The ability to access education in South Africa is perceived as a norm but for many undocumented young people, it has been a struggle. This has been highlighted to the Trevor Noah Foundation through our partnership with New Nation School. For learners who have found themselves without schooling options, New Nation School is a safe haven for learners who are undocumented as they allowed them to get an education despite their circumstances, which are not the fault of the learners. The shortcomings, however, for undocumented youth who find themselves in a school environment is in matric and when they need to sit for the exam. Even further, issues persist when they have to access post-matric opportunities. Learners who have worked hard to get to matric often find themselves unable to write their exams, unable to apply for tertiary and also unable to secure employment.
However, in December 2019, the High court ruled that it is illegal for schools to turn away learners who are undocumented. This is a great breakthrough for young people in South Africa, especially the learners. This is what a learner had to say-
“… a lot of kids want to learn but the only thing stopping them is either papers or they don’t have money, so I also think that not having documents should stop learner from going to school and achieving their dreams.”
The court ruling will give way for more conversations to give more young people an equitable future because, the lives of the undocumented matter.
For more reading on this topic, see here: https://mg.co.za/article/2019-12-13-00-high-court-forbids-expulsion-of-undocumented-children/.