Corporal punishment up in N/Cape, N/West: Stats SA

2011-05-05 14:22

Corporal punishment at schools has shown an overall decline but there has been a “disturbing” increase in the Northern Cape and North West, according to Statistics SA’s general household survey (GHS) released today.

Students experiencing corporal punishment declined from 17% in 2009 to 14% in 2010.

“This decrease, however, hides disturbing increases in Northern Cape (5.6% to 17.5%) and North West (12.7% to 21.7%),” Stats SA said in a report.

“This form of punishment was most commonly experienced in Eastern Cape (23.3%), North West (21.7%) and KwaZulu-Natal (21.1%).”

“Nationally, 72.8% of persons aged seven to 24 were attending educational institutions. After the steady increase in attendance rates between 2002 and 2007, last year’s GHS found a slight decline in attendance rates relative to 2007 in all provinces except Gauteng,” Stats SA said in the report.

The decline could be a reflection of the recent financial crisis.

“A lack of money for fees remains the primary reason for a large proportion of individuals in this age group who were not studying.”

Stats SA said 45% of those youth not studying last year in KwaZulu-Natal and 39% in the Eastern Cape blamed “a lack of money” for not studying.

The survey found that the “no fee” school system and other funding initiatives were starting to pay off.

The percentage of pupils who reported they paid no tuition fees increased significantly from 0.7% in 2002 to 55% last year.

Limpopo benefited the most with 89% of students non-payers, while the Free State had 71% and the Eastern Cape 70%.

Figures were lower in the Western Cape at 35% and Gauteng, at 31%.

“Pupils currently attending school were the biggest beneficiaries of this system. Forty-eight percent of them did not pay school fees and for 94% of the non-payers the reason for not paying school fees was because the school is a ‘no fee’ school,” Stats SA said.

Out of the pupils surveyed, 94% attended public schools.

Ninety percent of pupils who went to schools with feeding programmes, received food at school.

Pupils in Limpopo (98%), Eastern Cape (96%), KwaZulu-Natal (95%) and Northern Cape (93%) were the most likely to benefit from this programme.

Around 678 543 students were enrolled at higher educational institutions last year.

Of these, 64% were African.

“However, proportionally, this group is still underrepresented. Only 3.1% of Africans aged 18 to 29 years were studying as opposed to 11.9% amongst Indians/Asians and 17.2% among the white population.”

Coloured students are also underrepresented with only 3% studying at higher education institutions last year.

Statistics SA said the percentage of people without formal education decreased significantly from 11% in 2002 to 7% last year.

The percentage classified as functionally illiterate, meaning their highest level of education was lower than Grade 7, dropped from 28% to 19%.

Limpopo had the highest percentage of people without formal education at 13%, followed by Mpumalanga (11%), Northern Cape (11%) and North West (10%).

The GHS was conducted in July, August and September last year among 25?635 households in face-to-face interviews.

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