An exploration of educators' experiences in teaching learners with learning disabilities in three primary schools in Lesotho : case study.
Mntambo, Mafakazile Bernice.
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In Lesotho the provision of education and care for learners with special educational needs was primarily the responsibility of non-governmental organizations, churches and individuals until the Lesotho Ministry of Education took an active interest in the early 1980s. Inclusive education has, since then, become a critical aspect of the Lesotho education system. This study explores educators' experiences in teaching learners with learning disabilities in three primary schools in Lesotho. Using a qualitative, descriptive and theoretical research design, the study employs a case study approach to answer the following questions: What are educators' understandings of learning disabilities in the classroom? What are the challenges that educators experience in teaching learners with learning disabilities? The data was collected from a sample of six educators from three primary schools (two educators from each school) through semi-structured interviews, observations, document reviews and questionnaires. The study revealed that the educators have not been properly prepared for implementation of the policy of inclusive education; this is reflected by their limited understanding of inclusive education. It also shows a weakness in dissemination of inclusive education policies as educators are not well trained, especially to assist learners with learning disabilities. The focus tended to be only on children with hearing impairment, sight impairment and physical disability. Therefore there is a need for the Lesotho Ministry of Education, not only to review the policy and curriculum of inclusive education, but also unpack the dissemination process so that it empowers and supports educators with knowledge and practical strategies. There are many learning disabilities which educators do not seem to know and the training of educators for the implementation of IE should address the issue.
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