Original Research

Education of students with intellectual disabilities at Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions in Botswana: Inclusion or exclusion?

Macdelyn Mosalagae, Tanya L. Bekker
African Journal of Disability | Vol 10 | a790 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v10i0.790 | © 2021 Macdelyn Mosalagae, Tanya L. Bekker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 August 2020 | Published: 22 October 2021

About the author(s)

Macdelyn Mosalagae, Department of Studies in Education, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tanya L. Bekker, Department of Studies in Education, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Despite a commitment to achieving inclusion for all by the Botswana government, the enrolment of students with disabilities in Botswana’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions is still fraught with confusion as reflected by its practice and implementation. Exclusionary rather than inclusive practices remain prevalent.

Objective: This study explores students with mild intellectual disabilities’ experiences of inclusion or exclusion in TVET institutions using key concepts of the Capability Approach.

Method: A phenomenological interpretive qualitative design was adopted. One government, technical vocational institution, offering programmes for students with disabilities in Botswana was conveniently selected. Fourteen students were purposefully selected from this institution based on the criterion that they were students with mild intellectual disabilities. Individual interviews served as the data collection method to enable participants to voice their experiences of inclusion or exclusion at the TVET institution. Thematic content analysis was utilised to analyse the data.

Results: It was found that whilst students with mild intellectual disabilities are offered an opportunity to enrol at TVET institutions, they are faced with social and epistemological exclusion, deliberate marginalisation, labelling and emotional abuses.

Conclusion: These negative experiences hinder students’ achievement by limiting their capabilities.


Keywords

Botswana; capabilities approach; disability; epistemological access; exclusion; formal access; inclusive education; Technical and Vocational Education and Training

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