Equity not equality: the undocumented migrant child’s opportunity to access education in South Africa

Educational Review 1 (1):1-23 (2023)
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Access to education for undocumented migrant children in South Africa remains a significant challenge. While the difficulties related to their inability to access education within the country have been highlighted elsewhere, there remains a lack of clarity on an approach to how this basic human right can be achieved. In this conceptual paper, we draw on the distinction between equality and equity, and describe the various ways in which education has been conceptualised in the South African Constitution – which in part contributes to the existing confusion on education for various groups, including undocumented migrant children. In this paper, we critically reflects on the need to develop an integrated approach for creating a platform that allows all undocumented migrant children access to education in South Africa. We argue that an integrated approach – which entails ways through which access to education can be delivered through the lens of equity – will enhance the right to education for undocumented migrant children in South Africa. We conclude that the South African government must urgently consider this integrated approach to enable access to education for undocumented migrant children, so that they can achieve their full educational potential.

Author's Profile

Dominic Griffiths
University of Witwatersrand


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