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.
RESEP education research has a strong emphasis on empirical research in a broad range of policy-related issues including teacher knowledge and training, early-childhood outcomes, accountability, socioeconomic status, and school effectiveness. Policy application is one of the central aims of the research.
Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP01/2021
Publication date: February 2021
This report explores the state of inclusive education in South Africa using data from the School Monitoring Survey in 2017 to assess disability support, the accessibility of schools and learning environments, and the adequacy of teacher training for inclusion.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting educational quality in South Africa? Evidence to date and future risksStellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP23/2020 Publication date: December 2020
Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP23/2020
Publication date: December 2020
Household resource flows and food poverty during South Africa’s lockdown: Short-term policy implications for three channels of social protectionStellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP22/2020 Publication date: December 2020
Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP22/2020 Publication date: December 2020
Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP20/2020
Publication date: November 2020
This working paper presents the findings of research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the curriculum in South Africa. Four research questions frame the report:
This brief replicates UNESCO’s calculations, to determine whether South African teachers’ wages are comparable with those in Denmark. The level of teacher wages so determined was only USD71, which is similar to Japan and Italy, but even this seems unrealistically high. UNESCO uses purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates for converting teacher pay across countries to dollars – this is where the problem might be. As an alternative strategy to assess the adequacy of teacher pay in international comparison, we use teacher household assets instead of compensation as a proxy for teacher living standards. This results in findings which are considered to be plausible, as South Africa is then comparable with developing countries such as Botswana, Malaysia and Philippines.
International research has shown that the quality of school leadership and management (SLM) is important for teaching and learning, particularly in schools where there is acute resource deprivation.
Van der Berg, S & Spaull, N. (2020). Counting the Cost: COVID-19 school closures in South Africa & its impacts on children. Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP). Stellenbosch University. Stellenbosch.
A report by RESEP’s Servaas van der Berg, Martin Gustafsson, and Kholekile Malindi titled Education and Skills for the Economy and Links to Labour Markets in South Africa, has been released for public comment by the National Planning Commission.
Wills, G. and van der Berg, S., 2020. Measuring school leadership and management and linkages with literacy: Evidence from rural and township primary schools in South Africa. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, p.1741143220915923.
It is critical that the debates leading up to the re-opening of South Africa’s schools, and the actual process of re-opening, which will almost certainly occur in stages, be informed by the emerging medical evidence and reports on best school practices. Re-opening the pre-school sector, covering around 2.4 million children, and the earliest school grades, seems least risky in terms of infections. Moreover, there are strong educational and nutritional arguments which favour prioritising these levels.
Who should go back to school first in South Africa? Children under 10 are least susceptible to COVID-19, they should go back first. Spaull,…
International Tests: What are they and why should South Africa participate? South Africa takes part in three major international assessments: TIMSS, PIRLS and SEACMEQ. This…
Language-in-education policy has a powerful influence on social and economic relations, with complex dimensions in multilingual and unequal societies such as South Africa.
Perseverance, Passion, and Poverty: Examining the association between grit and reading achievement in high-poverty schoolsStellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP06/2020
This paper examines whether school characteristics moderate the association between grit and reading achievement in a sample of Grade 6 learners in high-poverty contexts.