Education In South Africa
South Africa has a 3 tier system of education starting with primary school, followed by secondary school and tertiary education in the form of (academic) universities, FET (Further Education and Training) and universities of technology.
Recently, great advances towards better Education in South Africa have been made. The introduction of new technology to the formerly disadvantaged schools in many areas has been seen as a promising thing for the future. Organizations such as Khanya, (Nguni for enlightenment) have worked to provide computer access in state schools. A recent national initiative has been the creation of "FOCUS" schools. These specialise in specific curriculum areas (Business & Commerce, Engineering, Arts & Culture) and are very similar to the UK specialist schools programme.
In 2010, it had 12.3 million learners, 386,000 teachers and around 48,000 schools (8 teachers per school on average) – including 390 special needs schools and 1,000 registered private schools. Officially, primary schools comprise Grade 1 to 7 and High schools Grade 8 to 12. These are extended on either end with Grade 0 and 13 at the discretion of the school.
School life spans 12 years – or grades – although the first year of education, Grade R or "reception year", and the last three years, Grade 10, 11 and Grade 12 or "Matric" are not compulsory. Many Primary schools offer Grade R, although this pre-school year may also be completed at Nursery.
For university entrance, a "Matriculation Endorsement" is required, although some universities do set their own additional academic requirements. South Africa has a vibrant higher sector, with more than a million students enrolled in the country’s universities, FET (Further Education and Training) and universities of technology. All the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government.
South Africa has the concept of public and private schools. They vary according to character, size, quality of education, and financial advantages. Both are promising. Most schools are funded by the state and private schools are funded by fees. 2.8% of the total school population is private equalling 340,000 students. In 2010, the literacy rate is 88.0% and South Africa is listed joint 107th of 180 countries on the world literacy list.
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