Early Education of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa


In the last decade there has been a significant escalation in the number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in various parts of the world, more particularly, in Sub- Saharan Africa. The author strongly asserts that early childhood education is the main vehicle to address the concerns of OVC in order for them to develop skills and human capital as future adults in order to improve the outcomes for governance and economic development in Africa. He argues on the basis of inclusion that a social justice framework is essential in taking the rights of OVC into consideration. Adopting a bio- ecological systems theoretical model the author presents research findings on the educational, psychological and social experiences of OVC to motivate the need for African governments to take on the responsibility of addressing the plight of OVC through early childhood development and education interventions if they are serious about economic sustainability and prosperity. Although the research discussed in this paper was conducted in South Africa the author believes that the findings could easily depict what happens in the rest of Africa. In concluding, the author considers the implications of the findings in relation to future policies and directions needed for crucial development in Africa. The findings have global value since OVC exist in all countries.


Africa, Bio-ecological Systems, Early Childhood Education, Development, Governance, Social Justice


Early Childhood Learning


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Jace Pillay
    • Professor & Research Chair, Educational Psychology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa Gauteng, South Africa
    • Currently I am a south African Research Chair in Education and Care in childhood. My research focus on orphans and vulnerable children, more specifically, about the educational, social and psychological support that could be provided for them in schools, homes and communities. I have published numerous articles in international journals and presented my research findings at prominent international conferences.