More children in schools - survey

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pretoria - More children between the ages of 0 and 9 are attending educational institutions, according to the General Household Survey for 2008.

The percentage of children aged between 0 and 4 attending institutions increased from 7.4 percent in 2002 to 16.9 percent, while the attendance for those aged between 5 and 9 increased from 79.9 percent to 88.6 percent in 2008.

The survey, released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday, also found that there had been substantial growth since 2002 in the percentage of children aged 0-9 years who were attending an educational institution.

However, this growth is still not sufficient to meet the Early Childhood Development (ECD) goals that were set for 2010, said the statistical body.

South Africa's ECD goals for 2010 are to reach one million children and to increase the participation of 0 to 4 year olds to 30 percent.

In all the provinces school attendance was higher than 97 percent in the 7 to 15 year group remaining largely unchanged from 2007.

"Among persons aged 7 to 24 years, 25.7 percent were not attending educational institutions during 2008. The most important reason why people of this age group were not attending was a lack of money for fees," the survey found.

The percentage of learners paying no fees increased from 0.8 percent in 2002 to 30.8 percent in 2008. Most of these students were from Limpopo at 25.1 percent, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 18.8 percent, the Eastern Cape at 17.4 percent and Free State at 10.1 percent.

According to the survey, more students received partial or full bursaries at 12.7 percent of students compared to the 2 percent recorded in 2002.

The survey found that the number of people with no education decreased from 10.3 to 8.8 percent and the percentage of those who completed their matric increased from 22.8 percent to 24.6 percent.

There has also been progress in the percentage of learners older than 25 years who are receiving schooling.

The survey is an annual survey that started in 2002 and instituted because of a need identified by government to determine the level of development in the country and the performance of programmes and projects on a regular basis.