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Title: Exploring the early establishment of employment preparation programmes by harnessing the potential of special needs learners via the special education integrated programme in Malaysia
Author: Muniandy, K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 2188
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2018
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Employment Preparation Programmes (EPPs) are not part of the Special Education Integrated Programme (SEIP) curriculum in Malaysia, and no specific operational guidance is provided to schools regarding them. EPPs are, however, currently performed in a non-uniform way in some schools. This study concerns the early establishment of EPPs in the SEIP in Malaysia. Within the context of the study it is important to note that the partnership programme between schools and outside collaborators is not yet fully established in all secondary schools in Malaysia as stipulated in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (2013-2025). This study aims to explore the implementation of EPPs; delineate the hindrances for special educators, teachers and heads of departments; and, identify the areas of improvement needed to establish vocational educational programmes as early as possible to assist special needs learners towards an independent life through employability. In order to achieve these aims a qualitative study using case study design has been carried out. Semi-structured interviews of Special Education Teachers and Department Heads were undertaken as the main method to elicit data from a purposive sample of fifteen EPP participants. Data was also collected about special needs learners' activities and other relevant emerging themes using an observational method in a real-life setting that included two observations in each EPP at each of the five schools, making 20 observation sessions in total. Relevant documents including official documents from Ministry of Education, modules outlines were also collected from the respective schools and subsequently subject to documentary analysis. To enhance the trustworthiness of the findings, data was triangulated and analysed in light of the Malaysian Education Blueprint along with other previous literature. Findings indicated that leadership and management; academic background knowledge and mastering vocational skills; the social and physical environment; and, collaboration and coordination play an important role in harnessing the potential of special needs learners. The contribution to knowledge of this study is the formation of a framework to clarify the issues impeding effective the implementation of Employment Preparation Programme, and the establishment of key priorities within that implementation effort. Overall, it is argued that this study exemplifies how important it is that the implementation of EPP needs to become an integral part of schools as organisations. Key words: Employment Preparation Programmes, Special Education Integrated Programme, Special educators, Special needs learners.
Supervisor: Vickerman, P. ; Brundrett, M. ; Whitehead, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: L Education (General) ; LC Special aspects of education