The rise of private schooling

The number of government schools in SA has dropped by 9% in the period 2000-2010, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations, while, in the same period, the number of private schools has grown by 44%.

The latest South Africa Survey has revealed the trend, which is immediately obvious when you look at these figures, taken from between 200 and 2010:

•    The number of public (government) schools has declined from 26,789 to 24,451.
•    Independent (private) schools have grown from 971 to 1,399.
•    There are 1,910 fewer schools of all kinds than there were in 2000.
•    Nationwide enrolment increased by 3% in the period, although
•    government schools only noted a 1.4% growth in enrolment, while
•    private schools have enjoyed a 76% growth in enrolment.

According to an SAIRR press release:

“'Obviously, there is a growing trend of parents preferring to send their children to independent schools, but independent schools still represent only a small proportion of South African schools', said Mr Jonathan Snyman of the Institute's research department.
With about 30 pupils per teacher, the nationwide pupil-teacher ratio in public schools is almost double the ratio in independent schools, which have an average of only 16 pupils per teacher.”

Private schools still only represent 5.4% of all schools in SA, although it would appear that more parents are choosing to send their children to a private school environment.

Why do you think more parents are choosing private schools over government schools?

- Parent24
Cheryl 2012-03-01 08:42:26 AM
It is shocking that the number of government schools has dropped by 9% in the past 10 years. I had noticed in our area that although the area is growing with more complexes being built each year there has not been one new government school in the area, although new private schools are being opened each year.
blip.noodlum 2012-03-02 02:03:51 AM
Parents are shelling up out of their own disposable income to send kids to very, very expensive private schools rather than to send them to cope with the radically-inferior gutter-level "peoples' education" which they quite simply do not trust.
mona.grant.16 2012-03-03 06:26:10 AM
Nope, its 34-36 in a class with the juniors. Seniors a bit less when it comes to their choice subjects. We also live in a area where development and building is rapid, yet we have only 1 English goverment school around here BUT 4 private schools. I have the impression that schooling is just not that high on the priority list.
Kerry Vorster 2012-04-04 04:20:10 PM
When the time comes, I will most definitley send my daughter to a private school, especially for her foundation years (grade 1 - 7) as the classes are small and more focus is given to each student by the teacher. With the new public school bill coming in that states that government schools are not allowed to reject any pupils based on the school being "full", I don't trust that my child will get the attention in a 45 + pupil class than what she would get in a class of a max 25, in a private school. Personal choice I suppose, and the growth of private schools is clearly supply & demand. If government schools were amazing, and there was one in my area that offered what private schools offer, then she'd go there. It's like those of us who have medical aid, not all of us can afford it, but we pay it, as we'd rather go to a private hospital than a government one.
Ian Flack 2012-06-03 05:11:02 AM
What concerns me is, no so much the standards of education as there will always be good schools and bad schools, but the value that South African certification will have in the future. If we keep lowering the standards the certificates will not be worth the paper they are written on, Private schools regardless. There is an article on the net somewhere, that compares the devaluing of the matric to the Germans printing of more money during the twenties thinking it would get them out of trouble (can't remember where though) but very interesting
Ian Flack 2012-06-03 05:12:55 AM
OK, typical!!!!! The moment I closed my last comment I found the article...."Devaluing the South African graduate"........
Leon van der Linde 2012-06-03 05:15:53 PM
The government closed the farm schools that were 100% supported by the South African farmers. This resulted in pupils not be able to reach proper schools and the education level in government scools dropped veeeery low. Our education in public schools is an embarrasment. Private schools draw proper decent teachers who CAN teach and are INTERSTED in teaching pupils. Not striking and sitting around and wasting time and money.