The functioning of primary school learners with paraplegia/paraparesis in mainstream schools : an exploratory study

Vosloo, San-Marie (2005)

Thesis (MHumanRehabSt)--Stellenbosch, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South African policy and legislation demands inclusive education for learners with disabilities. According to the Department of Education, learners who can satisfactorily be educated in an ordinary school must be accommodated there. It is however unclear to what extend accommodations are made at the level of schools to ensure inclusion. The purpose of this study is to determine the level of participation of a group of learners with paraplegia/paraparesis in mainstream schools in the Western Cape. Furthermore the contextual factors that hinder or facilitate their participation will be identified. The Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique and the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors were used as measuring instruments. The study population comprised 15 primary school learners with paraplegia/paraparesis, their parents and relevant class teachers. Results were statistically analysed with the ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests. A p value of >0.05 was seen as statistically significant. Results showed that cognitive dependence and decreased mobility restricted the participation of learners most. Insufficient preparation and traininq oL teachers, architectural barriers and poor accommodation into physical activities were the biggest barriers to successful inclusion. Findings from this convenient, small and homogenous sample suggest the existence of major barriers. Therefore a comprehensive research project is advised to ease the process of inclusion and ensure its successfulness. Furthermore the education authorities should develop and implement a uniform selection process and referral system in order to channel learners to the correct facility according to their needs.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Wetgewing en nasionale beleid in Suid-Afrika vereis inklusiewe onderwys vir leerders met gestremdhede. Volgens die Onderwys Departement moet alle leerlinge met gestremdhede wat bevredigende onderrig in hoofstroom skole kan ontvang daar onderrig word. Dit is egter nie duidelik of daar voldoende akkommodasue van hierdie leerders is nie. Die doel van hierdie studie is om vas te stel wat die vlak van deelname van 'n groep leerlinge met paraplegie/paraparese in hoofstroom skole in die Wes Kaap provinsie is. Verder is faktore wat deelname fasiliteer en beperk geidentifiseer. Die "Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique" en die "Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors" is as meetinstrumente gebruik. 15 primere skool leerlinge met paraplegie/parapareses, hulle ouers en die betrokke personeel van die skole het die studie populasie gevorm. Die ANOVA en Krusal-Wallis toetse is gebruik om resultate statisties te evalueer en 'n p waarde van >0,05 was geneem as statisties beduidend. Kognitiewe afhanklikheid en mobiliteit was die twee faktore wat deelname die meeste beperk het. Onvoldoende voorbereiding en opleiding van onderwysers, fisiese uitleg van skoolgeboue en onvoldoende akkommodasie binne die skool tydens aktiwiteite wat fisiese deelname vereis was van die belangrikste beperkende faktore. Hierdie beperkinge is gevind met 'n klein en homogene populasie. Dit is essensieel dat die studie opgevolg word met 'n omvattende navorsingsprojek. So 'n projek sal waardevolle inligting verskaf wat die proses van inklusiewe onderrig sal vergemaklik en grootliks kan bydra om die sukses hiervan te verseker. Dit blyk verder dat die onderwys department 'n uniforme seleksie en verwysing sisteem moet implimenteer om te verseker dat leerders na die mees geskikte skool volgens hul behoeftes verwys word.

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