The influx of immigrants into countries around the world is rising steadily (Palmary,
2009). Reviewed literature asserts that the most vulnerable immigrants are
accompanied and unaccompanied children (Tshilenge, 2013). Although most
countries grant these learners the right to basic education, South African public
schools allow only those with study permits to be accepted (Spreen & Vally, 2012).
Obtaining study permits is a challenge that limits their access to quality education.
The study examined how public schools in the Ekurhuleni East region of Gauteng in
South Africa protect the right to basic education of immigrant learners. Through
qualitative research, factors that affect access to quality education were examined.
These included admission into public schools, teaching and learning in the
classroom, social and cultural integration, and safety and security school. The
research most schools did not review their language policies to accommodate the
needs of immigrant learners. Violence and intimidation are still rife in public schools,
creating an environment that is not conducive for learning. As a result, some of these
learners have adopted the culture and traditions of the dominant group in order to
feel accepted. The study concluded that although there is a commitment by the
public school system to protect the right to basic educations of all learners,
immigrant learners are still facing challenges that limit their access to quality