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In 2019, education and culture received the largest share of the budget, with a R262.4bn allocation. The country’s education system receives funding which is about 20% of the national budget and 6% of GDP, exceeding that of many sub-Saharan African countries - but they achieve far better educational outcomes than South Africa does. South Africa’s poorest learners depend on dysfunctional public schooling and achieve poor outcomes, and while enrolment at the secondary level has been expanding, completion rates are low. About 400,000 students who started grade one 12 years ago, did not reach grade 12 in 2018. In the higher education sector, universities can accommodate only 18% of South African matriculants and 47% will drop out.
Growth in Independent Education
Companies such as Curro, ADvTECH, Educor, Spark, Pembury and Stadio continue to grow to accommodate the growing need for private education, particular as education continues to remain in crisis and as parents opt for a safe environment, individual attention and quality of learning. At higher education level, private institutions are providing courses that are relevant and matching skills to the requirements of industry.
In 2019 government allocated about R30bn for building new schools and maintaining existing infrastructure. There are also plans to introduce technology-focused subjects to the curriculum, such as coding and data analytics, at a primary school level. Coding as a subject will be piloted at 1,000 schools across five provinces starting in 2020. In April 2019, the Department of Basic Education said it had trained 43,774 teachers in computer skills and would begin training teachers for the new coding curriculums from June to September 2019.
This report focuses on South Africa’s education sector, which is failing the country’s economy. The report includes comprehensive information on the public and private education sectors, including budgets, enrolments, initiatives and various factors influencing the sector. There are profiles of 49 institutions and companies, including the relevant government departments, universities and major private sector players such as Educor, Curro, ADvTECh and Stadio.