Exploring inclusion and exclusion in eduation : a case study of a rural primary school in KwaZulu-Natal.
Naidoo, Gonasagaran Theeyaagaraj.
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The study explores barriers to learning and development experienced by learners at a rural school situated in Upper Tongaat, on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Qualitative research methodology, which took the form of a case study, was used. The barriers to learning that the learners at the school experienced were examined from the perspective of both the learners and teachers. Other social factors that may affect a learner's development such as poverty, poor health and poor living conditions were also explored. The data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Although policy documents such as the White Paper on Education and Training (1995) and the South African Schools Act (1996) emphasize the provision of quality basic education for all learners, the study found that learners at this rural school continue to be marginalized. Factors in this schooling context, such as the poor physical environment, overcrowded classrooms, inadequate teaching resources, lack of ongoing professional development, and socio-economic factors such as poverty and poor health care, impede access to the curriculum. The major challenge at the school is how areas such as school organization, ethos, curriculum, teacher development and community involvement can be improved so that the barriers to learning and development can be overcome.