Fighting Stigma: Remedial vs Supplemental Instruction

Academic support, students at risk, remedial, supplemental instruction, intervention, stigma


March 11, 2023


Remedial classes targeting at-risk students in the pre-college preparatory programmes in Oman appear to be doing a disservice to the very students the programme intends to support. The ‘culprit’ behind this situation remained a matter of guesswork until this study was initiated. This two-stage study aimed at (a) investigating the reasons behind the lack of motivation of those who were referred to remedial classes and (b) trialling and assessing a non-remedial academic support intervention. A mixed methods approach was used during the two stages to triangulate all stakeholders’ perceptions qualitatively and to corroborate the qualitative findings with statistical data from questionnaires targeting tutors and tutees. The remedial intervention was found to suffer from serious issues related to labelling. Unlike the remedial programme, the non-remedial, non-segregationist intervention, with its two-thronged focus on content and attitude, was found to be a better fit for the pre-college students.