“caging or safekeeping?” an assessment of the wellbeing of students at a vocational education and training college in botswana.

Mosalagae, Macdelyn, K (2018). '“Caging or safekeeping?” An assessment of the wellbeing of students at a vocational education and training college in Botswana.' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018.



The dilemma of difference is suggestive of the tension between the understanding and interpretation of what constitutes good and inclusive practice in educational programs designed for students with disabilities (Terzi, 2007). Working with an awareness of such a dilemma calls for careful planning and progressive evaluation on the part of policy makers; programme developers, educators who implement such programs and Inclusive education policies. This paper is inspired by my observational  field -work experience of an urban institution of higher learning that seemingly violated students’ right to social inclusion, supposedly with a good intention of “caring and protecting” students with disability in its implementation of inclusive practices. An empirical assessment of the experiences of currently enrolled and alumni students with mild intellectual disabilities were conducted and utilised the capability approach framework to analyse the social arrangements of the college. The research study that this paper reports on employed an interpretative qualitative research design to analyse the themes derived from completed individual interviews. The preliminary result of the study has shown that, there were limited advantages to the interpersonal relationship between students with disabilities and other students in the college as a result of misapplication of supposedly good inclusive practices. Based on these results, I suggest the need to take a different approach to educating students with disabilities in this vocational institution, if TVET mission of producing graduates who are self-reliant and could contribute to the development of the society, is to be achieved. More importantly, a new approach is needed if this vocational institution is to produce graduates who have, and can manage, the freedom to choose the kind of life they wish to live. It is the intention of this poster to suggest and explain approaches that the college may employ.


Keywords:  Capability approach, disabilities, Inclusion, TVET

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