Category: Policy Briefs
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pdf.png Exploring Grade Repetition at Under-performing Schools in the Western Cape 2011 HOT

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Our research was conducted in the Western Cape and focused on understanding the underlying factors responsible for the poor performance of learners, which is manifested in grade repetition or failure in underperforming secondary schools. It found that most underperforming schools were located in the townships and manifest many social dysfunctionalities emanating from the social environment in which they are rooted. The resultant inequity in educational outcomes is morally, politically and economically intolerable and this paper highlights the need to have these issues addressed as a matter of urgency. 



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2016-03-03
1.13 MB
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pdf.png Identifying policy priorities to improve outcomes for poor primary school learners 2011 HOT

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These findings are based on a working paper by Nic Spaull, analysing results from the 2007 SACMEQ III1 survey. The project surveyed 9083 Grade 6 learners and 1163 teachers from 392 schools across South Africa, capturing learners’ scores in Maths, Reading and Health tests whilst recording extensive demographic, learner-specific, school and teacher data. In addition, Reading, Maths, and Health teachers were tested in their respective disciplines. This policy brief constitutes an overview of the key policy implications from
Spaull’s Working Paper, which can be found at http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2011. Readers are encouraged to consult the Working Paper for a more comprehensive treatment of the findings.



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2016-03-05
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pdf.png The vital role of good school management in improving primary school outcomes 2011 HOT

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It is popular to assume that poorer primary school learners struggle to perform due to their socio-economic status and the resultant lack of access to good school resources and teachers. Still, children in South African primary schools underperform compared to their counterparts in other Southern- and East African countries, in spite of benefiting from better access to resources, more qualified teachers and lower pupil-to-teacher ratios. Are there other factors at play, which preclude South African primary schools from making the best use of their resources? A recent paper looks at the performance of primary school learners in standardised literacy and numeracy tests. It concludes that although socio-economic status and access to good resources both play a role in educational outcomes, an improvement in either of those areas is meaningless If schools aren’t managed efficiently. This underlines the case for prioritising policies aimed at improving managerial practices in primary schools.



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2016-03-08
187.89 KB
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pdf.png For richer, for poorer? Can lessons learnt from wealthy schools be applied to help poor schools deliver better results? 2011

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The findings presented here are taken from a working paper by Debra Shepherd, based on the 2005/06 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) dataset which tested learners across 45 international education systems.In South Africa, 14125 Grade 5 students from 385 schools were sampled. The survey recorded learner reading test scores, and also captured extensive data on learners and their family background, teacher level and school-specific information. The original paper can be found athttp://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2011/wp052011



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2016-03-28
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pdf.png Recent patterns in the extent and quality of pre-primary education in South Africa 2010 HOT

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A recent paper, using new household data, indicates that the percentage of Grade 1 learners who have experienced pre-primary schooling increased substantially between 2004 and 2008, from 60% to 80%. Evidence is also found that for certain poor learners having participated in pre-primary schooling improves performance in primary school mathematics tests.
This policy brief is largely based on findings from a 2010 paper titled Policy note on pre-primary  schooling: An empirical contribution to the 2009 Medium Term Strategic Framework by Martin Gustafsson.



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2016-05-21
76.65 KB
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pdf.png Rethinking pre-grade R 2015 HOT

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This brief is based on a study in which I analysed the available nationally representative datasets to identify the current participation trends of four and five year olds in early education institutions, the supply-side constraints to delivering a high-quality pre-Grade R year, and the challenges of implementing a universally accessible pre-grade R.



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2016-08-03
660.54 KB
133
pdf.png Limited support for the foundation phase: A misallocation of district resources 2016 HOT

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This policy brief uses School Monitoring Survey (SMS) data from 2011, a nationally representative survey of schools, as evidence of how less district support is being targeted at lower grades compared with higher grade levels, particularly grades 10 to 12 or otherwise referred to as the Further Education and Training (FET) phase.



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2016-11-26
774.37 KB
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pdf.png PAN: Children Policy Brief 2015: Education: every child must read by age 9 2015 HOT

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This is the first in a series of five policy briefs published by PAN: Children drawn from a study commissioned and funded by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa. It notes that most children in South Africa are not acquiring basic reading skills by the end of Foundation Phase (grades 1-3), precluding them from further learning; There are large inequalities in reading achievement between rich and poor children; and the later in life we attempt to repair early learning deficits, the costlier the remediation becomes.



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2016-11-01
778 KB
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pdf.png PAN: Children Policy Brief : Poor childhood health can condemn children to poverty for life 2015

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2016-11-01
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pdf.png The DBE’s workbooks as a curriculum tool 2016 HOT

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This policy brief is based on our study of the Grade 3 workbooks for English home language (EHL) and mathematics. We considered how well these workbooks are aligned with the official national curriculum (the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements – CAPS) and how they can best be used in classrooms to support the implementation of the CAPS.



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2016-11-26
770.74 KB
131