Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Implementation of the Inter-Agency Collaboration in Vocational Education of Students with Learning Disabilities towards Preparation of Career Experience

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Implementation of the Inter-Agency Collaboration in Vocational Education of Students with Learning Disabilities towards Preparation of Career Experience

Article excerpt

Abstract

Inter-agency collaboration is a very important element in the success of vocational education programs for students with special needs, especially for students with learning disabilities. Inter-agency collaboration is a team consisting of students, parents, school representatives and representatives of outside agencies involved in implementing, coordinating and developing service plans for students with special needs. However, the implementation of inter-agency collaboration with schools has remained at low levels. Therefore, this study was undertaken to explore the implementation of inter-agency collaboration and the obstacles faced by teachers in vocational education of students with learning disabilities towards career experience preparation. This study used a qualitative approach with case study design. Data were collected using interviews involving 10 teachers from vocational education in 6 Integration Program with Learning Disabilities (IPLD) schools. The findings show that there is inter-agency collaboration implemented with the schools involved but the implementation is not comprehensive. Results from interviews show that there are several obstacles in the implementation of inter-agency collaboration in terms of student attitude, parental attitude, and attitude of employers, financial problems and lack of information about the implementation of vocational education in IPLD. This study is expected to assist schools in implementing inter-agency collaboration to provide the best service to enhance the skills and careers of students with special needs especially students with learning disabilities.

Keywords: inter-agency collaboration, vocational education, students with learning disabilities, career experience preparation

1. Introduction

Transformation in vocational education through the Education Development Plan (MECC) 2013-2025 states that vocational education should be implemented because this change will provide skilled workforce trained to meet the needs of the country to enter the job market. In this case, vocational education for students with special needs, especially for students with learning disabilities should not be marginalized because by following the skill and technical field, and by being exposed with practical training from the school years will enable them to adapt easily to the working environment. Studies by (Lokman, Nurul Qistin, & Mohd Hanafi, 2009; Ramlee Mustapa, 2004; Krajewski & Callahan, 1998) show that vocational education can help students with special needs to obtain the necessary skills and serve as a preparation for them to compete in the job market. In implementing vocational education for students with special needs, especially for students with learning disabilities, inter-agency collaboration is a very important element.

Inter-agency collaboration is defined as a team of students, parents, school representatives and representatives of outside agencies involved in implementing, coordinating and developing transition program service plans based on vocational training for students with special needs (Wright, 2011). According to Kohler (1996) in Transition Taxonomy Model, collaboration between agencies is the involvement of agencies in transition program comprising community as employers and employment agencies. Collaboration is established as a service delivery system that has the role, responsibility, communication strategies, and other collaborative action that seeks to develop curriculum and program development and service delivery system (Benz, Lindstrom, & Yovanoff, 2000; Kohler, 1996). Through collaborative practices, educational and adult service providers address opportunities for individual students, as well as community issues that influence opportunities and services for students in general. The purpose of these collaborative activities is to implement an integrated system that addresses the lifelong learning and support needs of a community's members. …

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