A social psychological perspective on schooling for migrant children: A case within a public secondary school in South Africa

Journal of Education 1 (86):143-163 (2022)
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The conceptualisation of schooling is often based on “ideal children” in “ideal situations.” However, in determining the level of participation for children who are considered vulnerable in schooling, it is important to understand the lived experiences of these children. In this study, migrant children (particularly undocumented ones) in South Africa are the focus, and their lived experiences were considered through reflections from their parents and teachers. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, and analysed using a constant comparative method of qualitative analysis within a grounded theory approach. The study found that challenges affecting migrant children’s schooling include the lack of documentation, language barriers, issues of transition and adaptation (discrimination), and the inability to access further education. Strategies were identified to address the challenges, including schools liaising with the Department of Home Affairs, implementing cultural diversity programmes within the school, and through deliberate inclusive programmes.

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