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Background of the study

Normal persons are those who possess the attributes of a well-developed person both physically  mentally  socially, and emotionally. This suggests that a normal person has an absence of any disability diseases deformity or handicap. Disabled persons are those that have some impairment affecting their physical, mental, social, emotional and occupational aspects of life.

Disability means a condition situation where a person loses part or more of his body but despite the lost part he can perform. Example is a lame man. A lame man can walk through the of a where chair or crutches. These are the people under the group of disabilities. They are the dumb, the blind, the deaf, mental retarded, the cripple, those with learning disability etc. Also we have areas of exceptionalities which are as follows: visual handicap, handicap, hearing handicap, mental retardation, physical and health handicap, disorder, emotional disorder, or emotionally disturbed, gifted and talented, speech and language impairment.

They are known as “Exceptionalities”. This refers to the people, children or youths who are either below or above norms emotionally, physically. Mentally or socially. They are deviated from below and above the norms. They need special education in order to maximize their potentials. These people cannot cope with the norms because of the problems of different problems they are having.

They cannot benefit from normal organizations unless they are given special education. Also they cannot benefit from regular school programmes and methods with the norms. However, disabilities can occur from birth, in the process of growing up or during developmental stages. We have three development stages in the “Disabilities” occurrence. They are pre-natal stages of disability which refers to the period when the baby is in the mother’s womb starting from when the fertilization had taken place till when the baby has left to the birth canal.

During these stages disability is caused by drug abuse by expectant mothers, accidents, malnutrition unsuccessful abortion, defective womb, diseases, malformation. The second stage is called peri-natal stage. Here the child is within the birth canal. Disability here can be caused by pelvic pressure, narrow pelvic, use of forceps, anorexia, sedation. This period, which is very crucial and delicate, is also known as labour period.

The last stage is known as post-natal stage. We actually know that the baby is already out from the womb into the world. In this stage, disability can be caused by accident, incubation, disease, drug abuse, malnutrition. In other words, others can be caused by war and heredity. Many of the disabled students in secondary schools cannot earn a living on their own without the assistance or support of the family.

The government or the community Ijeh (1979), in view of this stated that many disabled persons or students are left to their fate in most cases with discriminative and cotton wool attitudes. Earlier on people exhibited non-chalant attitude towards the disabled students. This was manifest from the non-realization of the fact that the disabled students are almost powerless and voiceless as they suffer miserable dependency and insecurity.

Abioye (1993) confirms this also by emphasizing that the disabled students find themselves helpless before the society’s negative attitude. Specifically before October 1st 1974 there was no formal protection of the disabled or disabled students by the Nigeria Government and as such there was lack of adequate awareness in the society about the problems of the disabled students.

Mab (1978) noted that early endeavors were made by voluntary organization, missionaries, philanthropists and private individuals. He further said that directs Government involvement came only after the historic broadcast on October 1st 1974. There was no designed institution for formal education established by the government for the interest of the disabled and there were no facilities designed in schools to assist the disabled students.

Moreover, they were not given opportunity to be developed. Consequently most of the disabled were left to grow up without education. They ended up as beggars roaming the streets or villages as prisoners in their own homes locked up by their parents. These disabled were given labels rather than their real names. The neglect, abuse, ridicule and exploitation of the disabled students in our society may have resulted from people’s Ignorance and beliefs, which are rooted in superstitions.

On this view, Mba (1978) observed that among the factors contributing to the general apathy or uninterest and neglect of the handicapped in developing African Countries are superstitions, which regard disability as a curse, involved by the gods. Siam and Igwuegbu (1980) explained that disabled students persons are seen as having “special” needs and being different from other children in some basic essential areas of human functioning.

The author further pointed out that because of the disabled students’ or persons’ physical, psychological or social factors they might experience difficulties in actualizing their full educational potentials. However, there has been a change in the trend of events form October 1,1974 when the Government of Nigeria, declared free education at all levels for handicapped persons. Following this proclamation, the Federal Government College for special Education.

Oyo was established: the Federal Ministry of Education special Education section came into being and encouraged state ministries of Education to set up special Education units. In Imo state especially in Isiala-mbano Local Government Area, attention has also been drawn towards the problem of the disabled students in secondary schools over the years. There have been verbal statements on how to meet the unique needs of these disabled students persons over the media houses in the state but the statements seem to neglect how the negative attitudes towards the disabled students in Isiala-mbano Local Government Area in Imo state should be changed as this single factor is capable of affecting the psychological, emotional, social, mental and physical adjustment of the disabled student or person in the state. In many schools of the Local Government Area, there are no adequate provisions of resource materials and specially qualified resource persons for the disabled. Also no clear provision of physical education, psychomotor aids for physically challenged students.


Statement of the Problem

The United Nations Declaration – Resolution 3447 (xxx) affirms that the disabled persons have nature and the same fundamental rights as their fellow citizens of the same age. In line with the above the World Health Organization (WHO) (1991) declared certain rights specifically meant for the disabled persons. Back home, the Government of Nigeria on 1st October 1974 in particular declared free education at all levels for the handicapped persons.

In Imo state, especially in Isiala-msano Local Government Area, there have been verbal statements over the media on how to meet the unique needs of the disabled persons or students. However, the researcher has observed and is worried that despite all the above legal provisions and alterations that many disabled students are seen either in their homes including centres for the handicapped roaming the streets or villages in Isiala-mbano local Government looking dejected and frustrated and that this state of affairs may have effect on the overall health and well being of such persons. Hence the researcher was motivated to investigate the problems of Disabled students/ persons Isiala-mbano Local Government secondary schools as well as to seek some solutions to such problems.

Research Questions

The scope of the study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the physical problem of the disabled students

       Isiala-mbano Local Government Area secondary schools?

  1. What are the social problem of the disabled students in

Isiala-mbano secondary schools?    

  1. What are the emotional/psychological problems of the disabled students in secondary schools in Isiala-mbano Local Government Area or Imo State?
  2. How can the conditions of the disabled students in Isiala-mbano Government Area secondary schools Imo state be improved?

Delimitation of the Study

This study was delimited as follows:

  1. The study attempted to find out the problems of the disabled

persons in secondary schools. This is further delimited to the concepts of disabled persons, the rights of the disabled person, problems encountered by the disabled persons, and finally the prospects of the disabled persons.

  1. The study was delimited to Isiala-mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.
  2. The information required fro this study was delimited to the

senior students, staff and principals only. This is because the senior student having spent quite sometime in the school should have adequate knowledge of the questions being asked.

  1. percentage was used for data analysis

Limitations of the Study

During the investigation, certain difficulties were encountered which restricted the scope of the study. The factors that limited the work of the researcher included.

(a)    The data- gathering methods adopted in this study were the

questionnaire and oral interview. Thus, the study was subject to weaknesses inherent in a questionnaire formal that requires individuals to accurately convey their internalized perceptions.

(b)    The study could not cover all the entire Local Government Area due to restrictions posed by time available for the study, which too short to allow for effective coverage.

( c)   The attitudinal behaviour of some of the principals, vice

principals, (administration) and some of the disabled also affected the study in some small measure. Some disabled students were reluctant to answer or supply the needed information.

(d)    Financial constraint was another factor that limited the scope of the investigation.

Significance of the Study

The findings of the study would create awareness and enlightenment on the various forms of problems of the disabled students. The findings would assist in the assessment, evaluation and improvement of the conditions of the disabled students in the study area by the individual, government and non-government Organizations who would be interested in helping to lift up, the social life of persons under- privileged in the secondary schools in Isiala-mdano Local Government Area. This also would serve as a reference point to researchers in related topics. The findings of the study would also highlight the need to ensure that the provisions made under the protection of the disabled students against abuse and neglect are observed by appropriate students and authorities.

Definition of Terms

To enable one appreciate this work, it is pertinent to explain or elucidate some terms as used here.


Before defining the term handicap, it is pertinent to understand the derivation word “handicap is a term applying to a permanent physical or mental condition that makes it difficult or impossible to us a particular part of ones body or mind.

“Handicapped” itself is an adjective referring to a person suffering from mental or physical handicap.


Disabled is unable to use a part of your body completely or easily because of a physical condition which may be caused by illness or accident.


Deformity is a condition in which a part of the body is not the normal shape because of injury, illness or because it has grown wrongly.


According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Impairment means a state of having a physical or mental condition which means that part of your body or brain does not work correctly.

Handicapped, Disabled and Deformity all refer to a condition or situation where a person loses part or more of his body.

Expectant Mothers:

Expectant mothers refer to pregnant women.


This is an emotional disorder, especially affecting young women in which there is abnormal fear of being fat, causing the person to stop eating, leading to dangerous weight loss.


Sedation is the method or act of giving somebody drugs in order to make them calm or to make hem sleep.

pelvic pressure, narrow pelvic:

pressure means the force or weight with which something presses against another. It is the difficulties and feeling of anxiety the are caused by the need to achieve or behave in a particular way.

Then pelvic is the wide curved set of bones at the bottom of the body that the legs and spins are connected. During labour and delivery, force is exerted within the wide set of bones and this can cause deformity. The process of the force within the curved set of bones is known as pelvic pressure and the narrow pelvic attempts to describe the short distance between set of curved bones in the bottom of the body. This narrow pelvic can cause harm during labour and delivery process.


Forceps is an instrument used by doctors with two long thing parts for picking up and holding things.


Malformation refers to part of the body that is not formed correctly. Some feutal malformation cannot be diagnosed until late in pregnancy, some disability start right from the womb and is badly formed or shaped.


Malnutrition is a poor condition of health caused by lack of food or lack of the right type of food.

Drug Abuse

Drug is a substance used as medicine or used in a medicine while abuse is to use medicine in a way that is wrong or harmful. For instance, taking medicine over does (excess) could cause deformity in early or late life.


This is the process by which mental or physical characteristics are passed from parents to their children.      


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