Most pupils do not pay school fees

2012-05-03 14:49

Pretoria - Almost two-thirds of pupils do not pay school fees in South Africa, Statistics SA (StatsSA) said on Thursday.

"Of these, 96.5% attended no-fee schools," according to the Stats SA General Household Survey 2011 released in Pretoria on Thursday.

The number of pupils benefiting from no-fee schools had increased sharply over the past five years, since the government introduced new policies in 2006, said Niel Roux, chief survey statistician.

Forty percent of schools in South Africa were declared no-fee schools from 2007. These ranked among the poorest fifth of schools in the country.

The percentage of pupils at no-fee schools had increased from 0.7% in 2002 to 56% in 2011, Stats SA said.

Wide discrepancy

There was a wide discrepancy between provinces.

Ninety percent of pupils in Limpopo and 72% in the Eastern Cape attended no-fee schools.

However, in Gauteng only 32% did so, while in the Western Cape it was 28%.

The proportion of people aged seven to 24 attending educational institutions was relatively stable between 2002 and 2011 at about 74%.

The main reason given by those youths still not attending school was a lack of money, the survey found.

Only 2% of respondents indicated they had left school due to pregnancy. However, this measured both male and female respondents.

"When you look at girls aged 13 to 18, the figure can be as high as 10% or more," Roux said.

Food aid

The proportion of pupils benefiting from school nutrition programmes had grown significantly from 2009 to 2011.

In 2011, almost three-quarters of pupils at public schools with food aid made use of the programme.

This had grown from 66% in 2010.

Pupils in Limpopo, the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape were the most likely to benefit from food programmes. Those in Gauteng and Western Cape were the least likely to benefit.

27% completed matric

Roux said the percentage of people completing matric had "improved significantly and consistently" since 2002 when it was 22%. In 2011, it was 27%.

"Over the same period, the percentage of individuals with a tertiary education increased from 9.2% to 11.5%," according to the report.

The percentage of people without any schooling dropped from 11% to 7% over this time.

Roux said it was encouraging to note that 92% of adults in South Africa could be classified as literate.

The highest proportion of literate adults were found in the Western Cape and Gauteng - both at 97%.

The lowest was the Northern Cape at 84%.

Stats SA surveyed about 30 000 households between July and September 2011.

The survey covers areas relating to social concerns, including education, health and social services.

  • thebe.tau - 2012-05-03 15:00

    The standard of education in those no-fee schools is so low even the no-fee sounds too much to pay for, wouldn't send my kids there even if they paid me.

      gina.c.lorenzi - 2012-05-03 15:14

      Bitter sweet story this one..

      Zing - 2012-05-03 15:20

      I would be glad to know that my taxes are used to educate young children, but, sadly, you're right thebe.

      tnmunyai - 2012-05-03 16:25

      Is up to u

  • Anthony - 2012-05-03 15:02


  • Sharon - 2012-05-03 15:02

    Is there a correlation between no-fee schools and school protests?

      modumo - 2012-05-03 16:06

      Not really, school protests have declined drastically, the only ones I have heard of, of late, are where parents and students demand a better education and protest due to a lack of resources or sexual abuse. Under all our problems as South Africa there is a huge majority of children who seek education but those kids are usually from families that support that notion as opposed to expecting the government to take care of their childrens upbringing from conception to employment.

  • Angelica - 2012-05-03 15:03

    gee is that a good thing or a bad thing? no fees schools? unfair to people who have to pay school fees.. but fair for the poor? very confusing.

      Zing - 2012-05-03 15:22

      One of the things I admire most about Cuba is that they kept education as a free and basic right for all citizens, up to and including university. Now that we are importing doctors from Cuba, I think you'd have to agree that it seems to be working?

      modumo - 2012-05-03 16:10

      Its a good and bad thing, sometimes free education can bring out the students determination, sometimes private education can bring out a students laziness. family and aspirational values are fundamental

      sasekile - 2012-05-03 16:42

      You should see the no fees schools, there are no facilities at all, no laboratories, the buildings are falling apart, I stay in Soweto, surrounded by more than 10 no fees schools but I will never take my children there, I rather go to bed hungry and make sure my children get proper education

  • Dennis - 2012-05-03 15:07

    Good ploy by our "freedom fighters" Keep the doff very doff, give them a grant, a half brown and a streetwise in exchange for votes !!

  • Terry - 2012-05-03 15:08

    It might not cost money to go to those schools - but it costs you your future.

  • Dominique - 2012-05-03 15:19

    Shouldnt the post say parents dont pay school fees?

  • Stille - 2012-05-03 15:23

    no worries - 2/3 of the matriculants produced by this joke of a school system are iliterate anyways.

      Zing - 2012-05-03 18:24

      What's not to worry, Stille? Those kids have to build this country with your kids.

  • Susan - 2012-05-03 15:30

    So why is the "youf leauge" then demanding free education if they dont pay anyways?

      Anthony - 2012-05-03 15:34

      haha.. dont tell them, they dont know

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-03 15:41

    And your point is?....... The ANC used "free education: as their 1994 election catch phrase, it is only right that the people of this country force them to honor that undertaking by not paying school fees, but of course as racism is alive and well, poor whites are expected to pay, same as the new employment guidelines say that companies must employ a fully functional black man over a disabled white.

      modumo - 2012-05-03 16:13

      This has nothing to do with race, if you are poor and happen to be white I would think that you could enroll in the free school program.

  • Rob - 2012-05-03 15:47

    This may well be the archetypal example of... YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Most governmants are very good at printing money and using it. But not much else, including using it wisely.

  • Bear - 2012-05-03 15:47

    Don't pay for your kid's school fees? expect him/her to have an education that will allow him to even vaguely succeed? BLAME THE ANC? this is the 1st time I actually see why the ANC is struggling to keep the education system afloat.

  • Boy - 2012-05-03 16:09

    wonder why i do not also benefit from these free schools. pay out of my neck to educate my kids. 1law4all

  • dineo.mothibi.1 - 2012-05-03 16:12

    In north west,zeerust at the village Lobatla,school is Phatlhoso secondary there are pupils pupils who they do not attend school now cause the parents can not afford school fund cause they are not working,they have taken to court.The school is goverment school. How do we assist these parents and thier children cause I think every child deserve to get education anyone who can assist please. I tried to give the matter to Anc youth of the village and they promised to attend that even now I do not get clear answer,the councilor knows.

      christopher.mogami - 2012-05-03 16:28

      Are you serious?

      shaylene.stenger - 2012-05-03 16:34

      Very true about every child getting an education, the sad part is the goverment is doing nothing about it. They are making the poor even more poorer by robbing them of that right. The sooner people see what the ANC is really about and start voting logically not because of race and fear the better.

      Zing - 2012-05-03 18:28

      Yes, christopher. She is serious. And we should take this serious. More serious than e-toll or the other BS this government has recently dished up.

  • Bibi - 2012-05-03 16:42

    Easy to provide free education, impossible to provide free and quality education. In SA anyway.

  • Jonny Lee - 2012-05-03 17:14

    I could not afford my daughters schoolfees so they handed me over and collected my furniture, now i dont even have a washing machine to was her school clothes in. what a wonderful country we live in!

      pws69 - 2012-05-03 20:51

      Did you apply for exemption? Did the school inform you that you could apply for exemption? If not, they broke the law.

  • Thabo - 2012-05-03 17:29

    What happened to \Free education for all\. Is the quality of education worth paying ?

  • Rob - 2012-05-03 17:52

    Students don't pay... Yet they all have cell phones, wear designer clothing, drive fancy cars and seem to spend all their 'leisure hours' in bars and night-clubs. Please don't plead poverty... Scavangers.. Mommy and Daddy should not send you to University if they can not afford it - presumably the Tax payer 'features' somewhere in this equation....

  • Zing - 2012-05-03 18:23

    It's refreshing to see the comments above. Some are sad though. If we as South Africans do not educate and empower ALL our children for the workplace, we will never reach our goal of equality for all. It breaks my heart to know those children will grow up with little or no chance of meaningful employment. Wake up South Africa! To those people who have so much to say, and nothing to offer: Yes, you may comment about the poor quality of pupils these schools produce, but if you are not doing anything to better it then just STFU!

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-03 19:14

      Correct. Just look around the world - countries with the highest literacy rate have the lowest crime, lowest unemployment, stable civil society. What is outrageous is that ZA spends more per cap than even most developed countries on primary edu, yet very little to show for it. Tampering with tried and tested edu models does not work and in fact is an insult to people. Do not reduce the pass rate to 30% - raise the bar and make it 80% When it is set so low, people have no respect for education - it's just another process they get pushed through without seeing or getting any value out of. People thrive when they are challenged and stagnate when everyone's reduced to the lowest common denominator.

  • pws69 - 2012-05-03 21:06

    There is a correlation between fee paying schools and performance. Best performing Province = WC Lowest percentage of free schools = WC Ditto for GP in 2nd place. I'm SGB chairman at our school and our Principal took me to 5 schools in our district, all quintile 4 or 5, and you can see the difference between the low fee and higher fee schools in terms of upkeep and performance. That is why it is such a travesty that so much money gets wasted by the Dept of Education. It could make a massive difference to the less fortunate. At present 23,8% of our pupils don't pay school fees, or qualify for a discount (there is a sliding scale). None of the parents have a problem with subsidising these children, as we all realise they are our future.

  • nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-03 11:45

    Well you can't really expect them to pay fees considering what a mess this country's education system is in. Numb nuts!

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