n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Onderwysvoorsiening aan kwesbare groepe in die samelewing

Volume 59 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



Provision of education to vulnerable groups in society Currently education is widely looked upon as a panacea for all societal ills and challenges, and the global community is feverishly pursuing the provision of education to all. This article is a position paper defending the thesis that in the crusade of education for all, and the theoretical superstructure directing the discourse about education for all, a set of vulnerable groups in society has become invisible. The aim of this article is to bring this set of vulnerable groups into the map of the public and academic discourse on education and to serve as prolegomena for the drafting of a research agenda for the provision of education to these groups. The article commences with an outline of the historical evolution of models of social stratification dominant in both the public discourse and analyses in the social sciences. The prototype was Marx’s model that laid down socio-economic status as the main dimension of social stratification. This dimension was later supplemented by two additional dimensions, with the result that the public and academic discourse about equality has come to be dominated by the so-called trinity of inequality: socio-economic status, gender and race or ethnicity. Through the cracks of this model have fallen a number of vulnerable groups, which have, therefore, disappeared from the public and academic discourse. Vulnerable groups in society can be defined as people who, because of a set of particular circumstances, do not have access to the same set of social support systems to which people typically have access. These systems include family structures (including structures of the extended family), systems of the immediate community in which these people live, governmental structures (such as access to social grants or protection offered by labour laws) and the various forms of capital identified by Bourdieu, namely physical or economic capital, cultural capital and social capital. The article enumerates and briefly discusses the following categories of vulnerable groups (without claiming this list to be exhaustive): refugees, dislodged people or illegal immigrants; the unemployed; street children; people dependent on social grants; parentless or guardianless children; the destitute; domestic workers; the poor; chronically ill people; people living from garbage; and car guards.

Die argument van hierdie artikel is dat terwyl daar wyd na onderwys opgesien word as instrument om mense te bemagtig en om die ideale samelewing te skep, kwesbare groepe buite sig van die openbare en akademiese onderwysdiskoers verdwyn het. Die doel van die artikel is om die konsep van kwesbare groepe prominent op die voorgrond van die navorsingsagenda te plaas, wat onderwysvoorsiening aan hierdie groepe sal prioritiseer. Die artikel gee ʼn oorsig van die historiese ontwikkeling van heersende sosiale stratifikasiemodelle en die afwesigheid van kwesbare groepe in hierdie skemas. Die begrip “kwesbare groepe” word verhelder en toepaslike voorbeelde van die stel kwesbare groepe in die samelewing word gelys. Die opkoms van die beskouing van onderwys as oplossing vir die totale samelewingsproblematiek word dan geskets en probleme met dié beskouing word geïdentifiseer. Die gevolgtrekking is dat onderwys die voor die hand liggende instrument is om kwesbare groepe te bemagtig. Die moontlikheidsvoorwaarde hiervoor is dat hierdie groepe en die unieke kontekstuele ekologie van elk van die groepe op die navorsingsagenda van die Sosiale Wetenskappe, veral die Sosiologie van die Opvoedkunde en die Vergelykende Opvoedkunde, geplaas moet word.

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