Original Research

Teachers’ perspectives on learners with reading and writing difficulties in mainstream government primary schools in Mauritius

Sattiavany Veerabudren, Alta Kritzinger, Savila T. Ramasawmy
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a1023 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v11i1.1023 | © 2021 Sattiavany Veerabudren, Alta Kritzinger, Savila T. Ramasawmy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 April 2021 | Published: 22 October 2021

About the author(s)

Sattiavany Veerabudren, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Alta Kritzinger, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Savila T. Ramasawmy, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Education, Mauritius Institute of Education, Reduit, Mauritius


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Abstract

Background: Although Mauritius has adopted an inclusive education policy for learners with special education needs, it has not yet been implemented. Little is known about how teachers support learners experiencing reading and writing difficulties (RWD) in mainstream government primary schools.

Aim: The aim of the study was to describe the perspectives of mainstream primary school teachers in Mauritius about learners with RWD and inclusive education.

Setting: The data collection took place at the respective schools selected for the study.

Methods: A total of 100 teachers from randomly selected schools in Zone 2, an area with urban and rural schools in Mauritius, were recruited to complete a questionnaire.

Results: The results show that almost all participants had encountered learners with RWD, but they had no training in RWD or specific learning disorders. Thus, participants had inadequate perspectives about the causes, identification and intervention of RWD. By far, the majority of participants viewed special education schools as the best learning environment for learners with RWD and inclusive education as detrimental to learners with RWD. However, the same number of participants (81.8%) agreed that extensive teacher retraining will facilitate the integration of learners with RWD in regular schools. Younger participants were more interested in training and more experienced teachers tended to view learners with RWD more positively.

Conclusion: The study supports the need for in-service training of mainstream primary school teachers in RWD and inclusive education and to include the topics in the curriculum of future teachers.


Keywords

reading and writing difficulties; perspectives; teachers; inclusive education; Mauritius; mainstream government primary schools; speech-language therapist; special education needs

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