Whitewashed Tombs: Emergency Online Learning Through the Experiences of Students with Disabilities at a Rural South African University

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has induced an enormous effect on educational institutions globally. Rural institutions are at a greater disadvantage when compared to their urban counterparts which are better resourced with systems that enable the shift to emergency online learning. Challenges were particularly compounded for students with disabilities who appear to have been alienated from these rushed attempts at rescuing the academic project in South African institutions. As such, this paper employed a qualitative research approach to examine the challenges faced by students with disabilities at a rural university in South Africa in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study employed an online survey to elicit their experiences and challenges concerning learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the study revealed that although pregnant with promise, emergency online learning has failed to deliver inclusive education for students with disabilities. Based on the findings, it was recommended among other things that educators be trained on how to facilitate learning with technological interfaces which might be unfamiliar to them, especially those that are utilized by students with disabilities for online learning.



Author Information
Bonginkosi Hardy Mutongoza, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Emmanuel Olawale, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Paper Information
Conference: BCE2021
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

This paper is part of the BCE2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21