Socio-economic life of school leavers with visual impairment in Ndola district, Zambia: an assessment of the contributions of the curriculum
Chanda, Angela Mulenga
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The study assessed the contributions of the curriculum to the socio-economic life of school leavers with visual impairment in Ndola district, Zambia. The objectives that guided this study were: to establish the nature of socio-economic life of school leavers with impairment; to assess factors surrounding socio-economic life of school leavers with visual impairment and to explore the contributions (if any) of the curriculum to socio-economic life of school leavers with visual impairment in the study district. The study employed a case study research design supported by qualitative methods of data collection in order to get in-depth information. A sample size of 26 participants consisting: 12 school leavers with visual impairment, one Head teacher, 10 grade teachers of learners with visual impairment, one Education Standards Officer (ESO), one Senior Education Standard Officer (SESO) and one Curriculum Specialist for visual impairment from the Curriculum Development Centre (CDC). The participants were purposively selected for the study. Data was collected using interview and Focus Group Discussion Guides. Data analysis was done using thematic analysis method. The study revealed that although learners with visual impairment used the same curriculum as the sighted in the main stream, it was too theoretical and not quite relevant to the prevailing socio-economic detects in the study district. The curriculum did not make significant contribution to the socio-economic life of school leavers with visual impairment in the study area in that they continued to live in poverty. The study further revealed that school leavers with visual impairment continued to depend on odd socio-economic activities such as begging in streets and heavy dependence on their relatives for daily livelihood which was indicative of inadequacies in the curriculum they were once exposed to. The inadequacies in the curriculum, in relation to socio-economic life of school leavers with visual impairment were attributed to: shortage of qualified and specialist teachers; lack of pre-vocational skills content in the curriculum, limited learning materials and equipment to support practical skill pre-vocational training; inappropriate skills assessment process and lack of a clear linkage between school, vocational and tertiary education curriculum. The study recommended the following: prioritising pre-vocational skills training in the curriculum for a possible uplifting of the socio-economic lives of the would be school leavers in the study district, employing qualified teachers specifically for training programmes associated with pre- and vocational training activities, to handle vocational skills related areas. Promote collaboration among various stakeholders such as line ministries; churches; communities and NonGovernmental organisations.
The University of Zambia
- Education