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OVERVIEW

Education and training KwaZulu-Natal has 30% of South Africa’s schoolchildren.

SECTOR INSIGHT Curro plans a tertiary listing on the JSE. • T he K ZN Provincial Government has paid out R1.5-billion in bursaries.

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ducation faces big challenges in South Africa. KwaZulu-Natal, with a population of more than 10-million, more than half of whom live in rural areas which suffered decades of neglect, has made significant strides in providing access to education. With 30% of South Africa’s pupils in its schools, the province’s results have a big bearing on how the nation fares in annual examinations. There is now near universal access to primary and secondary schooling and a new drive to enrol pre-school children in Grade R has achieved a 70% success rate. The province has 1 689 early childhood development centres. Access to tertiary education has also increased exponentially in South Africa in the last two decades. There were some alarming scenes on South African university campuses in 2016, with students organising under the banner of #FeesMustFall. There are some serious issues that South Africa’s educational planners need to tackle, not least the issue of funding, but this should not obscure the fact that access has improved. Before the end of January 2017, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) had paid R1.3-billion to 26 public universities to advance payment of registration fees for poor students. The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal bursary programme paid out R1.5-billion in the three years to 2016 and more than 5 000 graduate interns obtained jobs at provincial government departments at a cost to government of more than R100-million. KWAZULU-NATAL BUSINESS 2017/18

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For the 2016 academic year, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) received more than 84 000 applications for the 8 770 spaces available in its first-year undergraduate programmes. In this context, educational analyst Nic Spaull put some myths to bed in an important article in the Mail & Guardian in 2016. Despite being highly critical of the education system and arguing strongly that “meaningful reform” is needed, he tackled the false idea that somehow “black youths are regressing educationally”. Spaull pulled together a series of studies to show that: • between 1986 and 2012 the number of black university graduates increased sixteenfold • between 2004 and 2014 the number increased by 137% (against a black population rise of 16%) • graduate unemployment is low at 6% (although worse for blacks than whites).

KwaZulu-Natal Business 2017/18  

KwaZulu-Natal Business 2016/17 is the eighth edition of this highly successful publication that has since its launch in 2007 established its...

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