Exploring challenges experienced by physically challenged students at a further education and training college in KwaZulu-Natal Province
Author(s)Buthelezi, Michael Mbongiseni
Students with disabilities -- Education (Continuing education) -- South Africa -- Newcastle (KwaZulu-Natal) -- Case studies
Inclusive education -- South Africa -- Newcastle (KwaZulu-Natal) -- Case studies
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AbstractFor physically challenged students, inequalities in further education begin with inequalities that have shaped the whole schooling system in South Africa. The limited provision that exists for physically challenged students at further education and training colleges in KwaZulu-Natal Province, especially black physically challenged students, means that for these students there is a very high level of exclusion from the education system. Many students with physical challenges still need an ally even in their basic accommodation.
The focus of this research was on exploring challenges experienced by physically challenged students at “Mango” (pseudonym) Further Education and Training College in KwaZulu-Natal Province. That investigation was conducted in terms of the availability of resources for physically challenged students at Further Education and Training Colleges, the use of learner support services, accessibility of buildings for these students and the roles played by parents of physically challenged students at Further Education and Training Colleges in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
This study was therefore designed to explore not only the challenges experienced by physically challenged students at Mango FET College in KwaZulu-Natal Province, but also their experiences and responses to such challenges. This research study was conducted with students who were physically challenged and their lecturers from Mango FET College in KwaZulu-Natal Province. The sample of the population included six participants who were physically challenged students and four participants who were lecturers teaching physically challenged students at Mango FET College. Furthermore, participants comprised both females and males who were doing different levels at the college, i.e. NQF level two, NQF level three and NQF level four students. The research study sought to explore the challenges experienced by such physically challenged students at Mango FET College in KwaZulu-Natal Province in order for the college to meet these students’ academic needs. Observations and semi-structured interviews were the main data-collection tools used in the study. Results from the current research study indicated that inaccessibility of buildings, lack of resources for physically challenged students, inadequate support from student support services and the college represented major barriers to the success of the physically challenged students at Mango FET College in KwaZulu-Natal Province. Moreover, although student support services are available, the entire college population, students and staff alike, should all be responsible for creating an inclusive environment where students with physical challenges can experience a sense of community and attitudes of embracing diversity and accommodating differences.
The responsibility thus lies with all relevant role players of Mango FET College in KwaZulu-Natal Province who must work together to overcome social and academic barriers; to accommodate physically challenged students properly, provide them with accessible buildings, encourage parents to assist physically challenged students, endeavour to meet their academic, social and emotional needs and assist them to develop academically. In future, progress can be made through the increased coordination of student support services, building accessible buildings with ramps for physically challenged students, and providing adequate resources for these students.
M. Ed. (Inclusive Education)
Buthelezi, Michael Mbongiseni (2014) Exploring challenges experienced by physically challenged students at a further education and training college in KwaZulu-Natal Province, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/13695>