Teacher supply and demand is a complex matter. The ultimate aim is to have a teacher in front of every class, now and for the foreseeable future. This also implies an ideal class size. The quality of teachers is obviously important too – and a topic for another occasion.
As Visiting Fellow with the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University, Martin Gustafsson recently produced a policy and literature review titled ‘Carbon taxes and the attainment of emissions reductions targets in South Africa: A critical stocktaking of recent analyses and policies’.
A new paper on COVID-19 learning losses in South Africa has been published in the International Journal of Educational Development.
Repetition is a serious problem in South Africa, and the Western Cape is no exception. In any given year between 2007 and 2019, repetition has ranged between 72,000 and 100,000, with notable enrolment bulges in grades 1, 4, 9 and 10. An important consequence of repetition—when not cancelled by dropout—is an increase in the proportion of children who are older than what would be considered appropriate for a particular grade. For example, at least a third of grade 12 learners in 2019 were overage.
When meeting Dumisani Hompashe and listening to his story, the word “resilience” automatically comes to mind. Because resilience is the silver thread running through his entire life, from his childhood to his part-time PhD studies in Economics at Stellenbosch University (SU).
School quality is important in determining children’s success at school. But individual characteristics of the child also play a role. In particular, researchers and teachers are starting to pay more attention to the part that social and emotional skills play in academic success. These are also known as character skills or soft skills.
Improving education outcomes and producing a skills revolution, as well as ensuring a healthy nation, are two of the key priorities of the sixth administration, as highlighted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2019 state of the nation address (Sona). The complementarities between education and health are well documented: children who are healthy, stimulated and well-nourished from birth are better equipped to develop cognitively and learn than children who receive poor nutrition, are not stimulated often or suffer from poor health.