Religious minorities at school south of the Sahara

Yonah Hisbon Matemba, Richardson Addai-Mununkum, Maitumeleng Nthontho, Godfrey Museka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we draw on perspectives from five countries south of the Sahara (Malawi, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho) as ‘representative’ contexts to understand the situation, treatment and challenges encountered by religious minority learners and their experiences of school life. We explore how religion inherent in the discourse, and the socio-cultural imperatives imbricated by school culture, global forces, policy (or its absence), curriculum and classroom discourse have the potential to impact on school life of learners from diverse religious orientations. Insights from these five supra-national contexts provide an understanding of the (unenviable) experience of religious minorities in school contexts dominated by a hegemonic deflection of the majoritised normative religion such as Christianity, and by contrast the suppression of minority religious identities. We reveal the tokenistic nature of some school practices to make it appear like religious minority presence is recognised. Left with no choice, how religious minorities seek redress through the courts is explored. In the final section, we highlight the consequences of religiously minoritising learners at school.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBloomsbury Handbook Looking at Religion in Schools Globally
EditorsJoanne Pearce , James Fraser
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing plc
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Nov 2022


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