Mapping socio-economic status, geographical location and matriculation pass rates in Gauteng, South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    In South Africa, prior to 1994, the racially defined geographical neighbourhood in which a child resided usually determined which school they could enrol in. Post 1994, this changed to legally allow enrolment in any public school. Unfortunately, due to the legacy of apartheid, in particular, resource allocation inequity, schools in African areas seldom offered quality education. Thus, African parents seeking quality public education for their children had to either opt for commuting or moving home, both options having financial implications. For the purposes of this study, quality education is defined using three variables: matriculation pass rates, learner-to-teacher ratios, and quintile rankings, even though use of these variables have their limitations. Almost two decades since the demise of apartheid, this study found that there is still a strong relationship between the old ‘apartheid’ geographical zoning, where the right to reside in an area was previously designated by race, and resourced schooling in the South African province of Gauteng. It also found a collinear relationship between resourced schools, teacher-to-learner ratios, school fees and matriculation pass rates. That is, schools ranked as quintile 4 and 5 schools, which have low teacher-to-learner ratios and charge more than R6 500 per year in school fees, generally produce high matriculation pass rates. There were some exceptions, with a few no-fee, quintile one schools, located in formerly African zoned areas, which also achieved high matriculation pass rates.