Education in South Africa - Extended and more equal after year 1994

University essay from Lunds universitet/Department of Economics

Abstract: South Africa held their first democratic election in 1994. The fact that ANC won this doctrinarian election is fundamental for all levels of the South African society. South Africa constitutes a society with clear inequalities and social problems. Since education is considered as a crucial factor to meet these challenges we have studied if a more extended and more equal access to education is observable after the democratic election in 1994 compared with the years before. The period we study mainly reaches over 1983 and 2003. Economic theories emphasizing the importance of education and the weight of not marginalizing any groups in the society from the access to this human right have guided us to the purpose of this thesis. With the development of the educational budget as a base; enrollment, boys-girls ratios in primary and secondary education and the distribution of resources between races have been used as a framework to this thesis. We have found that the overall development of the educational budget as part of the total national budget has been positive during the period examined, but a decrease from 1997 and forward is seen. Although there have been a greater amount granted to the educational system, taking inflation into account. The development of the enrollment ratios in primary education shows a constant increase until 1995, the period after show a decline. The gender disparity has been reduced, but still girls’ representation is lower than males’. In secondary education the development shows a constant increase of total enrollment and a continuing fluctuation in the gender diversity in advantage for girls has been observed. Before 1994 there was an important race marginalization within education, of particularly the black population. The development between 1970 and 1985 was very positive but still in1985 the black and to some extent the colored populations were discriminated on both levels. After 1994 a clear priority to improve the quality of primary education for black children is seen. It is also obvious that efforts have been made to develop the quality of their secondary education. Despite this clear inequalities in education, in disadvantage for the black population, still remains.