SCHOOL teachers, parents and guardians have been challenged to take pupils’ learning sessions out of the conventional classroom to aid children with learning difficulties.
By SINDISO DUBE
Learning difficulties are neurologically-based problems that can interfere with basic learning skills such as reading, writing or mathematics. They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organisation, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short-term memory and concentration.
Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, educationist and business consultant, Themba Nyoni, who is spearheading a learning series titled “Get out of the classroom” through Baobab Educational Assessment Centre, said teachers should come up with innovative ways outside the classroom and textbook to help pupils, particularly those with learning difficulties, to grasp school concepts.
“Learning should not start and end in the classroom, ‘Get out of the classroom’ helps teachers to be creative and use everyday issues to teach kids and not rely on textbooks. “It has helped many to understand the different abilities in children, awareness of learning difficulties and the use of technology in learning and teaching,” Nyoni said.
“There is an important use of everyday things such as the use of uxakuxaku also known as African chewing gum or Goron Tula and also sugarcane in teaching fractions, number lines, additions and subtractions.
“Shopping with kids helps to teach various reading and maths concepts, cooking and baking with kids at home helps counting the number of cups and measurement.”
Nyoni, who has held one session with 30 teachers, said he has received “positive feedback from the first group of teachers that he worked with.
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“It’s an exciting and innovative way of engaging with their students, hence they are demanding more of the sessions”.
Besides the get out-of-the-classroom sessions Baobab Educational Assessment Centre offers ICT tools such as C-pen readers and dragon dictators.
The C-pen reader is a scanning pen that displays a word definition and reads text aloud to support dyslexic children and adults with reading difficulties, while dragon dictation is a tool that converts speech to texts and is compatible with Windows and Word suites and a virtual laboratory to help pupils with learning difficulties.
Baobab Educational Assessment Centre is a firm for learners with learning difficulties. It bring awareness to the community on what learning difficulties are, it provides a holistic assessment and remediation programmes and it’s a resource centre for parents and teachers of learning difficulties.