Education Fact Sheet

Minister of Basic Education: Hon. Mrs Angie MOTSHEKGA

Education System:

The structure of the South African school system comprises three (3) broad bands, viz. the General Education and Training (GET), Further Education and Training (FET) and Higher Education (HE) which spanned Level 1, Levels 2-4 and Levels 5-8, respectively, on the National Qualification Framework (NQF). This arrangement remained virtually unchanged between the SACMEQ II and SACMEQ III studies.

A new structural arrangement was the full scale inclusion of Grade R (five to six year olds) into the mainstream public school system. Prior to 2007 the provision of Grade R was a shared responsibility between two government departments: the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare. This arrangement proved non-viable since accountability often got lost in this duality, particularly in the areas of who should provide appropriate human and material resources. The revised arrangement meant that the Department of Education took full responsibility for providing education to this category of children.

In 2007 there were approximately 26 065 schools that provided education to over 12 million learners in South Africa. Four percent of the schools were independent or privately run. The total number of educators who served all the schools was 394 225.