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Stellenbosch Working Papers

Working Papers

COVID-19 and the South African curriculum policy response

In this note by Ursula Hoadley, she tracks curriculum and assessment policy changes over three years (2020 to 2023) in South Africa in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures. Some changes were made to the national CAPS curriculum documents in the form of trimming content (2020), identifying ‘fundamental’ knowledge (2020), and reviewing subject content (2022).

May 16, 2023 By: Ursula Hoadley PDF

COVID-19 disruptions and learning in South Africa: two years of evidence

The evidence discussed in this brief confirms that learning losses in South Africa have been large. Covid-19 has disrupted South African education in significant ways, with enduring impacts for the system (including altered enrolment patterns) and for children’s development.

November 3, 2022 By: Gabrielle Wills & Servaas van der Berg PDF

RESEP researchers launch Roots & Shoots study

RESEP researchers Heleen Hofmeyr and Nic Spaull recently launched the Roots & Shoots study, a longitudinal research study funded by the Mr Price Foundation that aims to track learners from when they first enter school until the end of the Foundation Phase.

October 13, 2022 By: PDF

Breaking into spring with the 2022 Quantitative Education Research Conference: An overview

RESEP was again privileged to host its annual QER conference at STIAS from 31 August to 1 September 2022. There is much value in bringing together academics, government, NGOs and funders involved in education improvement in South Africa. Two days of new research, engaging panels and critical questioning reminded us of how much work there is to be done, while also revealing the advancement in collaboration that has been made across research and government work.

September 12, 2022 By: Gabrielle Wills PDF

What lies behind South Africa’s improvements in PIRLS? An Oaxaca-Blinder analysis of the 2011 and 2016 data

Three international testing programmes, including PIRLS, point to educational quality improvements in South Africa during the period 2002 to 2019. The gains were substantial, relative to the steepness of improvements seen in other countries. What lay behind these trends? National education quality trends are not easy to explain, and this is seldom attempted in a systematic manner.

July 15, 2022 By: Martin Gustafsson& Stephen Taylor  PDF

School drop out and farm input subsidies: gender and kinship heterogeneity in Malawi

An emerging interdisciplinary literature explores how kinship practices affect household resource allocation through efficiency of production and consumption. This paper focuses on a key gender norm – how a resource transfer to households affects school drop out of girls relative to boys, under different kinship practices.

July 15, 2022 By: Martin Mwale, Dieter von Fintel, & Anja Smith PDF

School catch-up programmes are urgently needed

A recent RESEP report, Learning Losses from COVID-19 in the Western Cape has received significant media attention, including features in Rapport, CityPress, SABC, News24, eNCA & Newzroom Africa.

May 25, 2022 By: PDF

Longitudinal changes in COVID-19 vaccination intent among South African adults: evidence from the NIDS-CRAM panel survey, February to May 2021

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has threatened the ability of many countries worldwide to contain the pandemic. Given the severe impact of the pandemic in South Africa and disruptions to the roll-out of the vaccine in early 2021, slower-than-expected uptake is a pressing public health challenge in the country. We examined longitudinal changes in COVID-19 vaccination intent among South African adults, as well as determinants of intent to receive a vaccine.

April 22, 2022 By: Ronelle Burger, Timothy Köhler, Aleksandra Golos, Alison Buttenheim, René English, Michele Tameris & Brendan Maughan-Brown PDF

The health impact of free access to antiretroviral therapy in South Africa

Since 2004 the South African government has rolled out free antiretroviral therapy (ART) at public health care facilities nationwide. No prior studies have estimated the impact of the ART rollout on health and survival using a longitudinal household survey with national coverage.

April 22, 2022 By: Cobus Burger, Ronelle Burger, & Eddy van Doorslaer PDF

Looming crisis of teacher shortages

A new study by RESEP researchers Servaas van der Berg, Martin Gustafsson and Cobus Burger for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on…

March 13, 2022 By: RESEP Team PDF