Labour market outcomes of education for young persons with physical disabilities in poor community settings of Nyeri District, Kenya
Kagume, Felishina Mumbi
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The aim of this study was to explore the linkage between education and labour marketoutcomes for persons with physical disabilities in the context of poverty. Humancapital theory by Theodore Schulz's, which suggests that education or training raisesthe productivity of workers by imparting useful knowledge and skills guided this study.This research was qualitative in nature. The central focus was listening to the voices ofyoung people with physical disabilities. In-depth interviews were used to gather relevantinformation. Spoken data were recorded using tape recorders. Observation was used totriangulate the interviews. Snowball sampling technique was used to select eighteen youngpersons with physical disabilities, seven from a rural setting and eleven from an urbansetting. Nine significant others, (parents or guardians of the youth in the study) and threeheadteachers were purposively selected. All spoken data was transcribed prior to beingcoded. Coding was done based on the key themes most often addressed by the informantsas well as those in the interview guide. Aqualitative data analysis programme, the Atlas. Ti,was used to develop a database of all the interviews and discussions, create thematic nodesfrom identified themes and produce simple computations of data types and data sources. Recorded observations complemented the spoken data. Both types of data were analyzed to yield answers to the research question using interpretations of interview narratives and observation field notes. The study established that the educational arrangements available were special schools, regular schools, special units within regular schools and homeinstruction. Also, the youth had exited formal education at different points ranging fromlower primary to secondary form four. Education levels notwithstanding, the youth wereinvolved in similar income-generating activities with shoe-making being the only skilledoccupation noted. Discrimination by persons without disabilities emerged as a majorchallenge within school and in access to labour market. Subsequently, it is recommendedthat there is need to increase the allocation of funds to the education of learners withdisabilities, develop curriculum models that integrate vocational and academic education,build a positive image of the working capacity ofPWDs.