Reasons for including/excluding learners with permanent mobility impairments in mainstream high schools in East London

Roux, Madelein (2014-04)

Thesis (MHumanRehabSt)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Internationally, ensuring that all persons, in particular the vulnerable and marginalised, have access to their human rights is advocated now more than ever. Access to education is one of these rights. For persons with disabilities, which includes learners with permanent mobility impairments (PMIs), realising the right of access to education can be achieved through developing an inclusive education system. This study set out to understand what mainstream high schools in East London consider as challenges in enrolling and accommodating learners with PMIs, and how decisions are based to include or exclude these learners. A cross-sectional, descriptive study, using a mixed methods design and which was exploratory in nature was used to address the study aim and objectives. The method of inquiry was achieved through survey research. The study setting was East London, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The study population comprised 21 mainstream high schools in the city, as represented through a member of the educational staff. Only 12 schools (57%) actually participated in the study. These schools were either public or independent, English-, Afrikaans-, isiXhosa- or bilingual-medium, single gender or coeducational schools, with or without learners with PMIs in the school in urban or peri-urban East London. No sampling was done. Data was collected via e-mail through a self-administered questionnaire. It was found that four learners with PMIs were enrolled in the participating schools. The majority of participating schools did not receive applications from learners with PMIs. The greatest barrier to inclusion was related to infrastructure challenges. I had the impression that the participants’ understanding of ‘inclusion’ and ‘mainstreaming’ was confused, and it appeared that the main idea was to mainstream. Recommendations made for practice include completing access audits of mainstream high schools, developing human resources, developing consulting services, monitoring the implementation of the Education White Paper 6, and making global changes in line with inclusion of persons with mobility impairments. It is hoped that this study might serve as a pilot study for a provincial study in the Eastern Cape. Such a study should determine the prevalence of learners of high school age with PMIs,and the percentage of these learners in mainstream high schools. Further, it could determine perspectives regarding inclusion of learners with mobility impairments in mainstream high schools from all involved stakeholders. A study could also be conducted to determine whether or not, and why, learners with PMIs apply for enrolment in mainstream high schools.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die internasionale neiging is om te probeer verseker dat alle individue, en spesifiek die wat deel vorm van marginale groepe, soos mense met gestremdhede, se regte beskerm word. Toegang tot onderwys is een van dié regte. `n Inklusiewe onderwysstelsel kan help om die reg tot onderwys te verseker vir persone met gestremdhede, insluitend leerders met permanente mobliteitsgestremdhede. Die doel van die studie was om vas te stel watter uitdagings hoofstroom hoërskole in Oos-Londen voorsien of ervaar met die toelating van leerders met permanente mobiliteitsgestremdhede in die skole. Verder wou die navorser ook vasstel op grond waarvan leerlinge met permanent mobiliteitsgestremdhede in die skool toegelaat word al dan nie. `n Beskrywende, dwarssnitstudie was gedoen. Beide kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe navorsingsmetodes is gebruik om te verseker dat die doel van die studie ten volle aangespreek kon word. Die metode van ondersoek was deur opname-ondersoek behaal. Die studie was in Oos-Londen, in die Oos-Kaap Provinsie van Suid-Afrika gedoen. Die studiepopulasie het bestaan uit 21 hoofstroom, hoërskole in die stad. Geen steekproefneming was gedoen nie. Twaalf van die skole het toestemming verleen om aan die studie deel te neem. Data is ingesamel by die 12 skole (57%). Demografiese eienskappe van die skole het gewissel: daar was openbare en onafhanklike skole, Engels, Afrikaans, isiXhosa en tweetalige skole, enkelgeslag en gemengde skole, en skole met en skole sonder leerders met permanente mobiliteitsgestremdhede in stedelike of peri-stedelike Oos London. Data is ingesamel deur `n vraleys wat deur die deelnemers self voltooi was. Die vraelys is deur middel van e-pos of per hand by die skole afgelewer. Die studie het bevind dat daar vier leerders met permanente mobiliteitsgestremdhede in die deelnemende skole ingeskryf was. Die meerderheid van die deelnemende skole het geen aansoeke van leerders met permanente mobiliteitsgestremdhede ontvang nie. Volgens die deelnemende skole sal ontoeganklike infrastruktuur die grootste struikelblok veroorsaak met die toelating van leerders met permanente mobiliteitsgestremdhede. Voorts wou dit voorkom asof die fokus van skole nie op inklusiewe onderring was nie, maar eerder op die aanpassing van indivudele leerlinge by die hoofstroom.Die volgende aanbevelings uit die studie behoort te help om inklusiewe onderrigspraktyke te vestig in die studie skole: Toeganklikheidsoudits van die hoofstroom hoërskole, ontwikkeling van menslike hulpbronne, konsultasie met raadgewende dienste, die monitering van die implementering van die Onderwys-Witskrif 6, en globale veranderinge om persone met mobiliteitsgebreke te akkommodeer. Verder kan hierdie studie dien as 'n loodsstudie vir 'n soortgelyke provinsiale studie in die Oos-Kaap. Dié studie kan poog om die prevalensie van leerders met permanente mobiliteistgestremdhede van hoërskool-ouderdom in die provinsie te bepaal asook watter persentasie van die leerders in hoofstroom hoërskole is. Voorts kan die studie die perspektiewe van al die betrokke belanghebbendes bepaal. ‘n Studie kan ook gedoen word om te bepaal of leeders met permanente beperking in mobiliteit wel aansoek doen vir inskrywing in die hoofstroom hoërskole.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86239
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