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Learner Performance in South Africa

Learner Performance in South Africa

South Africa has done well to expand its educational system systematically and to lengthen the schooling experience of successive learner cohorts. However, the quality of the output from the school system has been questioned. In seeking to identify the reasons for this, it is important to relate educational outputs (competencies, as measured, for instance, by examinations or standardised tests) to inputs. Determining the relative contributions of the inputs - of the school, the household and the individual learner - to educational outputs is not straightforward, particularly since very little educational production function analysis has been undertaken in South Africa.

Education and skills development Open Access

  • Product Information
  • Format: 210mm x 280mm
  • Pages: 88
  • ISBN 13: 978-07969-2041-6
  • Rights: World Rights

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Social and economic determinants of success in language and mathematics South Africa has done well to expand its educational system systematically and to lengthen the schooling experience of successive learner cohorts. However, the quality of the output from the school system has been questioned. In seeking to identify the reasons for this, it is important to relate educational outputs (competencies, as measured, for instance, by examinations or standardised tests) to inputs. Determining the relative contributions of the inputs - of the school, the household and the individual learner - to educational outputs is not straightforward, particularly since very little educational production function analysis has been undertaken in South Africa. Until recently, no South African school data has incorporated test results, school characteristics and information on the household circumstances of individual learners necessary for this kind of analysis. However, the results from a survey of a sample of schools involved in the large-scale Quality Learning Project (QLP), funded by the Business Trust, have yielded such data. The QLP data set offers a new analytical opportunity to address the question: What are the effects of social and economic variables on educational outcomes in the QLP schools?

List of figures and tables
Executive Summary
Acknowledgements

1. Introduction

2. Features of the Quality Learning Project

3. Data preparation, statistical procedures and methodology

4. Commentary on the findings

Appendices

References

Charles Simkins is the Helen Suzman Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a member of the South African Statistics Council, and a member of the Council of the South African Institute of Race Relations. He has written numerous books and articles.

Andrew Paterson is Chief Research Specialist in the Research Programme on Human Resources Development in the HSRC. Prior to joining the HSRC, he held posts as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the Universities of the North West and Western Cape.

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