Key Points:

  • Over the past two years, CDE has conducted ground-breaking research into a highly significant development in South African education, namely the growth of low-fee private schools catering for poorer sectors of the population.
  • Private schooling for the poor is a global phenomenon which is gaining massive momentum in developing societies such as India, Pakistan, Chile, Ghana, and Colombia but its emergence in South Africa has been insufficiently recognised.
  • While still on a smaller scale than in other developing societies, this is an important development, with far-reaching implications.
  • How big is this sector? How fast is it growing? Can it provide meaningful numbers of learners in poorer communities with a good education? Can it help to relieve the enormous challenges facing the public schooling system? And should the public do more to recognise this sector and encourage its growth?
  • The South African public schooling system fails to provide major sections of society – particularly poorer people – with an adequate education
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