The challenges of multicultural education and the promotion of a culture of learning and teaching.
As South Africa emerges from the years of struggle against apartheid, the education system is characterised by fragmentation, inequity, racism and a culture of intolerance. This study tests the experiences and challenges of learners, educators and relevant stakeholders in a multicultural setting: The study was conducted at five multicultural schools in the Ethekwini Region in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Literature is based on historical background of multicultural education and sketches the concept of culture, equality and multiculturalism. The methodology of choice was an empirical research. The first stage involved the gathering of information through questionnaires, observations and interviews. In the second stage: the analysis indicates the roles played by principals, educators and learners in multicultural schools. The findings of this study reveal that learners, educators and principals face serious problems in multicultural schools and are unable to deal with learner diversity. Firstly, in a multicultural country like South Africa it is important that learners reach high levels of proficiency in at least two languages. Secondly, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) provides the basis for curriculum for transformation and development. Lastly, there is a need for educator training so that educators can handle diverse learners. Religion and education brings about moral values and contributes to create an integrated community that affirms in diversity therefore religious diversity needs to be facilitated by trained professionals. This study seeks to build on the new direction in education and proposes numerous strategic recommendations for a new approach in multicultural education in South Africa. Finally, the study provides useful insights and guidelines to the general public, educators, policymakers, lectures and managers of the institution of learning.