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Gender and Behaviour

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Vulnerable children speak out: voices from one rural school in Swaziland

Ncamsile Daphne Motsa, Pholoho Justice Morojele

Abstract


This paper explores the experiences of six grade six vulnerable children (aged between 11 -15 years) in one rural school, in Swaziland. Guided by Multiple Worlds theory, the paper elicited narratives of spaces and places depicting these children’s schooling experiences. The study adopted a qualitative narrative approach as its methodology, and utilised semi-structured individual and focus group interviews and participatory photovoice technique, as its methods of data generation. The findings indicate that vulnerable children faced challenges of stigmatization and discrimination in their communities and schooling contexts. Vulnerable children had propensity to feature in cases of school reprimand due to obstacles they faced which prevented them from completing some school tasks or complying with certain school requirements. The study recommends some strategies by which the Swaziland Ministry of Education and Training, the community, and the school can make collaborative and coordinated efforts aimed at enhancing vulnerable children’s quality of schooling experiences.

Keywords: Children; Schooling; Rural; Vulnerability; Education; Swaziland




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