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General Household Survey Results shed light on trends within the education sector

The results contained in the latest General Household Survey (GHS), collected by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) between 2002 and 2021, indicate that there have been significant improvements in access to education, with higher attendance rates across age, gender and population groups. There has also been a notable decrease in the reported incidents of violence and complaints from households about education. Despite the partial recovery from COVID-19 in 2021, there is a need for continued monitoring and support to mitigate the negative effects of the pandemic on education. In addition, the report assists greatly in policy and planning,” explained Dr Stephen Taylor, Director for Research Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation at the DBE.

The annual GHS is conducted in approximately 22,000 households. This survey, first compiled in 2002, provides a platform for assessing the quality of service delivery in several key service sectors. Over the past years, the education-related section of the questionnaire has expanded considerably to provide useful information on the performance of the sector. “The report assists in tracking and monitoring the goals and indicators in the sector plan, Action Plan to 2024: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2030, and fulfils national and international education reporting obligations, including the Sustainable Development Goal Number 4 (SDG4) and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF),” added Ms Nompumelelo Mohohlwane from the Research Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate.

This report focuses on schooling information, disaggregated by province, population group and gender, and the provides useful insights into the state of certain indicators in education. Overall there have been considerable improvements in the basic education sector, as evidenced through higher attendance at educational institutions across different age groups, between gender groups and amongst population groups. The percentage of learners with disabilities attending educational institutions has been increasing over time and there has been a decrease in the percentage of learners who reported that they experience violence, corporal punishment or verbal abuse in school. Household complaints about education have been declining over time and learner absenteeism also appears to have declined somewhat. There have been increases in the percentages of individuals who complete Grade 7, Grade 9 and Grade 12 with reduced racial gaps.

For the 2019 GHS data, Stats SA migrated to electronic data collection which allowed for new methods of data verification being done by the data collection software. These methods include incorporating skip-patterns to allow only certain individuals to be asked specific questions based on previous responses. While this is a powerful method for ensuring the internal validity of the data, it can also introduce some complications if the skip patterns were incorrectly set up initially. A few of the findings include the following:

  • A total of 64.1% of 0 – 4-year-olds are attending ECD facilities
  • A total of 98.3% of 7 – 15-year-olds are attending educational institutions
  • A total of 86.1% of 16 – 18-year-olds are attending educational institutions
  • A total of 83.9% of learners are benefitting from the NSNP
  • A total of 4% of learners are orphans
  • A total of 8.5% of learners are experiencing violence, corporal punishment and verbal abuse
  • A total of 10.1% of learners in public and private schools have an option to attend remote schooling

Click on the below link for the full GHS report:

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