Inclusive education support programmes provision for learners with learning difficulties in full-service school : Umlazi District educators' voices.
Mhlongo, Sindiswa Anthea.
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The success of all learners, including those with special needs, depends on the inclusion and active participation of all stakeholders in education. Therefore, this study's aim was to explore the inclusive education support programmes provision for learners with learning difficulties in Umlazi District Full-Service School (thereafter FSS). The specific objectives were to explore the nature of those inclusive education support programmes for learners with learning difficulties; and also to detennine the ways in which the current inclusive education support programmes improve the well-being of these learners in FSS. The theories guiding the study were the asset-based approach of Kretzmann and McKnight, as well as the scaffolding theory of Jerome Brunner. The study followed a qualitative research approach within the interpretive paradigm. The research style that was employed in this study is the participatory research, which allowed participants to be actively involved in identifying and investigating the problem. Six educators from one FSS were purposely selected as the sample of this study because they do accommodate learners with learning difficulties and have taught them for more than three years. The study employed a variety of methods like focus group discussions, collage construction activity, document analysis and field notes, until a deep understanding was achieved. The study was analysed thematically. The findings revealed that there is inclusive education support programmes for learners with learning difficulties in a FSS that are provided by educators, learners, school-based support team, parents, community members, interested organisations and sister departments. The inclusive education support programmes improve the well-being of learners academically, intellectually, socially, psychologically, spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. However, the inclusive education support programmes are still scanty and fragmented. As part of recommendations, collaborative professional development of educators from FSSs should be afforded high priority of IE support programmes training if refonn and restructuring initiatives are to be successful.