WP06/2011

Quantitative and qualitative aspects of education in South Africa: An analysis using the National Income Dynamic Study

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2011

Author(s): Mia de Vos

JEL Classification: I21

Keywords: Education quality, Cognitive skills, South Africa, Racial differential

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Abstract:

Based on a graphical and statistical analysis of the National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS), this paper provides a comprehensive picture of the educational context in South Africa. The main question under consideration is whether quantitative and qualitative educational attainment differs significantly along racial lines. The data shows that the government has been largely successful in reducing the race-based educational gap in terms of school enrolment and years of education successfully completed. Matriculation results and numeracy test scores unfortunately suggest that higher levels of educational attainment do not necessarily reflect positively on educational outcomes. This implies that the South African educational system is still characterized by large differentials in the quality of education.