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:
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.
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.
President Ramaphosa announced on 15 March that schools would close within days for just over three weeks, as opposed to the originally planned one week of school holidays. This is in line with steps taken across the world to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. This is a sudden change of plan, and closures may be extended. What should South Africans look out for? What can they do to limit the adverse effects of this disruption on education?
The coronavirus pandemic working its way through South African society will have many knock-on effects, one of them will be hunger and malnutrition as 9-million children no longer receive free school meals while their schools are shut.
On the 20th and 21st of February 2020, RESEP convened a workshop on education research with participation from academics from the University of Bristol (UK), the University of Bath (UK), the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India), and Tribhuvan University (Nepal), as well as key policymakers and researchers from the DBE.
A recent paper by Martin Gustafsson shows that there have been significant improvements in reading in South Africa in recent years.
A revised PIRLS 2011 to 2016 trend for South Africa and the importance of analysing the underlying microdataStellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP02/2020
Given South Africa’s weak performance in international testing programmes, there is a strong interest in gauging improvements within these programmes.
This paper estimates correspondence curves between mathematics and mathematical literacy scores for South African Matric Students from 2010 to 2018.