10 things about education

1. Just more than half the ­children who started school in South Africa this week will make it to grade 12, this year’s trends show.

2. Many of those children won’t make it past grade 10, so they will leave school without a recognised educational qualification.

3. Unemployment among young people between the ages of 18 and 24 years is 50%, twice the national average.

4. The matric pass rate probably would have been 24% if the pass mark was 50% rather than 30%, according to calculations by a ­statistician reported in City Press.

5. The share prices of listed private school companies Curro Holdings and Advtech jumped 7% and 13% respectively after the release of the matric results last week.

6. About 4% of schoolchildren go to private schools. Gauteng has the highest ­proportion of children in private schools. According to a report published by the department of education last year, about 6% of the country’s schools are private.

7. In public schools, there are on average 30 pupils per teacher. In private schools, there are 16 pupils per teacher, according to the education department. The World Bank lists China as having 17 pupils per teacher, India 35, and the United States and United Kingdom 14 and 17 respectively. The Central African Republic has 80 pupils per teacher, Chad 61, Ethiopia 54, Malawi 74, Mozambique 55 and Rwanda 59.

8. South Africa has a relatively high intake for children entering their first year of primary school: the gross intake ratio is 95% for girls and 99% for boys, according to the World Bank. The education department reports that there are more males than females in the foundation phase, but it evens out in the higher phases. The highest proportion of children (31.5%) are in the foundation phase, grades one to three.

9. Expenditure per primary school pupil (as a percentage of gross domestic product per capita) is 17.5%. This increases to 19.7% per secondary school pupil. Australia spends 22.5% and 19.9% per child respectively; India 6.9% and 12.6%; the United Kingdom 26.5% and 34%; and the United States 22.9% and 25.3%.

10. South Africa's education spending is 19.2% of total ­government expenditure. In Brazil it is 18.1% and in India, 11%.

Sources: World Bank, basic ­education department, City Press, Nic Spaull in the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times

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