The problem of communication between educators, learners and parents in multicultural secondary schools in the Durban-south region of Kwazulu-Natal : some management solutions
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This study filled a void in the existing educational management literature and highlighted the communication problems that exist between the educators, learners, and parents in multicultural secondary schools, especially when the educator, learner and the parent belong to different cultural groups. The communication problems between educators, learners and parents pose a serious challenge to management as they impede the progress of teaching and learning in the classrooms. The thorny issue of language in education in South African schools has not been given much emphasis. Neither have educationists and policy makers given much attention to the problem of communication in multicultural schools. Opening schools to all cultures did not solve the communication problems, but created new ones. The main method used in this investigation was the literature study. Using the investigative methods associated with qualitative studies, the researcher attempted to investigate data collected from a number of sources. Research on co-operation in the multi-ethnic classroom revealed that pupils of different ethnic groups preferred to socialize in their own language groups. This study confirmed that culture and language influenced not only which peers pupils choose to play with, but also who they deliberately excluded from their games. In many schools, there are few systematic attempts to enhance pupils' cross-ethnic friendships and this may work to consolidate the evident 'own race and language preference' of a large portion of pupils. Thus there is a need for communication to enhance cross-cultural friendships. There is an increasing need for educators to encourage intercultural communication. Educators should use the language of instruction to learn about each others' culture and language so that there are mutual respect and tolerance. Teaching in multicultural classrooms demands a high level of expertise among educators. Culturally diverse learners may have prior learning experiences that predispose them to learn in ways that may not be compatible with some methods of instruction in common use in many classrooms. Therefore, educators need to adopt an inclusive and flexible approach to instruction, observing their pupil's responses and adjusting instructions to meet the needs of individuals and groups in the classroom. It is now becoming clear that even educators and school managers need guidance and assistance in coping with communication in the multicultural school. The more people of different cultures communicate with each other, the more they discover how similar they are. This study examined some of the communication problems present in multicultural schools, the possible causes of the problems and management solutions to some of the problems.