Towards just pre-primary education in rural Namibia

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

University of Oulu, hall L2; Zoom link:

Topic of the dissertation

Towards just pre-primary education in rural Namibia

Doctoral candidate

Master of Education Marika Matengu

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Education, diversity, globalization and ethics

Subject of study



Professor Corinne Meier, University of South Africa (UNISA)


Professor Emerita Riitta-Liisa Korkeamäki, University of Oulu

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Towards just pre-primary education in rural Namibia

This study examines pre-primary education in socioculturally diverse rural African contexts from the perspective of justice. The aim is to study what kind of pre-primary education would be meaningful especially in educationally marginalized rural Namibian contexts. The researcher asks what kinds of characteristics constitute meaningful pre-primary education in marginalized contexts? This study approaches the multilayered phenomenon of educational marginalization from a systemic point of view, utilizing sociocultural theories and a qualitative case study to explore preprimary learners’ educational challenges and opportunities.

Interviews and group discussions included policy actors, teachers, and parents. In addition, data collection in three educationally marginalized communities included group discussions, photographs, video recordings, field notes, and documents.

The findings exemplify educational marginalization as a multilayered, socially and culturally constructed and subjectively experienced phenomenon. The findings open three perspectives on meaningful pre-primary education in marginalized contexts.

First, the study emphasizes the familiarity, acknowledgement and inclusion of sociocultural conditions as the basis for educational policy planning and implementation. Second, the study emphasizes the significance of parents’ participation in the development of just pre-primary education models and practices. Parents consider education that prepares children for the modern world and to transition flexibly between traditional communities and modern society, meaningful because of their school and life experiences. The third perspective emphasizes that the realization of meaningful and just preprimary education requires political, institutional, and individual purpose and will.

The model this study presents to enhance this process may be helpful for those that want to pursue the goal of quality pre-primary education in marginalized contexts.
Last updated: 1.3.2023