Racial, social inequalities have major impact on matric results - study
9 February 2016
Durban - The 2016 South African Survey by the SA Institute for Race Relations has noted "deep-seated racial and social inequalities" in South Africa's matric results.
According to a statement issued by the IRR on Tuesday, not nearly enough has been done to deliver high-quality education to black people.
The survey found only 35% of matric candidates who wrote mathematics in 2014 achieved a grade of 40% or above, according to data obtained from the Department of Basic Education.
"When the data was broken down by race group, it became apparent that 83% of white candidates obtained a grade of 40% and above as opposed to 69.7% of Indian candidates, 46.3% of coloured candidates, and just 28.5% of African candidates."
According to IRR CEO Dr Frans Cronjé, "the data reveals that 20 years into our democracy, not nearly enough has been done to deliver high-quality education to black people".
The IRR report also broke down levels of educational achievement by living standards. The data showed strong correlations between living standards and educational outcomes. For example, in the poorest 20% of the population, only 5.9% of candidates passed mathematics in matric with a grade of 60% of higher. In the wealthiest 20%, the figure was 23.3%.
Cronjé said the quality of mathematics education generally was very poor in South Africa, despite the fact that the economy was moving away from less-skilled primary and secondary industries, towards the more highly-skilled tertiary sector.
"This will continue to depress economic growth levels and job creation, while hobbling any expansion of the middle class. South African policy makers must also be careful that other African economies do not become preferred destinations for high-tech and high-skilled investment."
He added that "the IRR has made several proposals on how to improve the quality of schooling in South Africa – especially via voucher systems and contract schooling – but to date policy makers seem intent to persist with a model of State-led schooling that is failing".
This article first appeared on News24, see here.