Original Research

Experiences of teachers in vocational programmes in special needs schools, City of Cape Town

Elana T. Solomon, Rosemary Luger, Lieketseng Ned
African Journal of Disability | Vol 13 | a1333 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v13i0.1333 | © 2024 Elana T. Solomon, Rosemary Luger, Lieketseng Ned | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 September 2023 | Published: 20 March 2024

About the author(s)

Elana T. Solomon, Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Rosemary Luger, Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Lieketseng Ned, Division of Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Vocational programmes run by teachers in the special needs school context can play a significant role in the vocational development of learners with severe intellectual disability (SID). This study aimed to answer the question ‘what are the challenges faced by teachers in the implementation of vocational programmes in selected public special needs schools for learners with SID in the Metropolitan (Metro) District within the City of Cape Town?’

Objectives: The objectives were to describe the challenges as perceived by participants, to highlight common and contrasting challenges in the different schools and to share recommendations on support needed.

Method: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. A combination of purposive and snowball sampling strategies was used to select six teachers from six special needs schools. One-on-one semi-structured interviews with teachers were performed. An interview schedule was used as a tool and all interviews were transcribed and translated into English verbatim. Thematic analysis was applied.

Results: The findings showed that teachers encounter inadequate resources, a lack of training, and poor support systems. This study highlights the issues of existing policy and the lack of a mandatory policy on vocational programmes in South Africa.

Conclusion: The participants’ experiences added to the existing literature by providing valuable insights into the obstacles teachers encounter in this relatively new curriculum. A multifaceted policy framework that is well funded and implemented is much needed to address the challenges identified.

Contribution: The findings may contribute to the development and strengthening of policies on vocational programmes within the South African context.


Keywords

teacher; challenges; vocational programme; vocational education and training; special needs schools; severe intellectual disability; SID; Differentiated Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement; DCAPS.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education

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