The predominant objective of any education systemis one of providing quality education for all learners in order to enable them to realise their full potential, thereby enabling them to contribute to and participate in society. During the last two decades international policy development has turned the focus on providing quality education for all learners within the mainstreamof education, thereby removing the stigma and stereotyping of learners with barriers to learning. South Africa has also accepted educational approaches that facilitate movement towards more inclusive forms of education. Intensive attempts are made to identify the barriers to learning and development and to provide all children and young people with equal access to quality education. The most important problem that has to be overcome in this process, is the training and empowerment of teachers to identify and effectively support learners who experience barriers to learning. This article gives an overview of the problems facing the educational front in South Africa in this regard and discusses three instruments that have been developed during the last eighteen months to empower teachers to meet the needs of all learners in their classrooms.
(South African Journal of Education: 2001 21(4): 344-348)