Submission on Education Enrolment to NDP

01 April 2012
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The South African Transformation Monitor
Transformation in the Education Sector: Enrolment in primary,
secondary and tertiary education institutions by race in South
Africa (1994-2008)
Vivian Atud
June 2010
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CONTENT
1. Introduction
1.1 Transformation Monitor
1.2 Transformation Index
1.3 Background to study
1.4 Data Collection Methodology
1.5 South African % Population Increase by Race from (1993-2007)
2. Transformation in the education sector in south Africa
2.1 The South African education sector as at 2008
2.2 Percentage of South Africans enrolled in schools (1994–2008)
2.3 Enrolment by grade at ordinary public and independent schools (1999-2009)
2.4 Primary Education Enrolment (1994-2008)
2.5 Secondary Education Enrolment (1994-2009)
2.6 Percentage of the population aged 20years or older, by race and by level of education
2.7 Tertiary Education Enrolment (1985-2009)
2.8 Head count enrolment at universities and universities of technology by race 1995 to
2007
2.9 Higher education gross enrolment rate as a percentage of population 20-24 year-olds 2000-
2007.
2.10 (a) Independent examination Senior Certificate examination results and
university entrance pass (1994-2008)
(b) Senior Certificate examination Results and university entrance pass rate for public
schools, 1994-2007.
2.11 Conclusion
3. References
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TRANSFORMATION MONITOR
1 Introduction
The aim of this project is to measure in an accurate, comprehensive and
objective manner and to continue to monitor Black Advancement in South Africa
as a result of changes brought about by democracy.
What is black advancement? There is no consensus on this topic, but in the
context of this study it will mean true progress in all aspects (economic, social,
political etc) made by Blacks compared to other racial groups since 1994.
1.1 The Transformation Monitor
The transformation monitor will provide statistical evidence of the progress
made by black South Africans alongside other racial groups since 1994.
Research will be broken down into several phases, each phase concentrating
on a certain sector of the economy. This study, PHASE 3, covers the
Education Sector, enrolment at education institutions: primary, secondary and
tertiary by all racial groups in South Africa.
The Transformation Index
Using the above cornerstones as a compass, an index of black advancement
will be constructed.
In order for a sector to achieve a high transformation rating, its data must show
that, since the transition to democracy, there has been a real increase in the
number of Blacks (Africans, Asians and Indians) enrolled at different levels of
education compared to Whites. Tables and graphs will be used to demonstrate
the level and/or progress made in black advancement in the education sector.
1.2 The use of terminology
This study uses data covering the years 1994 to 2009. Over this period there
has been a change in the meaning of given terminology with reference to the
use of ‘Indian/Asian’ and ‘African/Black’. This clarification is very significant for
the understanding of this report.
Before the introduction in 1998 of the Employment Equity Act and new
reporting structures enforced by the government, most government
departments generally used the word ‘Black’ to refer to black (skin colour)
South Africans and ‘Asian’ when referring to South Africans of Asian descent.
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After 1998, the reporting structure changed with the specification of ‘African’ to
refer to black (skin colour) South Africans and included two additional
categories, ‘Indian’ and ‘Coloured’. These three classifications make up what
is now called ‘the broad definition of Black’ in South Africa today. White refers
to South Africans with white skin colour.
In this study, the following classification of the various racial groups will be
used, Black, Coloured, Indian (includes all Asians), and White.
1.3 Background to study
Under the apartheid system, education became one of the most polarising and
destructive expressions of state power. Original bantu policies stipulated that ‘natives’
required only the most basic level of schooling, and this resulted in a reductive,
dehumanising education system that disadvantaged the majority of blacks, and resulted
in the economic deprivation of many.
Following the transition to democracy in 1994, the government came up with many new
polices to correct these injustices and inserted into the South African Bill of Rights the
right to education for all children and adults. Since 1994 the educational budget has
risen by 302.2% from R31.8billion to R127.423billion in the 2008/2009 financial year.
This budget is managed by the Department of Education at both national and provincial
levels.
Schooling is compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 15. The South African
education system consists of two types of schools: independent (private) and public
(government) schools. Other policies intended to increase access to education for all
racial groups in South Africa include the abolition of school fees for poorer learners in
some schools and the establishment of ‘no fees’ schools. In 2009, there were 14,215
‘no fees’ schools catering for 5,307,833 pupils.
The focus of this paper is to track the transformation pattern in the post-apartheid era in
education enrolment. Have the new education polices achieved their goal of increasing
enrolment for South Africans from all racial backgrounds? Is there an enrolment gap
between the races as a proportion of their population? What are the dynamics of the
enrolment gap?
1.3 Data for the study
The data for this study has been obtained from various sources since no single
organisation/institution has comprehensive documented information on education
enrolment by race in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in South Africa. The
data was mainly secondary data. It was collected from the Department of Education
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reports, Stats SA data, South African Institute of Race Relations’ publications on South
Africa Survey, and other internet sources. This data was then aggregated and analysed
by the researcher.
The focus of the analysis is not on the actual education enrolment figures by race but
rather on the change that has taken place in education enrolment between 1994 and
2009. Tables and charts will be used to show both actual numbers and also the change
in education enrolment for the various racial groups in South Africa.
1.4. South Africa’s population racial analysis
Table 1 shows that from 1992 to 2009, there has been growth in the South African population in
all racial groups. The Black population increased by 39.4%, the Coloured/Indian population by
33.6%, and the White population by 4.6%.
Table 1: Population by year and race, 1992–2009
Year Black Coloured/Indian White Total
1992 28 072 000 3 317 200 4 274 800 36 991 800
1993 28 759 800 3 381 400 4 311 900 37 802 200
1994 29 463 700 3 447 000 4 349 100 38 630 500
1995 30 184 400 3 513 600 4 386 600 39 477 100
1996 30 921 700 3 581 600 4 424 400 40 342 300
1997 31 676 600 3 650 700 4 462 200 41 226 700
1998 32 449 200 3 721 000 4 500 400 42 130 500
1999 33 239 100 3 792 600 4 358 700 43 054 300
2000 33 879 900 3 796 900 4 521 700 43 685 700
2001 34 668 900 3 869 000 4 533 100 44 560 600
2002 35 474 200 3 918 000 4 555 300 45 454 200
2003 36 914 300 4 131 100 4 244 300 46 429 800
2004 36 934 181 4 086 790 4 434 294 46 586 607
2005 37 205 700 4 148 800 4 379 800 46 888 200
2006 37 662 900 4 198 800 4 365 300 47 390 900
2007 38 079 900 4 245 000 4 352 100 47 850 700
2008 38 565 100 4 379 200 4 499 200 48 687 000
2009 39 136 200 4 433 100 4 472 100 49 320 500
Increase
1992–2009 39.40% 33.60% 4.60% 33.30%
Source: South Africa Surveys 2009, South African Institute of Race Relations 2010.
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2 TRANSFORMATION IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR IN SOUTH AFRICA
2.1 The South African education sector as at 2008
Table 2: The Education Sector in South Africa (2008)
Schools: 2008
Primary enrolment (public and independent) 7 231 660
Secondary enrolment (public and independent) 4 403 740
Schools (public and independent) 24 751
Teachers (public schools only) 378 060
Pupils (public schools only) 11 873 162
School output: 2008
Senior certificate (matric candidates) 533 561
Senior certificate passes (62.6%) 334 239
University entrance passes (20.1%) 107 462
Number of candidates who achieved more than 40% for
mathematics (16.8%) 89 788
Higher education: 2007
Tertiary enrolment 759 093
Degrees awarded (African) 34 364
Degrees awarded (Coloured) 4 944
Degrees awarded (Indian) 6 820
Degrees awarded (White) 31 686
Degrees awarded (South Africa) 77 981
Source: Stats SA 2009, South Africa Survey 2009: South African Institute of Race Relations
2.2 Table 3: Percentage of the South African population enrolled in schools,
2000-2009
Pupils at independent and public schools, 2000 to 2008
Independent Public Total
South Africa 2000 256 283 11 647 172 11 903 455
2001 245 150 11 492 976 11 738 126
2002 278 661 11 638 356 11 917 017
2003 294 909 11 744 013 12 038 922
2004 300 952 11 875 439 12 176 391
2005 315 449 11 902 316 12 217 765
2006 340 060 11 962 176 12 302 236
2007 369 281 12 041 220 12 410 501
2008 366 201 11 873 162 12 239 363
Change, 2000–2008 42.90% 1.90% 2.80%
Source: School Realities Report, 2005–2008; Education Statistics in South Africa at a Glance,
2000–2005
Table 3 shows that between 2000 and 2008, the number of students enrolled in
independent schools increased by 42.9% compared to only an increase of 2.8%
in public schools, despite the increase in the number of ‘no fees’ public schools.
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This shows that some parents are willing to pay more for the better quality
education provided in private schools.
2.3 Table 4: Enrolment by grade at ordinary public and independent schools, 1999 and
2008
Number of pupils
Number of
pupils Increase/decrease
Grade 1999 2008 1999–2008
Pre-grade R 80 676 39 625 -50.90%
Grade R 156 292 543 799 247.90%
Total pre-primary 236 968 583 424 146.20%
Grade 1 1 318 932 1 122 114 -14.90%
Grade 2 1 223 529 1 031 821 -15.70%
Grade 3 1 194 425 1 017 656 -14.80%
Grade 4 1 167 683 1 050 860 -10.00%
Grade 5 1 087 829 1 043 012 -4.10%
Grade 6 998 705 1 001 852 0.30%
Grade 7 937 741 964 345 2.80%
Total primary 7 928 844 7 231 660 -8.80%
Grade 8 1 043 067 926 603 -11.20%
Grade 9 917 239 902 656 -1.60%
Grade 10 840 803 1 076 527 28.00%
Grade 11 738 220 902 752 22.30%
Grade 12 571 848 595 216 4.10%
Total secondary 4 111 177 4 403 754 7.10%
Total 12 276 989 12 218 838a -0.50%
Figures exclude special needs pupils and post-matric pupils.
Source: Department of Education, School Realities 2008; Education Statistics at a Glance, 1999
Table 4: Between 1999 and 2008, the enrolment of pupils in pre-primary schools in
South Africa more than doubled, an increase of 146%. In primary schools there was a
decrease of 8.8%. In secondary schools there was an increase of 7.1%. To better
understand the enrolment transformation in primary and secondary schools, this data
will be disaggregated by race.
2.4 Figure 1: Primary education enrolment (1994-2008)
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Figure 1: The gross enrolment rate measures the number of learners enrolled in primary
schools as a percentage of the total number of children in the 7 to 15 year age group. A
gross enrolment of more than 100% indicates that some learners could have been
enrolled in schools before the age of 6 or held back to repeat certain grades. Between
1994 and 2008, the gross enrolment rate in primary schools decreased from 114% to
99% despite the fact that the Education Act stipulates compulsory schooling for all
South Africans between the ages of 7 and 15 years. The decrease in the gross
enrolment rate between 1999 and 2000 could be attributed mostly to the Admission
Policy for ordinary schools which prohibited learners under the age of six years from
being admitted into Grade 1.
According to the Department of Education, South Africa is close to achieving universal
basic education with a 98% enrolment rate within the 7 to 15 year age group. However,
the Ministerial Committee on Learner retention, established by the Minister of Education
in April 2007, found that there was a high failure rate requiring learners to repeat years
or dropping out especially in Grades 10-12.
From this, one can say that the transition to democracy in 1994 has succeeded in
ensuring access to basic education for all racial groups in South Africa. The main
challenge though is to ensure that all students who enrol in schools pass through the
education system successfully.
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2.5 Figure 2: Secondary Education Enrolment (1994-2008)
Figure 2: Between 1994 and 2008, the secondary school gross enrolment rate increased from 74% to
92%. This could be attributed to the transition to democracy and increased access to education for all
racial groups.
2.6 Figure 3: Percentage of the population aged 20 or older, by race and by level of education
(1995-2006)
Source Central Statistical Services, Statistics South Africa (1999, 200a, 200b, 203b,
2004b, 2005, 2006)
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Figure3: Between 1995 and 2006, the percentage of the population 20 years and older
with no schooling decreased for Blacks by 4% from 17.1% to 13.1%., for Coloureds by
4.4% from 8.8% to 4.4%, Indians by 2.4% from 5.3% to 2.9%, and Whites by 0.1% from
0.2% to 0.1%. These figures will even be less today because of increased access to
education by all racial groups since 1994.
During the same period, the percentage of the population who have had some form of
primary schooling only, decreased for Blacks by 4.2% from 21.1% to 19.9%, Coloureds
by 6% from 21.9% to 15.9%, and Indians by 2.7% from 7.8% to 5.1%. In the case of
Whites, the percentage remained fairly constant at 0.6%.
Finally, during the same period, the percentage of the population who completed Grade
7 and higher, increased for Blacks by 8.1% from 61.9 to 70%, Coloureds by 10% from
69.3% to 79.7%, and Indians by 5.1% from 86.9% to 92%. Again, that for Whites
remained fairly constant at 99.2%.
Therefore, between 1995 and 2006, there has been an increase in all levels of
education for previously disadvantaged racial groups while for Whites, it has remained
fairly constant.
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2.7 Table 5: University and University of Technology Enrolment (1985-2007)
University and University of Technology Enrolment, 1985–2007
University
University of
Technology Total
enrolment enrolment enrolment
Year Number Number Number
1985 211 756 59 118 270 874
1986 233 625 43 490 277 115
1987 250 243 56 446 306 689
1988 272 445 56 815 329 260
1989 286 359 75 797 362 156
1990 285 986 92 721 378 707
1991 323 889 105 722 429 611
1992 318 944 113 870 432 814
1993 329 892 138 443 468 335
1994 360 250 167 885 528 135
1995 385 221 190 191 575 412
1996 381 498 183 310 564 808
1997 372 845 208 956 581 801
1998 351 692 250 244 601 936
1999 347 164 192 875 540 039
2000 380 168b 199 089 579 257
2001 448 878 208 391c 657 269
2002 460 276 214 888 675 164
2003 487 741 230 052 717 793
2004
569 384 175 094 536 978
2005 563 199 171 873 735 073
2006 576 186 165 194 741 380
2007 611 371 133 808 759 093
Change 1985–2007 188.70% 126.30% 180.20%
From table 5 aboveBetween1985 and 2007, university enrolment increased by 188.7%
from 211,756 to 611,371, and University of Technology increased 126% from
59,118 to 133,808. To better understand transformation in university enrolment,
the university enrolment data from 1994 to 2008 will be disaggregated by race,
as illustrated in table five above.
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2.8 Table 6: Head-Count Enrolment at Universities and Universities of Technology
by Race (actual numbers), 1995–2007
Black Coloured Indian White Total
1995 286 000 33 000 37 000 214 000 570 000
1997 343 000 32 000 39 000 183 000 597 000
1998 354 000 31 000 40 000 179 000 604 000
1999 350 000 29 000 40 000 163 000 582 000
2000 355 000 30 000 40 000 160 000 585 000
2001 408 262 35 686 44 152 177 267 665 367
2002 405 914 38 965 48 717 181 599 675 195
2003 430 745 43 551 52 883 188 353 715 532
2004 453 636 46 120 54 304 188 687 742 747
2005 446 945 46 302 54 611 185 847 735 072
2006 451 106 48 538 54 859 184 667 741 380
2007 476 770 49 066 52 596 180 461 761 081
Change: 66.70% 48.70% 42.20% -15.70% 33.50%
Source: South African Institute of Race Relations: South Africa Survey 2010
From table 6 above, between 1995 and 2007, there was a 66% increase from
286,000 to 476,000 in Black enrolment, 48% from 33,000 to 49,066 in Coloured,
42% from 37,000 to 52,596 in Indian and a decrease of 15% from 214,000 to
180,461 in White enrolment in universities and universities of technology. It must
also be noted that Blacks constituted the majority of the university population for
all the years considered and had the greatest increase within this time period.
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2.9: Figure 4: Higher Education Gross Enrolment Rate as a Percentage of
Population 20-24 Year-olds (2000 to 2007)
Source: Department of Education, 2007 report.
Figure 4: Even though there was an increase in the higher education enrolment
rate since the transition to democracy, this represents a small proportion
of the total population of 20 to 24-year olds. Between 2000 and 2007,
there was a 3.4% increase from 12.9% to 16.3% in the gross enrolment
rate of the 20-24 year-old population as a percentage of the population
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2.10(a) Table 7: Independent Examination Board Senior Certificate
Examination Results (1994-2008)
Independent Examinations Board Senior Certificate Examination Results, 1994–2008
Pass
University
entrance
pass
Number
of Number of
Year Schools candidates Number Proportion Number Proportion
1994 26 1 305 1 225 94% 920 70%
1995 29 1 371 1 306 95% 956 70%
1996 61 2 994 2 913 97% 2 158 72%
1997 91 4 269 4 137 97% 3 052 71%
1998 100 4 602 4 542 99% 3 479 76%
1999 114 5 550 5 478 99% 4 124 74%
2000 120 5 493 5 423 99% 4 157 76%
2001 125 5 414 5 360 99% 4 222 78%
2002 135 6 052 5 961 99% 4 599 76%
2003 141 6 290 6 189 98% 4 906 78%
2004 141 6 416 6 357 99% 5 099 80%
2005 149 6 763 6 634 98% 5 295 78%
2006 151 7 035 6 915 98% 4 729 76%
2007 149 7 362 7 283 99% 5 780 79%
2008 159 8 001 7 763 97% 6 169 79%
Change 1994–
2008 511.50% 513.10% 533.70% 3.20% 570.50% 12.90%
Source: Data from the Department of Education reports, 2008.
According to table 7 above, the Independent Examination Board (private)
Schools have an average matric pass rate of 97% and a university entrance
rate of over 75%. The Department of Education should find out how these
schools are run and attempt to replicate these processes in public schools.
2.10(b): Table 8: Senior Certificate Examination Results for South Africa, 1994, 1998, 2003,2004,
2005, 2006, and 2007: old curriculum
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Senior Certificate Examination Results, 1994, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007: old
curriculum
Year Number pass
Percentage
pass
University
entrance
1994 495 408 58% 18%
1998 552 384 49% 13%
2003 440 267 73% 19%
2004 467 985 71% 18%
2005 508 363 68% 17%
2006 528 525 67% 16%
2007 564 775 65% 15%
Source: South Africa Survey 2010.06.21
Between 1994 and 2007, there was an increase in the pass rate in the senior
certificate examinations from 58% to 65%, but the university entrance
percentage decreased from 18% to 15%. In public schools, both the pass rate
and university entrance pass proportion are far lower than those for
independent schools.
2.11 Conclusion
Between 1994 and 2008, the number of South Africans enrolled in schools
increased remarkably, especially in the Black population. This has been due to
easier access to schools by all population groups, the increased number of
schools, all schools opened to accept students from all racial groups, the
establishment of ‘no fees’ schools to cater for underprivileged pupils, and the
economic growth which has resulted from increased economic freedom that has
enabled parents from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to send their
children to school.
It can be concluded, therefore, that a remarkable transformation took place in
the education sector in South Africa between 1994 and 2008. Since the
transition to democracy, all South Africans can now enjoy equal access to
education. Generally, the number of pupils enrolled in schools increased from 9
million in 1994 to about 12.6 million in 2008. University enrolment increased by
33% from 570,000 in 1994 to 761,081 in 2008 with the largest increase
occurring in the Black population.
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Recommendations
Education enrolment is the first step in giving young South Africans a chance to
realise their dreams and maximise their potentials. The above analysis points
out that there is a quality problem in our public primary and secondary schools.
Therefore especially at this level of education, the government should focus on
improving quality such that we can get similar results from public schools as it is
the case with private schools.
There is also a serious problem with low levels of university enrolment
compared to the population 18-24 year-olds. Government policies should be
targeted at increasing the number university enrolment especially for blacks.
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3.0 References
1. South Africa: Reviews of National Policies for Education OECD 2008
2. Helen Perry and Fabian Arends: HRD Reviews 2003
www.hrdreview.hsrc.ac.za
3. Department of Education: Education Statistics in South Africa 2000, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, www.education.gov.za
4. South Africa Institute of Race Relations: South Africa Surveys: 2007,
2008, 2009. 2010, www.sairr.org.za
5. Andre Kraak & Karen Press (2008): Human Resources Development in
South Africa: Education, Employment and Skills in South Africa.
www.hsrcpress.ac.za 

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