Disadvantaged children : a case study of the vurnerable state of children and how it affects schooling in South Africa.
Mvuna, Thamsanqa Norman.
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Education is one of the fundamental rights of children. Parents have the perennial responsibility to see to it that education, as a basic right for children, is met. However, experience and studies show that most children‘s schooling is under threat. Various factors such as family background, the dangerous neighbourhood and communities from which learners come are central in the disturbance of children‘s schooling. These contextual factors correlate with one another and sometimes result in children forfeiting schooling opportunities. Bronfenbrenner‘s (1989) ecosystem theory, among other perspectives, facilitates our understanding of the fact that a learner does not exist in isolation, but in interdependence with a number of other systems in their environment. This is because the functioning of any learner is dependent on the interaction between the various systems within the contexts they find themselves. If the child‘s immediate environmental system, the family, for instance, is faced with hardships, the child‘s development is most likely to be hampered. Young‘s (1990) theory of oppression maintains that the children‘s immediate environmental systems are said to be oppressed by the situations that are beyond their control. This study examines the vulnerable state of children and explores ways in which these vulnerabilities affect their schooling. The strategies employed to gather data involve the adoption of the research methods that are arts-based and are combined with different types of interviewing techniques.