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Poor Education, Poor Economy – and Planning the Escape.

The South African education system is in crisis. According to Statistics SA, half of all learners drop out of school before reaching matric. The government fails learners in poor communities by failing to provide schools with adequate infrastructure and qualified teachers. Inequality in South Africa is exacerbated by an education system which does not adequately prepare learners for the world of work. Learners from disadvantaged communities cannot compete with their peers from affluent communities.

The webinar will focus on a paper Poor Education, Poor Economy and Planning the Escape by Prof Philippe Burger. Prof Burger will present data which provides:

  • an overview of the quality of education in South Africa as measured by the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study of 2019 (TIMSS 2019) released in late 2020 and augment it with data from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study of 2016 (PIRLS 2016),
  • an overview of school dropout numbers and the educational attainment of people in their 20s,
  • discuss some of the problems the education system faces, problems that may explain the lack of performance and slow progress made over time, discussion of the broad economic implications of a weak education system, and propose some much-needed measures to improve educational outcomes.

Click here to register.

Event Details

25 February 2021

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Past Event



Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
Webinar Host

Philippe Burger
Professor of Economics at the University of the Free State.

Lesedi Masha
Network and Pathway Manager at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator.

Thandeka Gqubule
Journalist at the SABC

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