School quality, clustering and government subsidy in post-apartheid South Africa

Other title(s): School quality, clustering and government subsidy in post-apartheid South Africa

Author(s): Yamauchi, Futoshi

Date: 2011

Pages: p. 146-156

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This paper examines a range of historical and geographic factors that determine the quality of public school education in post-apartheid South Africa. Empirical analysis shows, first, that population groups are still spatially segregated due to the legacy of apartheid, which implies that, given the positive correlation between school quality and school fees, quality education is concentrated in formerly white, coloured and Indian schools in areas where the majority is non-African. Second, school quality, measured by the learner - educator ratio, improves as school fee and government subsidy increase. In this sense, school fee can be decreased with an increase in government subsidy to maintain school quality. It is also shown that government subsidy is allocated to schools with lower quality and fees, increasing the number of subsidized teachers. To address the current imbalance, financial support to disadvantaged locales and schools should be strengthened further.

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