Education in South Africa
- Education institutions
Minister for Higher Education
The government has committed itself to free and quality education, for poor students, up to the first stage of qualification into higher education. Amongst other things for instance that my department is doing now, is reviewing the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, so that that scheme is better able to respond to that need such that no capable student, who happens to be poor, must not be prevented [from accessing higher education] because of a lack of state resources and funds – that is at the heart of what this administration is trying to do.
The Minister for Basic Education has plans to build upon what has already been happening – to try and build safer schools. The government is committed to ensuring that we build safer schools and will create a better learning environment, a joint effort between government and communities.
Dr Emmanuel Bonginkosi Nzimande, well known as Blade, is the first Minister for Higher Education and Training in the Republic of South Africa, appointed in May 2009. He has also held the position of the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), from July 1998 to the present. He was re- elected in July 2002 and 2007. He is also a member of the ANC National Executive Committee, a member of the ANC National Working Committee and the Chairperson of the Financial Sector Coalition Campaign (FSCC).
Born in Kwa-Dambuza, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1958, Nzimande joined the SACP at the age of 30. Dr Nzimande obtained his PhD in Industrial Sociology from the University of Natal in 1991 and he is also a qualified Industrial Psychologist. From 1994 to 1999, Dr Nzimande was a Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education in South Africa’s first democratic parliament. He was Director of the Education Policy Unit at the University of Natal from 1990 to 1994, and, prior to that, he lectured in Industrial Psychology at the Universities of Zululand and Natal. In the 1980’s he was a member of progressive education organisations, including NEUSA, UDUSA and NECC and served in many NGO’s supporting mass and labour struggles. In addition to serving on the Boards and committees of many organisations, Dr Nzimande has published numerous works related to the areas he researched, namely: Education, Civil Society and the State; Affirmative Action; and Education Policy Development; and Socialism.
Joined Commonwealth: 1931 (Statute of Westminster; left in 1961, rejoined in 1994)
Population: 52,368,000 (2011)
GDP p.c. growth: 1.0% p.a. 1990–2012
UN HDI 2012: World ranking 121
Net primary enrolment: 90.5% (2012)
Adult literacy: 93.7% (2012)
Public spending on education was 2 per cent of GDP in 2011.
The Department of Education is responsible for the administration and coordination of education in South Africa across all sectors, but each of the nine provinces has its own education department.
There are nine years of compulsory education starting at the age of seven. Primary school comprises seven years and secondary five, with cycles of two and three years. The school year starts in January.
In January 2012, the Council on Higher Education recognised 23 public universities, including two concentrating on distance education and six universities of technology. It had also registered 88 private higher education institutions and a further 27 were provisionally registered. There are some 892,940 students in public higher education institutions, some 138,610 of whom are postgraduate students (2010). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 98.9 per cent (2012).
Department of Basic Education: www.education.gov.za
Department of Higher Education and Training: www.dhet.gov.za
Council on Higher Education: www.che.ac.za
Higher Education South Africa: www.hesa.org.za
South African Council for Educators: www.sace.org.za
South African Qualifications Authority: www.saqa.org.za
Rhodes University: www.ru.ac.za
Stellenbosch University: www.sun.ac.za
University of Cape Town: www.uct.ac.za
University of Fort Hare: www.ufh.ac.za
University of Johannesburg: www.uj.ac.za
University of Kwazulu–Natal: www.ukzn.ac.za
University of Pretoria: web.up.ac.za
University of the Witwatersrand: www.wits.ac.za
PALAMA (Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy): www.palama.gov.za
South African Institute for Distance Education: www.saide.org.za
University of South Africa: www.unisa.ac.za
Human Sciences Research Council: www.hsrc.ac.za
Generation of Leaders Discovered Peer Education: www.goldpe.org.za