IMPACT OF ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION ON DISABLED STUDENTS IN ENUGU METROPOLIS
This study was carried out to critically examine the Impact of Entrepreneurial Education on Disabled Students in Enugu Metropolis. The study adopted a descriptive survey design in which four research questions were posed. The population of the study consisted of 9,583 disabled persons in Enugu North and Enugu East local governments of Enugu State. Simple random sampling procedure was used in selecting three (3) special education centres to represent other six (6) special education centres in Enugu Metropolis that was sampled in the study. Fourteen (14) teachers and one hundred and twenty (120) students were equally selected randomly from each of the three-special education centres making a total number of 402 respondents. A questionnaire of four-point rating scale was used as instrument for data collection. Mean statistics was used to analyze data relative to research questions with a cut-off mean score of 2.5 and percentages were used, 50% and above indicates acceptance and below represents rejected. That formed the standard for accepting or rejecting any item on the questionnaires. The result of the analyses reveals that they (disabled) face challenges when starting a business/ venture and this hinders them from becoming effective in the labour market. Challenges such as access to start-up capital, consumer discrimination which is the highest of them all, lack of confidence/ limited aspirations, training is not always tailored to individual needs and therefore of limited value to particular recipients. However already existing policy tools are not effective and efficient as the case maybe. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that the stakeholders, government and other related/concerned bodies should encourage the special needs students by providing the necessary assistive technologies. Parent/guardians of special needs students should encourage these ones and make them feel wanted in the society instead of segregating them.
1.1 Background of Study
Worldwide, the prevalence of disability is argued to be growing, with population ageing and increasing incidence of chronic health conditions (World Health Organisation/World Bank 2011). Disability affects a wide range of socio-economic outcomes, including labour market participation, but also other factors that shape participation including education, information and transport.
The WHO (2013) (World Health Organisation) describes disability as an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. The impairment being a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation being a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing task or action; while a participation restriction is termed a problem experienced by an individual’s involvement in life situations. Disability is thus not just a health problem, but a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he/she lives. Impairment can occur from/ at birth or any time over the course of an individual’s life, either permanently or temporarily.
As pertains to its causes, explanations abound from the mystical to the empirically researched complex happenings that only genetics can provide as is the case in Systemic Lupus Erythematosis. Mugo (2010) states that traditional and spiritual beliefs play an important role in framing up comprehensions of disability in Africa. Many communities attribute disability to witchcraft, curses or conditions afflicted by bad omen and spirits with the resulting effect being that of fear and pity towards the PWD (Persons living with Disability)leading to their isolation/discrimination.
In actual schooled sense, the causes of disability are as numerous as they are indiscriminate; encompassing everyday happen-stances like road accidents, diseases as trachoma, war injuries, and work place injuries amongst others. This being the case, it should come as a sobering realization that we are all potential candidate or already might be albeit without symptom as is the case with genetically acquired degenerative diseases. With this in mind, it should bear more on our expertise, for us in academia to pay more attention to matters of disability.
The convention on the Rights of Persons Living with Disability, an initiative of the United Nations, as quoted in the WHO website, states that around 10% of the World’s population or roughly 650 million persons live with known disability. This undisputedly constitutes the world’s largest and most widespread minority and with continued trends of rapid population growth and advances in modern medicine, posits the WHO, these figures can only rise.
The first ever world report on disability (2000) co-authored by the World Bank group and WHO holds that PWD (Persons living with Disability) generally face higher rates of poverty and are afforded fewer economic opportunities compared to persons without disability. The figures are that 20% of the world‘s poorest are disabled and living in the developing countries. This sad state of affairs can find part explanation in the ostracization of PWD from mainstream social-economic life by society.
Disabled people tend to be concentrated in lower-skilled, lower-paid occupations (Meager and Higgins 2011). Low participation rates are costly for the individuals concerned in terms of economic and psychological well-being, for governments in terms of lost output and tax revenues, and increased welfare payments, and for the society in terms of the impact of social exclusion and discrimination on civic participation and public life.
However, one possible solution to problems of low participation rates lies in the potential for disabled people to become self employed or to start and run their own businesses. The relevance of entrepreneurship education to humanity and economic growth cannot be overemphasized considering its developmental incentives in the well being of an individual and promotion of economic activities. Entrepreneurship education could take the form of technical education, business education, computer application, fine and applied arts among others.
Entrepreneurship is not just skill acquisition for acquisition sake; it is an acquisition of skills and ideas for the sake of creating employment for one’s self and also others (Garba 2010). Therefore the need for entrepreneurial education to be incorporated into special needs education curriculum for this category of persons becomes a salient issue. This is because entrepreneurship education will help unlock their potentials and pave way for their financial independence and sustainability in the face of the large scale unemployment in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Education in Nigeria is devoid of the element crucial to averting the surging rate of unemployment with persons with impairment/ disability in the country, therefore the breeding of psychological dependence on direct access to money.
However despite the efforts by tertiary institutions in teaching various skills and trades, coupled with learning aimed at imparting knowledge and understanding of the potential rewards for business establishment, unemployment abounds among the young: Hungra et al (2011). Brijlal (2011) asserts that only a small percentage of graduates became entrepreneurs after college.
In a bid to explain this phenomenon of poor transition rates into enterprise by graduates, numerous studies have been undertaken all over the world, with many focusing on entrepreneurial intention studies as a possible avenue for explanation of this lack of entrepreneurial behavior. This focus has been so popular with researchers as intentions are said to be the best predictors of planned behavior.
As evidence in literature, the emphasis has been on studying entrepreneurial intent in ̒ ̒normal able-bodied persons. A clear-cut case of marginalization in academic research and knowledge against PWD in the society. This research seek to address the impact of entrepreneurial education on disabled students.
1.3 Purpose of Study
Overall, the purpose of this study is to help address a broad research question for which entrepreneurship education assessment literature has so far provided only tentative insight; whether and to what extent entrepreneurship training programs and studies help to create additional or more successful entrepreneurs. This includes:
- To examine the level of self employment activities among people with disabilities.
- To assess the challenges the disabled people face when starting a business/venture.
- To determine the extent to which policy support/tools on disabled are available to help them become more entrepreneurial.
- To ascertain the extent to which disabled students/persons benefits from entrepreneurial education.
1.4 Scope of Study
The study assessed the impact of entrepreneurial education on disabled students. The assessment was done by; the challenges faced by disabled students when starting a business, examining the level of self employment activities of people with disability, the extent to which policy tools on disabled are available and the benefits of entrepreneurial education to the disabled using Enugu metropolis as a case study.
1.5 Significance of the Study
In the introduction of Adam Smith’s world renowned book on economics, titled ‘The Wealth Of Nations’, by Alan Krueger (2003) , it is stated that the propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and is to be found in no other race of animals, from communistic societies to prisoner-of-war camps. Constraints can be imposed on a market, or even for the sake and purpose of this paper, disability can occur or be the case! But the rise of the market seems virtually unavoidable.
PWD in society have been marginalized long enough more so in academic research on matters of entrepreneurship. The subject of entrepreneurial intent has been researched on high and low, but empirically sound research on the same focusing on the disabled population is extremely hard to come by in literature.
Significantly, the findings of this study will aid shape the direction taken by governmental policy makers on coming up with curriculums and strategies in special needs schools which better address the entrepreneurial needs of PWD and better inform the economic empowerment programmers geared towards their emancipation by the state after college.
The research findings will also serve the parents or guardians of these students especially in guidance of career choice. Thus equipping them with foresight on how to prepare to be of best moral and material support to the soon to be granduands.
The findings will encourage teachers and students to develop skills and competencies in technologies for teaching and learning of entrepreneurship in schools. From the findings, it will further help teachers enhance their teaching skills and strategies. The teachers will use the results collected from the study to reform the content and method of teaching. The results of the study will also be of great importance to disabled students, it will improve their academic performances, job readiness, enhance their social psychological development (self-esteem, ego development, self-efficacy); and perceived improved health status etc.
Finally non state actors who are a crucial social economic development agents will benefit greatly from the findings of this study. Based on the same these actors can better formulate programmes and strategies on how to economically empower the students after college.
1.6 Research Questions
- What is the level of self-employment activities among people with disabilities?
- What barriers do people with disabilities face when starting a business/ venture?
- What are the policy tools/ support available to help those with disabilities become more entrepreneurial?
- What are the benefits of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities?