The attitudes of managers and students towards adult basic education and training : a case study of the Grindrod group

Van Zyl, Daniel Johannes Rossouw (2000-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to explore the effective and efficient implementation of Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) within a specific group of companies. A central argument underlying the study is that the attitudes of managers and students who participate in these programmes play a critical role in the successful implementation of such programmes. The specific objective of the study is to identify those factors that influence managers' and students' attitudes towards ABET within the Grindrod Group. A literature review traces the origin of ABET and its historical development within other countries as well as in the South African context. The role of ABET within the context of Human Resources Development is identified and explored. The research entails a case study of the implementation of ABET within the Grindrod Group of Companies. Quantative as well as qualitative information regarding managers' and students' attitudes were obtained. The attitudes of both the managers and students at Grindrod's were identified by using structured questionnaires during 1998-1999. The questionnaire included closed as well as open questions. In-depth interviews were also conducted with a selected group of managers and students. The aim of the interviews was to facilitate a deeper understanding of managers' and students' attitude towards ABET and the variables that might influence these attitudes. In the case of students interviews were conducted with those who had dropped out of ABET programmes. ABSTRACT The aim of this study is to explore the effective and efficient implementation of Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) within a specific group of companies. A central argument underlying the study is that the attitudes of managers and students who participate in these programmes play a critical role in the successful implementation of such programmes. The specific objective of the study is to identify those factors that influence managers' and students' attitudes towards ABET within the Grindrod Group. While the attitude of both managers and students could be described as positive, the study suggests that the following variables can be seen to influence managers' attitudes towards ABET: seniority of managers, their political orientation, their educational qualifications and the number of years that ABET has been in operation in a specific company. As far as students are concerned, the following variables seem to play a role: the length of their employment, their occupational status, the level of the ABET module that they participate in as well as their formal educational level. The problem that was most commonly cited by managers was that the ABET programme resulted in operational disruptions because the programme was run in working hours. The most regularly identified benefits included improved communication between managers and employees, improved motivation of employees and identification of development potential of employees. The vast majority of all the employees that partook in ABET stated that they believed that they had benefited from the programme. The most commonly cited benefits included being able to write, speak, read and understand English. While the study focuses on a specific group of companies within a specific industrial sector and does not allow generalisations to be made, it nevertheless attempts to lay a foundation for further research to be undertaken regarding the implementation of these programmes in different sectors of the economy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om ondersoek in te stel na die effektiewe en doeltreffende implementering van programme vir die Basiese Onderrig en Opleiding vir Volwassenes (ABET - Adult Basic Education and Training) binne 'n spesifieke groep van maatskappye. 'n Belangrike uitgangspunt van die studie is dat die houdings van bestuurders en studente wat aan hierdie programme deelneem 'n kritiese rol speel in die suksesvolle implementering al dan nie van sodanige programme. Die studie poog om enkele faktore wat moontlik verband hou met bestuurders en studente se houdings teenoor programme binne die Grindrod Groep te identifiseer. 'n Literatuurstudie is gedoen van die oorsprong en historiese ontwikkeling van ABET wêreldwyd sowel as in Suid-Afrika. Die rol van ABET binne die konteks van Menslike Hulpbronontwikkeling is ook geidentifiseer en ondersoek. Die navorsing behels 'n gevallestudie van die implementering van ABET binne die Grindrod Groep van Maatskappye. Kwantitatiewe sowel as kwalitatiewe inligting betreffende bestuurders en studente se houdings is bekom. Die bestuurders en studente by Grindrod se onderskeie maatskappye se houding teenoor ABET is vasgestel d.m.v. gestruktureerde vraelyste gedurende 1998-1999. Die vraelyste het beide geslote en 'oop' vrae ingesluit. Benewens die aanwending van vraelyste, is daar ook in-diepte onderhoude met 'n geselekteerde groep bestuurders en studente gevoer. Die doel van die onderhoude was om 'n beter begrip te ontwikkel betreffende bestuurders en studente se houding teenoor ABET en die faktore wat hul houding beinvloed. In die geval van studente is onderhoude gevoer met diegene wat nie die program suksesvol voltooi het nie. Terwyl die houding van bestuurders en studente in die algemeen as positief beskryf kan word, suggereer die ondersoek dat die volgende faktore bestuur se houding teenoor ABET beinvloed, naamlik, die senioriteit van bestuurders, hul politieke oriëntasie, hul opvoedkundige kwalifikasies en die aantal jare wat programme in die betrokke onderneming geimplementeer is. In die geval van studente blyk die volgende faktore 'n rol te speel: aantal jare wat studente in diens van die onderneming is, hul posisie binne die onderneming, die vlak van die module wat deur die studente gevolg word asook die vlak van skoolonderrig wat hulle oritvang het. Die mees algemene probleem wat bestuurders identifiseer is dat ABET programme operasionele onderbrekings veroorsaak omdat die program tydens werksure geimplimenteer word. Voordele wat met die program geassosieer word behels verbetering van kommunikasie tussen bestuurders en werknemers, verhoogde motivering van werknemers en die identifisering van die ontwikkelingspotensiaal van werknemers. Die oorgrote meerderheid van die studente wat deelgeneem het in die ABET program was van mening dat die program vir hulle van nut was. Die belangrikste voordeel wat deur die studente geidentifiseer is, is dat dit hulle in staat gestel het om Engels te skryf, praat, lees en verstaan. Terwyl die ondersoek fokus op 'n bepaalde groep maatskappye binne 'n bepaalde nywerheidsektor en dus nie veralgemenings toelaat nie, poog dit om 'n grondslag te lê vir verdere navorsing oor die implementering van sodanige programme in verskillende sektore van die ekonomie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51941
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