Exploring the understanding of enabling environment for Learners with Special Educational Needs in rural primary schools in Lesotho






Enabling learning environment, Inclusive Education, Learners with Special Educational Needs, Rural schools


This study focused on the understanding of enhancing Learners with Special Educational Needs in rural primary schools in Lesotho. It employed the qualitative case study within an interpretative research paradigm. Data were collected through focus group discussions and one-to-one interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Thirteen participants were purposively selected from two rural primary schools (School A and School B). School A consisted of seven participants. School B comprised six participants and two from the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in the Special Education Unit (SEU), all in all, fifteen participants contributed to this study. The participants were chosen as participants with three years or more in teaching LSEN and specialists in Special Education. The participants comprised two males and thirteen females aged between 30 and 62. The findings suggested that participants understood the enabling environment for LSENs in rural primary schools in Lesotho. These could be explained by a safe, comfortable, healthy, inclusive setting for playing activities, developing learners’ self-confidence, self-esteem, quality education, user-friendly, barrier-free, supportive, and conducive environments where quality education is provided to all learners, regardless of their differences Therefore, the study helps in identifying the challenges that learners with SEN in rural areas face and how these challenges can be addressed.


Bateman, B.D. (2017). Individual education programs for children with disabilities. In Kauffman, J.M., Hallanham, D.P. & Pullen, P.C. (Eds.). Hand book of special education. Englewood cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall.

Blaikie, N. (2000). Designing social research: The logic of anticipation: John Wiley & Sons.

Bolden, (2014), Ubuntu. University of Exeter Business School, UK. In David, C., & Mary, B.M. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Action Research, London: Sage Publication.

Chidindi, J. (2012). Quality of teaching and learning in resource quandary. The case of a University of Zimbabwe. Master's thesis. Faculty of Education, University of Oslo, Norway.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education (7th Ed). London: Routledge.

Cousin, G. (2005). “Case study research”, Journal of geography in higher education, 29(3), 421-427.

Creswell, J.W. (2014). Research design: A qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches (4th Ed.). Thousand Oaks. CA: Sage Publications.

De Leeuw, R., Boer, A., & Minnaert, A. (2017August). Voices and Preferred Solutions of Socially Excluded Students in Primary Schools. In ECER 2017, European Conference on Educational Research.

De Vos, A.S., Strydom, H., Fouche, C.B. & Delport, C.S.L. (2018). Research at grass roots: For the social sciences and human services professions (14th Ed). Hatfield: Pretoria.

Department of Education (2001). Education White Paper 6. Special needs education: Building an inclusive education and training system. Pretoria, South Africa.

Farooq, M.S. (2012). “Problems faced by students with special needs in ordinary Pakistan schools. University of the Punjab, Pakistan”, Journal of Quality of Quality and Technology Management, III (1), 13-27.

Gabdrakhmanova, R.G., & Guseva, T.S. (2016). “Conditions of social-pedagogical maintenance of bilingual children in educational institutions”, International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 11(14), 6373-6380.

Gade, C.B.N., 2012. “What is Ubuntu? Different interpretations among South Africans of African descent” South African Journal of philosophy, 31 (3): 484 – 503.

Gavalda,J.M. & Qinyi,T. (2012). Improving the process of inclusive education in children with ASD in mainstream schools. Social Behavioural Science, 46:4072 – 4076.

Kamper, G.D. (2008). “A profile of effective leadership in some South African high-poverty schools”, South African Journal of Education, 28(1), 1-18.

Kauffman, J.M. Anastasiou, D., Badar, J., Jason C., & Andrew L.W. (2016). Inclusive Education Moving Forward. In Bakken, J.P. & Obiakor F.E. (Eds). General and Special Education Inclusion in an Age of change: Roles of Professionals involved, 32(1), 153-178.

Khanare, F. P. & de Lange, N. (2017). “We are never invited’: School children using collage to envision care and support in rural schools”, South African Journal of Education, 37 (1), 1-11.

Khanare, F.P. (2012). “School Children affected by HIV in rural South Africa: Schools as environments that enable or limit coping”, African Journal of Aids Research, 11(3), 251-259.

Khoaeane,T.J. (2012). Challenges facing teachers with regard to the implementation of inclusive education in the Maseru District of Lesotho. Unpublished Master’s dissertation. Bloemfontein Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Landsberg, E., Krüger, D., & Swart, E. (2011). Addressing Barriers to Learning: A South African Perspective: Van Schaik.

Lebona, T. G. (2013). The implementation of inclusive education in primary schools in the Lejweleputswa Education District. Unpublished Masters’ Thesis, Central University of Technology. Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Lesotho Government Gazette Extraordinary, Education Act. (2010). Published by the Authority of His Majesty the King

Machakaire, M. (2017). Disabled people are not a charity case. Sunday Express: 25, 7. June.

Maphoke, B.M. (2017). The role of School Management teams and parents in learner achievement. Pretoria. University of Pretoria.

Maree, K. (2017). First steps in research. (2nd Ed). Van Schaik Publishers: Pretoria.

Mateusi, C., Khoaeane, J., & Naong, M. (2014). “Challenges of inclusive education: Lesotho case study”, International Journal of Educational Sciences, 6(2), 263-273.

Matlosa, L. & Matobo, T. (2007). “The education system in Lesotho: Social inclusion and exclusion of visually impaired and hearing-impaired persons in the institutions of higher learning”, Review of Southern African Studies, 5(2), 191-211.

Mohlouoa, M.M.N. (2014). Factors influencing the dropout rate in primary schools in the Teyateyaneng region, Lesotho. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.

Mosia, P.A. (2014). Threats to inclusive education in Lesotho: An overview of Policy and implementation challenges. Africa Education Review, 11(3): 292 – 310.

Mosia, P.A. (2017). “Access to higher education for students with disabilities in Lesotho”. African Journal of Disability, 6 (1): 230-303.

Nowell, L.S., Norris, J.M., White, D.E, & Moules, N.J. (2017). Thematic analysis: Striving to meet the trustworthiness criteria. International journal of qualitative methods, 16 (1), 1609406917733847.

Osher D. & Kendziora, K. (2010). Building Conditions for learning and Healthy Adolescent Development; Strategic approaches. In B. Doll, W. Pfohl & J. Yoon (eds). Handbook of Youth Prevention Science. New York: Rutledge.

Polat, F. (2011). “Inclusion in education: A step towards social justice”, International Journal of Educational Development, 31(1), 50-58.

Salie, M., Moletsane, M. & Mukuna, K, (2020). Case-study of isiXhosa-speaking Foundation Phase learners who experience barriers to learning in an English Medium disadvantaged Western Cape school. South African Journal of Education. 40 (2) 1-9.

Seotsanyane, M. & Matheolane R. (2010). Lesotho education systems: Prospects and problems. In Wolhuter, C.C. & Herman, H.D. (Eds). Educational reform in Southern Africa: Prospects for the new millennium. Potchefstroom: Wolhuter. South Africa.

Thamane,M., (2014). Editorial: Schools as enabling environments. South African Journal of Education: 34(4).DOI.10.15700/201412052055.

Tshifura, A.R. (2012). Managing inclusive education in primary schools of the Tshinane Circuit in Limpopo Province. Unpublished Masters’ dissertation. Pretoria: University of South Africa.

UNESCO, (2015). Monitoring Report –Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and challenges Provides a complete assessment of progress since 2000 toward the target for reaching the Dakar Framework’s goals.

UNICEF, (2015). Annual Report 2015. Highlights results achieved for and with children and young people across the full continuum of humanitarian action and development work.



How to Cite

LEBONA, M. (2023). Exploring the understanding of enabling environment for Learners with Special Educational Needs in rural primary schools in Lesotho. International Journal of Studies in Psychology, 3(1), 22-27. https://doi.org/10.38140/ijspsy.v3i1.900