Latest South African Education Statistics

This update takes a look at the results of the latest General Household Survey (GHS) published by Statistics South Africa and the information relating to education. The table below published by Statistics South Africa shows various metrics related to education. The table published by Statistics South Africa shows various metrics related education

The worrying number from the table above is the Repetition rate (RR) of Grd 10 ‘s which is sitting with 22.5%, basically saying 22.5% of households in South Africa reported they have a child repeating Grd 10 and 20.5% of households stated that they have a child repeating Grd 11. Note the results of the GHS is based on a sample of households selected. There will therefore be some bias built into the numbers (selection/sample bias), reporting bias etc. The numbers above are therefore the best estimate of the population as a whole based on the selected sample. The table published here  is a continuation of the table above, showing additional metrics related to education in South Africa.

In total 11.4% of households reported children work for longer than 30 minutes to the nearest school. 22.2% of households in KwaZulu-Natal reported children work for more than 30 minutes to get to school, while only 1.2% of households in the Western Cape reported children walked more than 30 minutes to get to school.

Another worrying statistic for South Africa is the adult literacy rate, which is defined as people over the age of 20 with Grd 7 as the highest level of education is sitting at 13.8%. The province with the highest adult literacy rate is the Eastern Cape (20.5%), closely followed by Limpopo (19.7%) and Northern Cape (19.1%).

Number of registered students at higher education institutions (31 October 2017)

This section will take a look at the number of students registered at various higher education institutions across South Africa, at various points in time. Interesting to note is the increase of student numbers at specific institutions from 2012 to 2016 while there are strong declines at other institutions.

While the number of students enrolled has increased by 2.4% from 2012 to 2016, the number of students that graduated has increased by 22.3%. Clearly showing number of graduates increasing is not just due to the number of students increasing. The image below shows the total value of grants paid by national government to various higher education institutions. And it is clear to see that grants paid increased sharply after the #FeesMustFall campaign. Interesting to note that the growth in grants paid is growing a lot faster for Universities compared to University of Technologies.

While we mentioned earlier that University of Pretoria (TUKS) showed a decline in student numbers, the graphic below shows that it has not detered TUKS from spending money on upgrading their facilities and equipment (as their Capex spending accounts from over 10% of total capital expenditure by all higher education institutions. Surely this bodes well for the quality of education at TUKS, is there are less students yet better facilities and equipment. Stellenbosch University and WITS makes up the rest of the top three when it comes to capital expenditure by higher education institutions.

Percentage of students per race group that obtain a bachelors degree after matric.

White students parents are more like to afford better primary and secondary schooling, and more likely to be able to pay for tertiary education, hence the higher percentage of white students obtaining bachelors degrees after matriculating With around 25% of white students obtaining a bachelors degree after matric, Indian/Asians comes a distant second with around 15% while both Coloured and Black Africans sitting around 5% of students obtaining a bachelors degree after matric. Concerning to see is the decline in the percentage of Coloured and Black African students obtaining bachelors degrees after school. Again part of this is due to a lack of funding from these race groups, making it harder for students from these groups to enter a higher education institutions. And this is part of the reason for the whole #feesmustfall campaign that swept across South Africa.

Number of learners per school grade (11 March 2016)

The funnel chart below is based on statistics from the Basic Education Department. It shows the number of learners registered per grade in South Africa. What is concerning to note that around 1,2 million learners are registered for Grade 1. Yet only 680 000 odd makes it to Grade 12.

Number of learners per school grade: 2015

Data from the Department of Higher Education showed the number of new graduates that registered at Higher Education Institutes (such as Varsities, Universities of Technologies etc.) coming in at 158 000 in 2013. Thus assuming all the new registrations were matriculants of the previous year (which roughly totals 700 000) , only 22% of martriculants or about 1 in 5 makes it to Higher Education Institutions (HEI) after school. Looking at it a little differently, only 12% (or around 1 in 9) of school children entering grade 1 will make it to HEI if this trend continues.

 This is a serious concern as the higher the level of education the greater the chance of being employed.

Source: Statistics South Africa.

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