International Journal of
Educational Administration and Policy Studies

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Educ. Admin. Pol. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6656
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEAPS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 215

Full Length Research Paper

The right to basic education for all: Addressing the educational needs and barriers of immigrant learners in South Africa

Nylon Marishane
Department of Curriculum Studies and Education Management, University of Venda, South Africa.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 February 2013
  •  Published: 15 October 2013


The South African Constitution guarantees the right to basic education for all learners, including children of immigrants from across the country’s borders. In view of this constitutional imperative, the Department of Basic Education is mandated to provide quality education to all learners, irrespective of their socio-economic and other backgrounds. The delivery of such education requires a child-friendly school environment where the safety of vulnerable learners and their right to quality education are assured. Enablers for this type of environment include relevant legislative framework and policies that seek to address the educational needs of learners. School leadership is responsible for the implementation of these policies and ensuring compliance with legislation. Given the importance of a child-friendly school to quality education delivery, a qualitative research was conducted in Limpopo Province to determine the extent to which schools address educational needs and barriers of immigrant learners. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with three principals of selected schools in the Vhembe District of the province. The study points out challenges that immigrant learners experience and how school principals address them to ensure learner’s right to basic quality education and comes out with recommendations for improvement in this area.


Key words: Quality education, immigrant learners, child-friendly school, the right to education, educational barriers.