Original Research

Providing remedial support to primary school learners within their zone of proximal development

Simon G. Taukeni
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 9, No 1 | a654 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v9i1.654 | © 2019 Simon G. Taukeni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 April 2018 | Published: 03 October 2019

About the author(s)

Simon G. Taukeni, Department of Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education, University of Namibia, Rundu, Namibia

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Background: One of the methods receiving the current attention in addressing poor performance and low learning achievements among lower primary school learners is through remedial teaching. The approach to provide remedial support was informed by Vygotsky’s social development theory.

Aim: The objective of this study was to support primary school learners who failed with ungraded symbols in their first school term to obtain better passing symbols at the end of Term 2 and Term 3.

Setting: An intervention was carried out in 2016 academic year to provide remedial support to learners who were enrolled at Catholic AIDS Action Tonateni Centre in Oshakati town, Namibia.

Methods: Quantitative approach and descriptive design methods were used in this study. The first school term results were used as a baseline. A total of 12 learners (five boys and seven girls) from Grades 1 to 7 were randomly selected to participate in the remedial class. Data collection instruments included learners’ school reports, homework books, class exercise books and test books. Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to analyse descriptive statistics, namely, frequencies and percentages.

Results: Results showed that the participating learners obtained better passing symbols in the three identified subjects: Oshindonga first language, English second language and mathematics as depicted in their Term 2 and Term 3 school reports.

Conclusion: Remedial support demonstrated that learners who performed with poor symbols at the end of their first school term could still obtain better passing symbols in the second and third term provided they are supported to improve in their areas of learning difficulties.


academic performance; English second language; Oshindonga first language; mathematics; remedial teaching; zone of proximal development


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