BARRIERS TO LEARNING WITHIN A SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT
Durban University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The main purpose to any education system is to provide quality education for learners so that they will be able to reach their full potential and be able to meaningfully contribute to and participate in that society throughout their lives (Education White Paper 6, 2001).There are two distinct categories of learners in our country. That is, those learners who form the majority with “ordinary needs” and a small minority of learners with “special needs” (learners experiencing barriers to learning) who require support in order to engage in some form of learning process. Barriers to learning are not caused by a single factor but it has multifaceted factors. Within the South African context these factors can be classified into two main categories, that is, socio-economic barriers and educational barriers. In South Africa effective access to education is prevented as a result of these barriers, which reflects a deficient system and not a deficient learner. As South Africans, learners have a right to be educated in an inclusive classroom as is acknowledged in the constitution of our country.
The purpose of this paper is to show a correlation between the low literacy levels and barriers to learning. My main aim is to focus on the nature of these barriers, what causes them and how they manifest themselves. Only then, can we begin to address problems of learning breakdown and ongoing exclusions. I will also discuss the different barriers to learning that hinder teaching and learning in South Africa. Educators must be made aware of the fact that the one-size-fits all approach is no longer workable and they must be able to recognise the diverse needs of the struggling learners and underachievers.
Keywords: Barriers to learning, Inclusive education, literacy.