The Socio-Economic Challenges of Students with Disabilities in The Case of Maraki Campus, Ethiopia

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2020

32 Pages


Table of Contents



Objective of the study
General objective
Review of related literature
Social challenges of disability
Economic challenges of students with disabilities
Research Methodology
Background of the study area
Sampling Techniques
Data Sources
Data collection Instruments
Method of Data Analysis

Results and Discussion

Conclusion and Recommendations



This study is considered and seeks to assess the socio-economic challenges of students with disabilities at the University of Gondar, particularly in “Maraki” campus. The finding of the study therefore, believed to show the challenges of students with disabilities and attempted to reckon the barriers which they faced while they attend their schooling in the study area. To acquire sufficient and detail information’s, both qualitative and quantitative research approaches has been utilized. Besides, to achieve the ultimate objectives of the study the researchers employed a descriptive narrative research design. Besides, the researchers while investigating the study has used three basic instruments in the process of collecting necessary data for the study namely: Survey questionnaire, interview, and focus group discussion. Finding of the study shown Depending on their particular impairment and some pertinent socio-economic challenges, most of the disabled students in the “Maraki” campus has experienced barriers in accessing qualities of education. The finding of the study revealed that lack of money is the main hardship for those who lived with disability for the attainment of their education. Some of them were the head of the house hold, they have children and unable to do additional work to get more income to meet their basic needs.

Key words; Students with disabilities, visual impairment, hearing damage, social exclusions, Socio-economic challenges


According to world report on Disability, more than one billion humans or 15% of the world’s population stay with some shape of disability, of whom, nearly 200 million ride considerable difficulties in functioning. In the years ahead, incapacity will be an even larger situation because its incidence is on the rise. This is due to getting older populations and the greater danger of disability in older people as nicely as the global increase in continual fitness prerequisites such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental fitness problems (World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO), 2011: xi and United Nations’ Education, Social and Cultural Organization (UNICEF, 2015).

People with disability are considered ugly, and they are not welcome in society. People say they have the works of the spirit in them. Because of society‘s influence, a family with a child who has disability considers this child as a burden. In most places, a family hides their child for fear of being outcasts in the village. They would not consider them as useful to the community. Some think they are intellectually impaired too. In most cases, disabled children grow up learning from their parents that they are not worthy of mixing with other kids their age. The children accept the norm and believe they are cursed and under the punishment of God (Mesfin Taye, 2011).

People with bodily disabilities have skilled slender chances to enjoy college environments or practices due to fewer priorities given by way of academic providers to problems that might also guide the disabled in particular in developing nations in areas such as curriculums, instructing and studying materials, infrastructure, unique programs such as sports and games, environmental troubles and the normal high-quality of education. According to the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2010 reaching the marginalized youngsters with disabilities remains one of the most important problems leading to huge exclusion of the group from nice schooling (Macleod, 2014).

The foremost venture amongst bodily disabled college students to get right of entry to greater training in Tanzania University is lack of reachable infrastructure this includes unsupportive classrooms, laboratories, libraries, washrooms, eating halls/rooms, and sports activities and games space. Lake of physical and social access for disabled younger human beings to greater schooling is an important barrier to developing a pool of appropriately certified college students to enter higher training equal basis. This feature of sub -Saharan African training system combined with a lack of handy infrastructure appropriate number of disabled students from getting into higher schooling (Croft, 2010).

In the meantime, Depending on their particular impairment and some pertinent socio-economic challenge, most of the disabled students in the “Maraki” campus have experienced barriers in accessing their education relating to the physical environments or teaching and learning (or both) at some point during their studies. Also, the institution and course choice of some students has been affected by physical access issues. Even though the social and economic challenges are multi-dimensional, hence, there are no sufficient research works which are conducted and showed the specific clear picture of SWD in the Campus to alleviate social and economic challenges.

Coming to the empirical investigation in the Ethiopia context, some studies conducted inside the country notifies that challenges facing students with disabilities are countless both in terms of number and intellect. For instance, Dawite Tessentus (2014) study that aims to examine barriers to education for students with disabilities at Addis Ababa University’s main campus informs that person’s disabilities experience double discrimination which places them at higher risk of sexual abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and exploitation. This study also discloses as students with disabilities in higher education institutions are also facing many educational challenges (Dawit, 2014).

Moreover, the matters of geographic inaccessibility, availability, and cultural limitations, and all provide substantial impediments to the acquisition of proper care for the populations of developing countries. And the situation gets worse when the disability is not at birth when a person who used to perform all kinds of activities suddenly ceases to do most of it, she/he feels like a double disability with an inaccessible environment (Berhanu D. S., 2015). Notwithstanding, the aforementioned researchers have carried out their investigation on this similitude topic. Consequently, their investigation has not enabled them to triangulate the data are using the required research approaches, hence the mere existence and employed of one research approach is could not be enough to obtained and extract information in about the research being studied. As a result, the researchers in this paper are intended to utilize both quantitative and qualitative (mixed) research approaches. Beside to methodological gap, as we have reckoned, no one could undertake the socio-economic challenges of students with disabilities in Maraki campus. Since the challenges confronted by the disabled students are various from place to place. In so doing, the researchers attempted to fill up the spatial and methodological gaps that the previous researchers skip to undertake.

Objective of the study

General objective

The general objective of this study is to examine the socio-economic challenge of students with disability in the University of Gondar in the case of Maraki campus

Specific objectives In order to achieve the ultimate objective of the study, the researchers endeavor to address the following specific objectives:

- To examine the social implications of the academic challenges of a student with disabilities.
- To investigate the prime economic challenges of disabled students.
- To identify the major barriers of disabled students in their educational attainments.

Review of related literature

This chapter deals with the socio-economic challenges of students with physical disabilities in higher educational institutions. It is intended to communicate the message of what physically disabled people in general and students with physical disability in a higher educational institution in particular.

Disability is section of the human condition. Almost everybody will be briefly or permanently impaired at some point in life, and these who survive to ancient age will ride growing difficulties in functioning. Most extended households have a disabled member, and many non-disabled human beings take accountability for supporting and caring for their household and pals with disabilities. Disability is a complex, dynamic, multidimensional, and contested. Disability is the umbrella time period for impairments, exercise limitations and participation restrictions, referring to the poor aspects of the interplay between an character (with a fitness condition) and that humans contextual factors (environmental and personal factors (WHO, Manual of International Statistical Classification and Diseases, accidents and Causes of Death, 2011).

Social challenges of disability

Students with disabilities (SWD) represent an emerging population in higher education institutions, whole perceptions and experiences of higher education are ultimately shaped by their .socio –cultural experiences. And the existing environment and the availability of specific facilities required by them for pursuing their higher studies. A great deal of research in the west has been conducted on diverse issue of students with disabilities in higher education institutions. This review is focused on the factors affecting positive and negative educational experiences of such students with disabilities in higher education institutions .this most recent action by the Ethiopian government illustrates its intent to recognize the rights of people with disabilities.

Societal beliefs about people with disabilities have a strong impact on inclusion. Disability in Ethiopia is often perceived as connected with a person’s immorality or curse. Disabled children and parents of disabled children are often stigmatized (Franck, 2015: 6). Social exclusion means lack of belongingness, acceptance and recognition. People who are socially excluded are more vulnerable to economic and social problems, and hence they tend to have difficult life experiences. It agree with Leslie and associates that the practice of social exclusion affects individuals in preventing from participating fully in the economic, social, and political sphere (Other studies indicating that due to their increased vulnerability in the social environment, women with mental, psychological or learning disabilities are more prone to becoming the victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and mistreatment, because they do not have the practical means to live independently and experience their sexuality (Berhanu, 2015).

Economic challenges of students with disabilities

In Ethiopia persons with disabilities constitute more than 10% of the total population. Despite counting to a large proportion of the total population they have been discriminated and secluded from the social, economic and political opportunities. However, the present government has started to consider the needs of this group of the society at a national level better than ever before (Gebreegzabher, 2008).

The institute for social development study of Vietnams shows that the social model also relates to economics. It proposes that people can be further disabled by a lack of resources in meeting their needs. It addresses issues such as the underestimation of the potential of people to contribute fully to society and add economic value to society if they are given equal rights and equal access to facilities and opportunities as others (Choike, 2009: 7). Poverty is the main socio-economic characteristics of students with disability and their families in Ethiopia. The majority of studies find that persons with disability in developing countries have lower employment rates and lower educational attainment than persons without disability. The connection between poverty and disability is widely acknowledged, with disability being both a cause and a result of poverty Persons with disabilities experience worse educational and labour market outcomes and are more likely to be poor than persons without disabilities. A study of 15 developing countries, using World Health Survey data, found that households with disabilities experienced higher poverty as measured by non-health per capita consumption expenditures in only 5 of the countries (World Bank, 2011).

Research Methodology

Research questions

In order to achieve the ultimate objective of the study, the researchers endeavor to address the following specific research questions:

- What are the major social challenges that students with disabilities face in the Maraki campus?
- What are the prime economic challenges that alter student’s educational attainments?
- What are the major barriers that the disabled students mostly inflicts in the campus of Maraki?

Study Design

The research design that the researchers used for the study is descriptive because it is suitable for describing the existing situation, narrating facts, and investigating phenomena in their natural setting (Koul, 1997). It describes what actually exists within a situation, such as current practices, situations of different aspects of this research. Triangulating both qualitative and quantitative approaches (Mixed-method approach) is the most appropriate to reach at a level of truth that enables the researcher to come up with complementary and convergence of facts (Redinour & Newman, 2008).

Thus, in this study to achieve the stated research objectives both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were used to investigate the socio-economic challenges of students with disabilities in the Maraki campus of Gondar University. The qualitative research approach employed to examine academic, social, and financial problems facing students with physical disabilities in higher learning institutions and assessment of stakeholders’ views on means to solve problems that students with physical disabilities encounter. The quantitative research approach used to collect information’s from the existing and potential respondents using sampling methods, and questionnaires, thus the results of questionnaires depicted in the form of numerical.

Background of the study area

The study was conducted on Maraki campus at the University of Gondar at Gondar town, North West Amhara region. Thus, Gondar town is located at 727km from Addis Ababa to the North West part of the country. The town has a population more than 300,000 with a latitude and longitude of 12°36′N 37°28′E with an elevation of 2133 meters above sea level.

The University of Gondar currently comprises five functioning campuses these are Maraki, Atse tewodros, Atse fasil, Tseda, and college of medicine and health science. However, the Maraki campus is the researcher’s unit of analysis which is located slightly far from the mid-town of piazza about 2.5 km to the west of Gondar town.

Sampling Techniques

To select sample respondents from the total study population, both probability and non-probability sampling methods have been employed. The probability sampling method was selected because it avoids biasness and helps to generalize data gained from sample respondents avoiding an error that could arise from sampling. However, the researchers decided to employ stratified sampling due to its effectiveness in dividing the intended target groups into homogeneous groups. Besides, it enabled the researchers to classify students based on their impairment (physical, visual, or others).

Moreover, purposive sampling has also been used as a technique so as to include Women Affair Head and Mayor. It is decided to use this method in order to include those management bodies and to gain relevant data concerning all available data about students with disabilities. However, the sampling selection has been determined through Yeman’s sampling selection formula’s (1967);

- 95% of confidence interval which is constant
- Degree of variability =0.5 with level of precession 9%
- N= total number of the population=176

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Therefore, based upon the aforementioned formula, the researchers decided to take 73 respondents from the given total population.

Population of the Study

The target population of this study are students who face physical, hearing, and visually impaired at Maraki campus of Gondar University. According to the reports that we gain from the registrar in Maraki campus the total number of students with disabilities is 172. However, among the total disabled students, 37 were students who are being physically disabled, and the remaining 135 are students with having visual and hearing impairment including short and long sight. Moreover, in terms of sexual compositions, the proportion of males is slightly greater than of females which is 66 followed by 106 males. Besides, females who are being physical, visual, and hearing disabled are 16, 42, and 7 respectively. Moreover, the total composition of male students with physical impairment is 21, followed by students who face hearing impaired 2 and an impairment which consists of the vast majority of students that is visual impairment is 89 in number.


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The Socio-Economic Challenges of Students with Disabilities in The Case of Maraki Campus, Ethiopia
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socio-economic, challenges, students, disabilities, case, maraki, campus, ethiopia
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Habtamu Wondimu (Author), 2020, The Socio-Economic Challenges of Students with Disabilities in The Case of Maraki Campus, Ethiopia, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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