South Africa has 12. 3 million learners, 386,000 teachers and around 48,000 schools – including 390 special needs schools and 1,000 registered private schools. Of all the schools, are high schools (Grade 8 to 12) and the rest are primary schools (Grade 1 to 7). School life spans 13 years – or grades – although the first year of education, grade 0 or “reception year”, and the last three years, grade 10, 11 and grade 12 or “matric” are not compulsory. Many Primary schools offer grade 0, although this pre-school year may also be completed at Nursery school.

Recently, great advances have been made in the introduction of new technology to the formerly disadvantaged schools.

Organizations such as Khanya,[1] (Nguni for enlightenment) have worked to provide computer access in state schools. A recent national initiative has been the creation of “FOCUS” schools. These specialise in specific curriculum areas (Business & Commerce, Engineering, Arts & Culture) and are very similar to the UK specialist schools programme. For university entrance, a “Matriculation Endorsement” is required, although some universities do set their own additional academic requirements.

South Africa has a vibrant higher education sector, with more than a million students enrolled in the country’s universities and universities of technology. All the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government. Pre-colonial education Many African societies placed strong emphasis on traditional forms of education well before the arrival of Europeans. Adults in Khoisan- and Bantu-speaking societies, for example, had extensive responsibilities for transmitting cultural values and skills within kinship-based groups and sometimes within larger organizations, villages, or districts.

Education involved oral histories of the group, tales of heroism and treachery, and practice in the skills necessary for survival in a changing environment.

Get quality help now
Sweet V

Proficient in: Africa

4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Colonial education The earliest European schools in South Africa was established in the Cape Colony in the late seventeenth century by Dutch Reformed Church elders committed to biblical instruction, which was necessary for church confirmation. In rural areas, itinerant teachers (meesters ) taught basic literacy and math skills. British mission schools proliferated after 1799, when the first members of the London Missionary Society arrived in the Cape Colony.

Language soon became a sensitive issue in education. At least two dozen English-language schools operated in rural areas of the Cape Colony by 1827, but their presence rankled among devout Afrikaners, who considered the English language and curriculum irrelevant to rural life and Afrikaner values. Throughout the nineteenth century, Afrikaners resisted government policies aimed at the spread of the English language and British values, and many educated their children at home or in the churches.

After British colonial officials began encouraging families to emigrate from Britain to the Cape Colony in 1820, the Colonial Office screened applicants for immigration for background qualifications. They selected educated families, for the most part, to establish a British presence in the Cape Colony, and after their arrival, these parents placed a high priority on education. Throughout this time, most religious schools in the eastern Cape accepted Xhosa children who applied for admission, and in Natal many other Nguni-speaking groups sent their children to mission schools after the mid-nineteenth century.

The government also financed teacher training classes for Africans as part of its pacification campaign throughout the nineteenth century. By 1877 some 60 percent of school-age children in Natal were enrolled in school, as were 49 percent in the Cape Colony. In the Afrikaner republics, however, enrollments remained low—only 12 percent in the Orange Free State and 8 percent in the Transvaal—primarily the result of Afrikaner resistance to British education.

Enrollments in these republics increased toward the end of the century, after the government agreed to the use of Afrikaans in the schools and to allow Afrikaner parents greater control over primary and secondary education. By the late nineteenth century, three types of schools were receiving government assistance—ward schools, or small rural schools generally employing one teacher; district schools, providing primary-level education to several towns in an area; and a few secondary schools in larger cities.

But during the last decades of that century, all four provinces virtually abolished African enrollment in government schools. African children attended mission schools, for the most part, and were taught by clergy or by lay teachers, sometimes with government assistance[. Higher education was generally reserved for those who could travel to Europe, but in 1829 the government established the multiracial South African College, which later became the University of Cape Town. Religious seminaries accepted a few African applicants as early as 1841.

In 1852 the independent state of Transvaal and in 1854 the Orange Free State established their own institutions of higher learning in Dutch. The government established Grey College—later the University of the Orange Free State—in Bloemfontein in 1855 and placed it under the supervision of the Dutch Reformed Church. The Grey Institute was established in Port Elizabeth in 1856; Graaff-Reinet College was founded in 1860. The Christian College was founded at Potchefstroom in 1869 and was later incorporated into the University of South Africa and renamed Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education Independence to Apartheid

Following the British victory in the South African War, the new representative of the Crown, Sir Alfred Milner, brought thousands of teachers from Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to instill the English language and British cultural values, especially in the two former Afrikaner republics. To counter the British influence, a group of Afrikaner churches proposed an education program, Christian National Education, to serve as the core of the school curriculum. The government initially refused to fund schools adopting this program, but Jan C.

Smuts, the Transvaal leader who later became prime minister, was strongly committed to reconciliation between Afrikaners and English speakers, and he favored local control over many aspects of education. Provincial autonomy in education was strengthened in the early twentieth century, and all four provincial governments used government funds primarily to educate whites. [ The National Party (NP) was able to capitalize on the fear of racial integration in the schools to build its support.

The NP’s narrow election victory in 1948 gave Afrikaans new standing in the schools, and after that, all high-school graduates were required to be proficient in both Afrikaans and English. The NP government also reintroduced Christian National Education as the guiding philosophy of education. [2] Education under ApartheidStructure of South Africa’s Educational System Academic Year: January to December Primary School: Reception to grade 6 Secondary School: Junior Secondary,Grades 7-9; Further Education and Training (10-12) Higher Education Certificates and Diplomas (generally 1-2 years of study)

Bachelors’ Degrees (from 3 years to 6 years of study, depending on course) Honor’s Degrees (1 further year of undergraduate study, requiring a thesis) Master’s Degree (2 years of post-graduate study) Doctorate (variable in duration with a minimum of 2 years, following a Master’s) Language of Instruction South Africa has 11 official languages, but schools and universities generally use either English or Afrikaans as the language of instruction. Students who have attended an English-medium high school or university and have performed well academically can reliably be granted a waiver from the TOEFL.

Secondary Education Schooling is compulsory through grade 9, but under the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) students may opt at the successful completion of grade 9 to obtain their General Education and Training Certificate and to pursue employment or technical training at Further Education and Training (FET) institutions. Those continuing into senior secondary school for grades 10-12 sit the nationally set and moderated matriculation examinations, or an approved alternative such as the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) test series, to obtain the National Senior Certificate (NSC) at the end of grade 12.

From grade 10, senior secondary students must take 7 subjects, 4 of which must be English, a second South African language, Life Orientation, and either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy. The remaining 3 courses are selected from 27 options, which range from Accounting, Art (which includes theory and history), Business Economics and Computer Technology, to Tourism and Woodworking. Courses in science (Physical or Life Science) are optional, as are the social sciences (History, Economics and Geography).

Students wishing to pursue university studies, however, are often constrained in their choices at tertiary level unless they take the more rigorous Mathematics (rather than Mathematical Literacy), and Physical or Life Science. The notion of a Liberal Arts and Sciences education is very foreign to most South African students, and thus they often focus early on in their high school years on a particular set of subjects. With a total population of approximately 49 million people, South Africa has 6000 secondary schools. In 2009, 580 577 candidates wrote their matric final exams.

Of these, 61% passed to obtain the National Senior Certificate. Of these, just over half achieved a ‘bachelor’s pass’ making them eligible to apply for university study in South Africa. A bachelor’s pass requires, at a minimum, a rating of 4 (or a C) in four subjects from a designated list of subjects. The Outcomes based Education (OBE) curriculum in place since the mid-2000’s aims to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to success at tertiary level. Due to the legacy of apartheid and resource constraints, however, many public schools are severely challenged to meet the bars set for introducing ‘OBE’.

This can be seen in the fact that among independent or private schools, students achieved a 97% pass rate, with over 75% of students achieving a bachelor’s pass. Reports show that the average achieved for most examinations in most subjects across South Africa is now between 50% and 60%. Any mark over 70% is considered to be very good and a result over 80% is excellent and rare. The new grading scale using numbers instead of symbols appears below: US Grade A B+ B C D F F SA Grade* 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Based on SA Score of 80-100% 70-79% 60-69% 50-59% 40-49% 30-39% 20-29% Note the Higher Grade/Standard Grade distinction of earlier years has been dropped. Higher Education in South Africa South Africa’s higher education system consists of 23 publicly funded universities, consolidated since 1994 down from 36 separate institutions. Some of these are considered comprehensive and others are universities of technology (see www. studysa. co. za for a complete list). Both types of institutions offer Bachelor’s, Honors, Masters and Doctorate degrees, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate diplomas.

Several of South Africa’s comprehensive universities are internationally recognized for their research in areas such as astronomy, business, paleontology, and public policy in Africa, as well as the caliber of student produced. The Higher Education Act of 1997 stipulates that all higher education institutions come under the authority of the national government, while the FET colleges (listed at www. education. gov. za) report to the provincial governments. Together, these institutions enroll over a million students per year, many from neighboring African nations.

Students are admitted on a competitive basis, upon their admissions points score (APS) calculated from their matriculation examination marks. The required APS varies from course to course, and between universities. Students without the matriculation endorsement, or bachelor’s pass, from Umalusi (South Africa’s council for quality assurance) may enroll at universities of technology. Education Contacts in South Africa: Higher Education of South Africa: http://www. hesa. ac. za/ Council on Higher Education: www. che. ac. za South African Qualifications Authority: www. aqa. org. za Umalusi: www. umalusi. org. za National Qualifications Framework: www. nqf. org. za The Matriculation Board: www. sauvca. org. za/mb South African Department of Education: www. education. gov. za Minister or Basic Education: Mrs Angie Motshekga Tel: 27 12 (012) 357 3000 Minister of Higher Education and Training: Dr Blade Nzimande (012) 357 3000 The International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA): www. studysa. co. za EducationUSA South Africa: http://southafrica. usembassy. gov or www. EducationUSA. info South Africans in the United States

According to the 2009 Open Doors, there were 1703 South African students enrolled for study in the US in the 2008/09 academic year, 57 % of which were undergraduates. This overall figure represents an increase of 5. 1 percent from the previous year. The Opportunity Funds Program began in South Africa in 2008, enabling three students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds to pursue studies in the US. Testing in South Africa The SAT is offered six times a year in nine locations around the country, and the TOEFL, GRE and GMAT are offered in Cape Town and Johannesburg twice weekly.

Education USA in South Africa The Education USA advising centers in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are based in the Public Affairs Sections of the respective US Consulates. Together, the advisors serve approximately 24,000 students a year by equipping them to assess themselves for US study, to select institutions for application, to prepare sound applications, and to receive pre-departure orientation, at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. They also provide assistance to visiting US university representatives conducting outreach among South African students. The Bantu Education Act

The Bantu Education Act (No. 47) of 1953 widened the gaps in educational opportunities for different racial groups. Two of the architects of Bantu education, Dr. W. M. Eiselen and Dr. Hendrik F. Verwoerd, had studied in Germany and had adopted many elements of National Socialist (Nazi) philosophy. The concept of racial “purity,” in particular, provided a rationalization for keeping black education inferior. Verwoerd, then minister of native affairs, said black Africans “should be educated for their opportunities in life,” and that there was no place for them “above the level of certain forms of labour. The government also tightened its control over religious high schools by eliminating almost all financial aid, forcing many churches to sell their schools to the government or close them entirely. Christian National Education supported the NP program of apartheid by calling on educators to reinforce cultural diversity and to rely on “mother-tongue” instruction in the first years of primary school. This philosophy also espoused the idea that a person’s social responsibilities and political opportunities are defined, in large part, by that person’s ethnic identity.

The government also gave strong management control to the school boards, who were elected by the parents in each district. Official attitudes toward African education were paternalistic, based on trusteeship and segregation. Black education was not supposed to drain government resources away from white education. The number of schools for blacks increased during the 1960s, but their curriculum was designed to prepare children for menial jobs. Per-capita government spending on black education slipped to one-tenth of spending on whites in the 1970s.

Black schools had inferior facilities, teachers, and textbooks. Soweto and Its Aftermath Tensions over language in education erupted into violence on June 16, 1976, when students took to the streets in the Johannesburg township of Soweto. Their action was prompted by the decision of Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of the Bantu education system, to enforce a regulation requiring that one-half of all high-school classes must be taught in Afrikaans. A harsh police response resulted in the deaths of several children, some as young as eight or nine years old.

In the violence that followed, more than 575 people died, at least 134 of them under the age of eighteen. Youthful ANC supporters abandoned school in droves; some vowed to “make South Africa ungovernable” to protest against apartheid education. Others left the country for military training camps run by the ANC or other liberation armies, mostly in Angola, Tanzania, or Eastern Europe. “Liberation before education” became their battle cry. The schools suffered further damage as a result of the unrest of 1976. Vandals and arsonists damaged or destroyed many schools and school property.

Students who tried to attend school and their teachers were sometimes attacked, and administrators found it increasingly difficult to maintain normal school activities. Some teachers and administrators joined in the protests. The National Policy for General Affairs Act (No. 76) of 1984 provided some improvements in black education but maintained the overall separation called for by the Bantu education system. This act gave the minister of national education authority to determine general policy for syllabuses, examinations, and certification qualifications in all institutions of formal and informal education.

But responsibility for implementing these policies was divided among numerous government departments and offices, resulting in a bewildering array of educational authorities: For example, the Department of Education and Training was responsible for black education outside the homelands. Each of the three houses of parliament—for whites, coloureds, and Indians—had an education department for one racial group, and each of the ten homelands had its own education department. In addition, several other government departments managed specific aspects of education.

Education was compulsory for all racial groups, but at different ages, and the law was enforced differently. Whites were required to attend school between the ages of seven and sixteen. Black children were required to attend school from age seven until the equivalent of seventh grade or the age of sixteen, but this law was enforced only weakly, and not at all in areas where schools were unavailable. For Asians and coloured children, education was compulsory between the ages of seven and fifteen.

The discrepancies in education among racial groups were glaring. Teacher: pupil ratios in primary schools averaged 1:18 in white schools, 1:24 in Asian schools, 1:27 in coloured schools, and 1:39 in black schools. Moreover, whereas 96 percent of all teachers in white schools had teaching certificates, only 15 percent of teachers in black schools were certified. Secondary-school pass rates for black pupils in the nationwide, standardized high-school graduation exams were less than one-half the pass rate for whites.

As the government implemented the 1984 legislation, new violence flared up in response to the limited constitutional reforms that continued to exclude blacks. Finally, the government began to signal its awareness that apartheid could not endure. By 1986 President P. W. Botha (1984–89) had stated that the concept of apartheid was “outdated,” and behind-the-scenes negotiations had begun between government officials and imprisoned ANC leader Nelson Mandela.

The gap between government spending on education for different racial groups slowly began to narrow, and penalties for defying apartheid rules in education began to ease. Restructuring The apartheid regime created different universities for different race groups, often in close proximity and offering the same courses, but neglected the development of historically black institutions. In a country with scarce resources, with institutions of uneven capacity, there was an urgent need to cut down on costly duplication and improve quality across the sector.

After several years of investigation and consultation, the government announced plans to radically restructure higher education through mergers and incorporations that was completed by January 2005 and created 22 institutions out of an existing 36 universities and technikons. Out of the 36 institutions 22 were selected for mergers, four for major incorporations (or loss of facilities), one was being dismantled and its multi-sites slotted into other institutions, and there are 10 new university names.

In South Africa, education plays a huge role compared to other countries. [citation needed] The government usually spends 20% of their expenditure on education. Black Africans were perceived to have the role of laborers and servants. During the 1980s the young population was committed to destroying the education system due the apartheid. There were strikes and violence which firmly restricted its ability to function in an orderly manner. Even though the government spends 20% annually on education the apartheid theory still sticks around.

Among the South African population, only 14% of blacks have an education of high school or higher, whereas 40% of Indians and 65% of Whites have an education of high school or higher. Technology has become an increasingly important component, especially in the Western Cape and Gauteng. Khanya has led the way in bringing the formerly disadvantaged schools into the global classroom, sometimes with the support of the UK based, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. 3] In South Africa, you can find the concept of public and private school which vary according to character, size, quality of education, and financial advantages. With both public and private institutions, the education in South Africa is very promising. Most of the schools are supported by the state, but private schooling is also widely common. 2. 8% of the total school population is private equaling 340,000 students. Today the literacy rate is 86%. [citation needed] That education is an essential ingredient of prosperity is at once obvious and contentious.

Obvious because any person able to read this text knows what a difference it makes in their lives to have gone to school, to have learned to read, write and calculate. Contentious because when social scientists try to “prove” that education is a cause of economic growth it turns out to be quite difficult to decide which came first, the chicken or the egg. What is more, even the basic terms such as “what is education” and “what is prosperity” become vast and cloudy terrains for the technical experts like economists, sociologists, education specialists and policy analysts.

This article offers one way of arriving at a single overarching generalization about the relationship between education, defined as the classroom school system that has been the predominant way of organizing formal education throughout the 20th century, and economic growth, defined as the monetary aggregate GDP (gross domestic product) that is used widely by economists and the press to measure the economic performance of industrial societies. Over the following pages it is argued that the specific form of education system, characterized by universal compulsory classroom schooling, is an indispensable component of an industrial growth society.

This is a broader, more historically grounded hypothesis that aims to encompass the wide range of economic, social and political reasons for associating education with growth. It is a hypothesis that rests on clarifying the role of one specific way of organizing learning, universal mass compulsory classroom schooling and the preponderant kinds of knowledge that emerge from this process, with the creation of one particular form of prosperity, typically summarized by the metric of gross domestic product (GDP).

The hypothesis is that making investments in all the elements of a school system (teachers, buildings, text books, information technology, curriculum, supervision, testing, etc. ) and then forcing young people to attend them (i. e. give up the income they might otherwise earn) is a necessary but not sufficient condition for expanding the gross domestic product of an industrial society. To be clear, the massive systems of universal compulsory schooling pioneered in the 19th century and “perfected” as well as extended to post-secondary education in the 20th century do not encompass all human learning—far from it.

What people learn and know, the practices that are informed and inspired by experience and reflection, arise from all kinds of human activity. However the argument here is that the specific cognitive, behavioral and social knowledge, that is the basic result of a specific form of schooling introduced in the 19th century, played and continues to play a crucial role in spectacular feats of industrial development. Economic Growth There can be little doubt that the performance of industrial societies has been nothing short of amazing when it comes to generating monetary wealth.

As Angus Maddison (2001) shows in his publication: The World Economy—A Millennial Perspective, GDP per capita in industrial nations exploded from around 1,000 US$ in 1820 to over 21,000 US$ by the late 1990s. Figure 1 below, also from Maddison (2007), provides a detailed global breakdown for the period 1950 to 2003. The evidence is overwhelming. Where industry triumphed so did GDP growth. In Western Europe GDP per capita jumped from just over 4,500 US$ to almost 20,000 US$. In Japan the leap was even greater, from around 2,000 US$ in 1950 to over 20,000 US$ in 2003.

With the exception of China, where the recent growth spurt is impressive when seen from the perspective of such a low starting point, those parts of the world where the development of industrial society either stagnated or declined show much lower growth rates of GDP per capita. Figure 1: Growth of per Capita GDP: the World and Major Regions, 1950–2003. Level in 1990 Internationl PPP $ Source: This chart is based on data from: Angus Maddison, Chapter 7, Table 7-3, Contours of the World Economy, 1-2030 AD, Oxford University Press, 2007, forthcoming. www. ggdc. net/Maddison Cisco Public Education Growth

A similarly spectacular expansion of participation in education as measured by school enrolment rates can be seen over the same period. Historical estimates for the year 1900 put participation rates in primary education at under 40% of the corresponding age group in most parts of the world, except North America, northwestern Europe and Anglophone regions of the pacific, where the rate was 72% (Cohen and Bloom, 2005, p. 10). Now, more than a century later the “net enrollment rate”—which is a stricter definition of participation—shows that most of the world is above level of the “high education” regions at the dawn of the 20th century.

Figure 2 shows that by the early 21st century (2004) every part of the world had achieved, at a minimum, the level attained by the most industrialized countries at the start of the 20th century and most far exceeded the levels of a century earlier. Of course, as is underscored by the important efforts to realize the United Nations Millennium goals of Education for All, there is still a long way to go. The 2007 Report (UNESCO, 2006) indicates that worldwide, in 2004, 781 million adults (one in five) still do not have minimum literacy kills and that close to 77 million children of school age are not enrolled in school (Table 1). Table 1: Estimated Numbers of Children Out of School 1999–2004 (thousands) Source: UNESCO, Education for All, 2007, p. 28 Figure 2: Net Enrolment in Primary Education Worldwide 1999 to 2004 Sources: Education for All, UNESCO, 2007, p. 1. Cisco Public Looking at the degree of educational attainment in terms of the average number of years of schooling for the adult population—a measure that tells how many years of schooling have been accumulated—shows that in OECD countries the average stands at just under 12 years (Figure 3).

Worldwide progress is being made towards this level but as UNESCO reports there are still many parts of the world where the obstacles are very significant—including problems with enrolment rates, gender inequality, and school quality (UNESCO, 2006, p. 64). The Overall Argument As the previous two sub-sections indicate, there is strong evidence from the recent past that economic growth has been accompanied by growth in both spending and participation in schooling.

Economists, as reported in a brief overview in the next section, have examined this association quite carefully and come to the conclusion that, through a variety of different avenues and in a number of different ways, investment in school systems does have a strong economic pay-off. This is an important conclusion that is highly relevant to individual, corporate and government decisions regarding investment. For all spheres of decision making there is good evidence that the rate of return is high, even relative to other investment opportunities.

However, the two main components of this relationship—schooling and income growth—are both very specific, even narrow ways of looking at two broader questions: learning and well-being. Indeed neither GDP nor schooling emerged full-blown on to the stage of history. There were many experiments, many reactions and much reflection before today’s familiar indicators and institutions gained universal currency. It may seem like a long-forgotten historical story, but measures of national income like GDP are the result of protracted economic and intellectual processes.

In the same way that universal compulsory schooling did not always exist nor did it become a fixture of social life over night. GDP and schooling, each in its time, was a radical idea, perhaps more radical than any of the policy initiatives that are commonly debated today. Now, however, it is becoming clear that the way we think of learning and economic wealth are changing. There is little controversy over the observation that the many kinds of knowledge acquired through industrial era schooling are only part of what a person knows.

Equally accepted is the notion that industrial wealth as measured by GDP is only part of overall societal wealth. Such conclusions may seem obvious as attention shifts to concerns about quality of life, community caring, the environment and other often non-monetary aspects of people’s lives. But this recognition also underscores the historical specificity of these ways of looking at the world around us. And it also signals that the construction of basic ways of doing things, like schools for learning, and measuring things, like GDP for wealth, are time specific.

Figure 3: Educational attainment of the adult population: average number of years in the educational system for the OECD countries 2004. 1. Year of reference 2003. Countries are ranked ind ecending order of average number of years in the education system of 25-to-64 year-olds. Source: OECD, Education at a Glance, 2006, p. 28. 16 Cisco Public Neither schooling nor national income accounts were prescient constructs, built with a foreknowledge of how each would serve to facilitate the achievements (and failures) of industrial societies.

On the contrary, history is too rich and complex, the future too unknowable, for anything but ex-post accounts of the “inherent” logic of choices in the past. Even though it is now clear that both metrics, years of schooling and GDP, are particularly well suited to the way production, consumption and, in a general way, daily life are all organized in industrial society. It would be wrong to see either as eternal or self-evidently useful. Hence what will serve in the future must remain an open question.

Part of being open to such questions involves situating, on the basis of hypotheses and analysis, why and how relationships like that between years of schooling and GDP exhibit particular patterns over particular periods of history and phases of socio-economic development. In other words, as discussed in the next section, the analysis of the relationship between years of schooling and GDP offer important insights precisely because these concepts depended on and contributed to the emergence and evolution of industrial society.

With the obje

Cite this page

Education in South Africa. (2019, Jun 20). Retrieved from

Education in South Africa
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7