Finding: parents prefer independent schools

2011-01-18 00:00

INDEPENDENT schools have become more popular than public schools and could be an indication that parents are losing faith in the public school system, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR).

The latest survey by the SAIRR shows that the number of pupils in independent schools has increased by 50% in the past nine years, while in the same number of years the number of pupils in public schools has increased by only 1,6%.

According to data from the Basic Education Department, the number of pupils attending public schools increased from 11,6 million to 11,8 million between 2000 and 2009. Meanwhile, the number of pupils attending independent schools increased from 256 283 to 386 098 during the same period.

A member of the institute’s research team, Marius Roodt, said the survey found that the biggest decline of pupils attending public schools is in North West, a drop of 15%, while the Northern Cape recorded the greatest growth in public school attendance — 35% — between 2000 and 2009.

In the nine years, most provinces recorded increased numbers of pupils attending independent schools, with only the Free State and KZN recording declines.

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