders was presented by the researcher. The teachers were classified as having good knowledge if they obtained seven or more correct answers in each questionnaire.

Results: Thirty-six female teachers participated in the study. Most of the participants (72.22%) were in the age group of 36 years and older, and 44.44% had been teaching for more than 10 years. Thirty-four participants (94.44%) obtained an overall score of seven and higher before the educational session, and all participants obtained a score of seven and higher after the educational session. There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.0001) between the scores of participants before and after the educational session.

Conclusion: The Foundation Phase teachers had adequate knowledge about common visual problems. The educational session was beneficial as it enhanced the teachers’ knowledge.


Keywords

visual disorders in children; knowledge of teachers; educating teachers; children’s vision; teachers’ questionnaires; Quintile 1 school; Grade R to Grade 3 teachers.

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