1 1 A critical evaluation and comparative analysis of the impact of ABET in the workplace at City Power by Beverley Minnaar
2 Layout of presentation Objectives Limitations Methodology Sampling Information gathering instruments Records and Statistics Interviews Questionnaires Demographics Development and Skills Support and Attitude Conclusions Suggestions/learning s
3 Objectives investigate existing and/or changed attitudes about ABET explore the needs of both management and employees in terms of ABET provisioning serve those who are serious about and capable of lifelong learning via learnerships and other skills development initiatives.
4 Objectives explore the far-reaching impact ABET has had in the workplace discover the social, economic, cultural and political consequences experienced as a result of an ABET sector in the workplace. identify significant milestones that have been achieved by the ABET sector Indicate learnings/suggesions on possible remedies for ABET related problems on the basis of empirical knowledge.
5 Limitations this study will not address ABET outside City Power ’ s workplace this study will not attempt to indicate development initiatives embarked upon other than ABET in the workplace and exclusively at City Power.
6 Methodology Both qualitative and quantitative research methods will be employed Numerous forms of data will be examined from various perspectives. The research will therefore focus on the problem as it happens in the natural setting. Since the phenomena under study are complex, the research will be portrayed in its multifaceted form.
7 Sampling Three sub-groups were solicited for participation The adult learners The adult learner practitioners The managers who are responsible for the adult learners in the workplace
8 Information gathering instruments ABET status reports observations sheets questionnaires interview questions and responses
9 Records and statistics collected attendance records pass/failure rates drop-out rates learners progress report ABET employee profile waiting list and the ABET intake over the period. key processes were observed and noted during the research period. trends and patterns surveyed.
10 Interviews Both structured and unstructured interviews were conducted with managers, learners and administrative staff. An in – depth unstructured interview will be conducted with the ABET manager regarding his role and perception of the ABET learning centre. The qualitative information was investigated to arrive at conclusions.
11 Questionnaires A questionnaire was developed for learners and practitioners The questionnaire was based on the theory and relevant issues The practitioners were given questionnaires to complete. A sample ABET learners was also be provided with a questionnaire The questionnaires were collated and a comprehensive quantitative analysis was made. Graphs were developed to indicate the data collected.
12 Gender Female 37.2% Male 3992.8% The gender profile is indicative the organization ’ s profile. Trends indicate that very few, if any, female electricians are likely to be become electricians via the learning centre at City Power.
13 Race Whites 0- Blacks 4197.7% Indian 0- Col 12.3% The overwhelming majority of ABET learners are Black because they were the most historically disadvantaged. Trends indicate that most workers that need to be developed are the unskilled Black employees
14 Age 30-40 614.3% 41-50 2252.4% >50 614.3% The vast majority of learners are found in the age group 40-50 years. It is unlikely that they will progress beyond an N - electrical qualification. The 25% (30-40) age group can progress further than N 3 qualification. They could in fact become team leaders and possibly managers if they continue learning at City Power. (Life- long learning) Age plays an important factor in terms of progression since these are mostly aged adult learners. Physical and other barriers can hinder progress
15 Occupation Artisan 512% General worker 2969% Representative 24.7% Messenger 12.03% Store man 12.03% other 49.5% Males are mostly trench-diggers, meter readers, cable-jointers or work in the public lighting section. Females, on the other hand, are cleaners or canteen workers. There is a steady “ trickling ” of learners (about 13%) into other occupations into other occupations example messengers, store man, administrators, etc.
16 ABET levels LEVEL 1(25.2) 614.3% LEVEL 2(33.3.) 2150% LEVEL 3(13.8) 512% LEVEL 4(NQF1)(27.7) 1023.8% The bulk of the respondents are concentrated in level 2. Placement assessments “ peg ” most learners in either level 1 or 2.
17 Number of years at the centre 0-112.3% 2-33685.7% 4-5512% Because of the upward mobility from level 3 to 4 most of the learners were are now currently concentrated in level 4.(2007) This is as result of the pass requirements for level 4. In level 4(NQF 1) learners are required to complete 8 learning areas in order to attain the General Education and Training Certificate.(~ Grade 9) This cannot be completed in under 2 years, hence the current concentration in level 4.
18 Workplace development None 2661.9% Little 1228.5% Some 37.1% extensive 12.3% The overwhelmingly response is that very little or no workplace development are in place to develop the lower ranks of the workforce other than the ABET. The can be ascribed to the fact that are currently spending two days per week at the ABET centre. (40% of employers time) Apart from constraints such as time it is important to remember that the “ learners are also workers ” and that they are also earners and as such they must comply with the employer ’ s business and operational plans.
19 Number of Dependents 1-31638% 4-62354.7% >637.1% 54.7% of the learners have more 4 or more dependents. These learners are parents and it has been observed that there parental responsibilities which oblige them to attend to family matters. This also explains the learners inability to complete tasks/homework/projects and other independent initiatives to increase participation and progression.
20 Type of dwelling Informal dwelling 1228.5% Own home 1842.8% Hostel921.4% Flat37.1% The flat dwellers and the hostel residents together (28.5%) equal those who are informally settled. More than half of our learners are living in semi to impoverished living conditions. This factor is able to negatively impact on their performance at the centre.
21 Standards of Living The above reflects that very little has changed in terms of livelihood before and after the ABET intervention (within a period of 3 years.) Given that the average age is 45 years old it is unlikely that ALL our learners would escape “poverty” in their lifetime.BeforeAfterM/Aid 16 Inform/S 22 A/Home 13 Cell phone 44 computer 33 Own car 43
22 Communication Skills More than 50% of our learners show that they now understand English better than before. Another notable triumph is the fact that learners who did not indicate that they could not read before indicate that they are now able to read after the ABET intervention. The fact that reading is higher than speaking could be ascribed to the learners’ limited use of English in their social interaction at work and home. Learners communicate in English out of necessity (in class and very rarely in the workplace). Note that learners read English more because of the context in which they find themselves in. they can identify most of the English symbols through the television, posters, forms and newspapers. Writing has the lowest score since this is the most complex skill to master. This skill is also applied and practiced only out of necessity. Few learners engage in this activity away from the ABET centre.beforeafterUnderstand1322 Listen53 Speak22 Read37 Write33 all44
23 Literacy Above are some of the key adult literacy skills needed for survival in the world today. The above results indicate the significant milestones achieved in terms of literacy Signifies increased numeracy levels on account of the ABET programLabels10100Posters030 Instructions295 Simple books 5389 Graphs & charts 07 Adverts178 Time- tables/schedules 378 Library books 7698 Newspapers5698 Newsletters3467
24 Literacy Learners prefer reading newspapers. Adult learners “ relate to relevance ”. The ability to read newspapers is most relevant to them. Thus they engage in this activity more frequently. Instructions are significant to learners, since these impacts on performance in the workplace. Library books are ordered lowest since our learners do not readily access libraries. The top three items have been ordered as follows: dictionaries followed by calculators followed by forms. Because the City Power Resource centre loans dictionaries to our learners they have diligently used this resource to sharpen their communication skills. The completion of forms are critical in the life world of an adult. They know that if they master that skill they will be able to access benefits such as grants, finances. Moreover society will regard them as literate. In this way they can overcome the scorn and humiliation associated with illiteracy.
25 Life Skills Dictionary18 Forms7 competitions3 Phone1 Computer0 Car1 Road map0 ATM1 Telephone1 Budget1 Calculators4 Meters3 The use of dictionaries and the completion of forms are ranked the highest. According to the responses from the learners the ability to use a dictionary or complete a form are critical life skills On the other hand completion of forms are linked to accessing financial loans, completing leave forms, the ability to provide personal details on various forms. In this way learners will be regarded as “literate” by fellow colleagues, superiors and the significant others in society.
26 Financial Fitness The fact that some learners’ are having insurance and investing some money reveals that they are becoming financially more sophisticated This can be also be linked to a savings account. It does indicate that they are thinking of future financial provisioning. It is praise - worthy that some of our learners are able to save, invest and have insurance despite their little earnings. Little money 21 Many accounts 99 Wasted money 20 No savings 66 No insurance 13 No investment 14
27 Social Development friends77 Places1118 outings12 Church44 Community36 organizations58 Community work03 Generally the social development of the ABET learners are steadily improving. It appears that they are seeing more places and their community involvement is growing.
28 Promotions, Prospects and Opportunites General worker19 Assistant artisan11 Loved work11 Pleased seniors44 Overtime44 Standby33 Prospect have increased for 54% of the learners, only 14.5% have been promoted within the three years. Many of them are saying that their managers are waiting for them to complete level 3 or 4 so that they can get promotion. It means that they can earn additional income, thereby decreasing poverty and increasing livelihood. they love their jobs. Whilst opportunities
29 Support EXAMS/TEST2927 CO-WORKERS11 FAMILY18 SUPERVISOR62 MANAGE WORK AND ABET44 From the table it is evident that whilst family support has increased; support from supervisors has decreased. This matter merits further investigation and exploration.
30 Attitude SHAME12 CONFIDENT11 ABET24 RELATIONSHIPS55 The fact that learner attitudes towards ABET have changed over a period of 3 years is perhaps the most important contribution this research offers. The shame and humiliation of not having formal education is gradually being eroded and substituted by a sense of pride.
32 Suggestions/Learnings The resource centre (library) can provide an excellent opportunity to assist learners to become life-long learners Support from all the stakeholders can accelerate learning, participation, cooperation and collaboration
33 Suggestions/Learnings Promotions and opportunities for development can serve as and excellent incentive for the lower grade employees. Providing nominal increases as learners ’ progress through the levels could prove to be an excellent “ attraction and progression ” strategy. The listening and understanding phase can be accelerated quite phenomenally if the workplace becomes an English friendly environment.
34 Suggestions/Learnings Intensify support and intervention Introduce the system of mentoring and coaching ABET learner Reinstate Pre-ABET so those learners first learn to listen and understand the language in which they are to become literate. Reduce the fear of the external examination and adopt continuous and profile assessment practices for learners in level 1 to 3. Allow external evaluation for only level 4 and further for certification purposes.
35 Conclusions (mine) Learners can gradually be exposed to vocational skills training as part of their career development plans This can result in: 1. Increased participation in the workplace 2. A better skilled and trained workforce 3. A learning culture in the workplace 4. Learners can gradually move out of the informal dwellings into low-cost housing 5. An overall 10% increased Literacy rate annually 6. An overall increased pass rate of at least 5% annually 7. Learners will be filled with a sense of pride and dignity once they have achieved the GETC or other vocational opportunities provided 8. Management will develop appreciation and respect for the work accomplished at the ABET centre 9. Finally those who perceive that they are adequately enabled can perhaps commence with their small business ventures
36 J.Muller captures the essence of ABET in the quote below “ We are reminded of the extraordinary desire and thirst for education that impels people into schooling even when it is less than adequate and keeps them there against the odds in the face of the most inconceivable obstacles ”
37 Finally, what is required of those concerned with ABET? “ It may require the patience of a saint, the variety of an artist, the perseverance of a marathon runner, the intelligence of a deity, and the wisdom of a sage. “ (Novak) (Morris: 1992:5)