Education is often considered the key to unlocking a world of opportunities. However, for many pupils, the path to acquiring knowledge and skills is riddled with obstacles.
Japari School, a dedicated remedial school, specialises in helping pupils overcome these hurdles.
In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into five common barriers to learning and explore how Japari School, along with similar schools, empower students to overcome these challenges.
Barrier 1: Learning difficulties
Learning difficulties are among the most prevalent barriers to effective learning. These conditions, such as dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, dysgraphia speech or auditory difficulties, can make it challenging for pupils to grasp and retain information in traditional educational settings.
Our blog on “A day in the life of a Pupil at Japari School” touches the surface of learning difficulties.
Dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental difficulty that primarily affects reading, spelling, and writing skills. It is characterised by difficulties in accurately and fluently recognising words, decoding text, and spelling.
Causes: Dyslexia is thought to have genetic and neurobiological origins. Brain imaging studies have shown differences in the brain’s structure and function in individuals with dyslexia, particularly in areas related to language processing.
Challenges for dyslexia
- Reading: Dyslexic individuals often struggle with decoding words, leading to slower reading rates and comprehension difficulties.
- Spelling: Spelling errors and difficulty in spelling phonetically irregular words are common.
- Writing: Expressing thoughts in writing can be challenging due to spelling and organisational issues.
Interventions for dyslexia
At Japari school, we believe every pupil has their individual plan. Once we recognise that a pupil is having difficulties with dyslexia, we will take these interventions with our specialised teachers and multidisciplinary team.
- Multisensory Teaching: Methods like Rave-O reading use multisensory approaches to help dyslexic learners associate sounds with letters.
- Assistive Technology: Tools like text-to-speech software, audiobooks, and word prediction software can support reading and writing.
- Structured Literacy Programs: These programs focus on teaching phonemic awareness and phonics systematically.
Please have a look at the therapies we offer to find out more.
ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental difficulty characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can interfere with academic, occupational, and social functioning.
Causes: The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood but likely involves a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors.
- Inattention: Difficulty sustaining focus on tasks, frequently making careless mistakes.
- Hyperactivity: Restlessness and fidgeting, especially when expected to sit still.
- Impulsivity: Acting without thinking about the consequences, interrupting others, or blurting out answers.
- Behavioral Therapy: Techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavior modification can improve self-regulation and time management.
- Environmental Accommodations: Simple strategies like clear instructions, organisation tools, and minimising distractions can be beneficial.
Our specialised teachers are able to aid pupils with adhd to pay attention in class and do work during class time. This teaches our pupils discipline and enables them to have a safe and nurturing working environment for them to thrive in.
Dyscalculia is a specific learning difficulty related to mathematical concepts and operations. Individuals with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding numbers, mathematical symbols, and basic arithmetic.
Causes: The precise cause of dyscalculia is not known, but it is believed to have both genetic and environmental factors.
- Number Sense: Difficulty understanding the concepts of quantity, magnitude, and numerical relationships.
- Arithmetic: Difficulty with basic arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
- Mathematical Reasoning: Difficulty with problem-solving and applying mathematical concepts in real-world situations.
Our specialised teachers break it down for our pupils. Using audioblocks and place value cards as shown in our blog on “How do place value cards develop pupils’ Mathematics?”
- Visual Aids: Using visual representations like number lines, manipulatives, and charts to illustrate mathematical concepts.
- Alternative Strategies: Encouraging alternative problem-solving approaches to accommodate individual learning styles.
- Individualised attention: Providing tailored support to address specific mathematical challenges.
Dysgraphia is a learning difficulty that affects handwriting and fine motor skills necessary for written expression.
Causes: Dysgraphia can result from various factors, including neurological differences, motor skill development issues, and problems with spatial perception.
- Handwriting: Illegible or inconsistent handwriting that can be slow and laborious. e.g. writing badly and not within spaces given on sheets.
- Organisational Difficulties: Struggles with organising thoughts on paper and maintaining proper spacing.
- Fine Motor Coordination: Difficulty with tasks like using scissors, tying shoelaces, and buttoning.
- Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists can work on fine motor skills, grip strength, and handwriting techniques.
- Assistive Technology: Tools like voice-to-text software and keyboarding programs can help bypass handwriting difficulties.
- Structured Writing Programs: Implementing structured writing programs with step-by-step guidance.
Our specialised teachers provide an environment for pupils to have a structured writing program. Therefore, allowing pupils to learn how to space out their writing in their work books and learn how to cut and paste correctly.
Our occupational therapists have a inividualised plan for each pupil. They help pupils develop better control over their movements through engaging activities and exercises, improving coordination and physical abilities.
At Japari School, we understand that every child is unique, and their journey towards growth and development is equally individual. Our comprehensive occupational therapy program aims to foster a positive and nurturing environment where pupils can flourish, gain confidence, and achieve their full potential. By drawing on our skilled therapists’ expertise and best practices, we are committed to providing exceptional care and support to each pupil on their path to success.
Therefore, providing a better environment for our pupils to thrive in.
Speech and Auditory Difficulties
Definition: Speech and auditory difficulties encompass a range of conditions affecting speech and language development, as well as auditory processing.
Causes: These difficulties can have various causes, including hearing impairments, neurological conditions, and developmental factors.
- Articulation: Difficulty pronouncing sounds and forming words correctly.
- Language Difficulties: Challenges in understanding and using language effectively.
- Auditory Processing Difficulties: Difficulty processing and interpreting auditory information.
- Speech Therapy: Speech-language pathologists provide targeted interventions to improve speech and language skills.
- Auditory Training: Exercises and therapies to enhance auditory processing abilities.
- Assistive Devices: Hearing aids and other assistive listening devices for hearing-impaired individuals.
At Japari School, we are dedicated to empowering our pupils with effective communication skills, promoting self-confidence, and fostering academic and social success. Our speech therapy services are designed to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of our pupils. Therefore, helping them thrive both inside and outside the classroom.
These learning difficulties are diverse and multifaceted. But, with proper identification and intervention, individuals can overcome many of the challenges they present. Schools like Japari School play a crucial role in addressing these difficulties by providing tailored support, accommodations, and a nurturing learning environment, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed and thrive academically and personally.
Barrier 2: Lack of Self-Esteem and Confidence
Students who struggle academically often experience a decline in self-esteem and confidence. This emotional barrier can deter them from actively participating in class and engaging with the learning process.
Japari School’s Approach: Holistic Support
Japari School recognises the importance of building students’ self-esteem and confidence. Our school employs experienced counselors and psychologists who provide emotional support and counseling to students.
Regular group sessions and one-on-one meetings help students develop a positive self-image and the belief that they can succeed academically.
Barrier 3: Limited Access to Resources
Inequitable access to educational resources can be a significant barrier to learning. Some pupils may not have the necessary materials, technology, or access to extracurricular activities that enrich the learning experience. After all, this is especially true for pupils in a mainstream setting who may need additional help. Unfortunately what happens is that pupils start to fall behind on their work and end up not doing well academically or socially.
Japari School’s Approach: Resourceful Learning Environment
Japari School goes above and beyond to ensure that pupils have access to essential resources. The school provides textbooks, learning aids, and technology tools to support the learning process. Additionally, Japari School collaborates with local organisations to offer extracurricular activities, field trips, and workshops, leveling the playing field for all pupils.
Pupils are given the resources they need to succeed academically, emotionally and socially. because of this, our specialised teachers and learning programs allow our pupils to grow and succeed to a point where they are accepted back into a mainstream setting.
Barrier 4: Bullying and Peer Pressure
Bullying and peer pressure can create a hostile learning environment, therefore, making it challenging for pupils to concentrate on their studies and engage with the curriculum.
Japari School’s Approach: Safe and Supportive Community
Japari School fosters a culture of respect and inclusivity. Through workshops, awareness campaigns, and open dialogues, the school addresses issues related to bullying and peer pressure. Pupils are encouraged to report any incidents, and staff members are trained to intervene promptly and effectively to ensure a safe and supportive community for all.
Barrier 5: Lack of Individualised Attention
In many mainstream schools, large class sizes can make it difficult for teachers to provide individualised attention to pupils. Because of this, the lack of personalised support can hinder a pupil’s ability to overcome learning barriers.
Japari School’s Approach: Small Class Sizes and Specialised Teachers
Japari School maintains small class sizes to ensure that each student receives the attention they need. Moreover, the school employs specialised teachers who are trained to work with students with learning difficulties. These teachers are equipped with the knowledge and patience to adapt teaching methods to individual needs and learning styles.
Japari School’s unique approach to addressing barriers to learning demonstrates a commitment to enhancing education for everyone. By tailoring learning plans, providing emotional support, ensuring equitable access to resources, creating a safe community, and offering individualised attention, Japari School empowers its pupils to overcome obstacles and thrive academically.
Through our dedication to helping pupils with learning difficulties, Japari School not only improves the academic outcomes of its pupils, but also prepares them for successful integration into mainstream educational settings.
By breaking down these barriers to learning, as a result, Japari School exemplifies the transformative power of inclusive and personalised education.
- Bhandari, S. 2022. https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/dysgraphia-facts.
- Ansari, D. 2023. https://www.understood.org/en/articles/what-is-dyscalculia.
- Cleveland clinical medical professional. 2023.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24938-auditory-processing-disorder#:~:text=People%20with%20APD%20have%20difficulty,with%20APD%20manage%20hearing%20issues.
- Caroll school. 2023. https://www.carrollschool.org/uploaded/documents/RAVE-O-Information.pdf
- Mayo clinic staff. 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dyslexia/symptoms-causes/syc-20353552
- Johnstone, S. 2022. https://japari.co.za/how-do-place-value-cards-develop-pupils-mathematics/
- Gus. 2022. https://japari.co.za/a-school-for-children-with-learning-difficulties-what-parents-should-know/
- Johnstone, S. https://japari.co.za/understanding-your-childs-learning-style-a-guide-for-parents/