Children’s right to education: a case of school fee policies in South Africa.
Akombelwa, Doris Mulenga Malema.
MetadataShow full item record
After 1994, the apartheid education system transformed into democratic system aimed at achieving equity, redress and access to education for all. However, after 20 years of democracy and the introduction of policies and legislation that aim to redress the previous educational injustices, gaps are still evident. The introduced policies include the South African School Act (SASA) (Act No. 84 of 1996), the National Norms Standards for School Funding (NNSSF), the School Fee Exemption Policy (SFEP), and the No Fee School Policy (NFSP). Following the implementation of the policies, quintile ranking of schools was introduced for the government funding purposes, based on the poverty levels of the community. Despite these reforms and implementation, many authors are convinced that these policies have not produced the desired outcomes, and this requires further reflection and research. The study aimed to explore the impact and effectiveness of the NFSP and SFEP over a 10-year period from 2006–2016, in some of the schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Pinetown districts. This was achieved through the critical analysis of learner enrolment and school dropout data. Furthermore, the study critically analyses factors that influence learner dropout and non-matriculation. According to collected data and available research, enrolment rates at primary school level and high school level has increased. However, it is observed from the data that high school dropout is rife particularly from grade 10 to 11. Learners tend to leave school between grade 10 and 11, based on their socio-economic status, mainly the lack of money to pay school fees. Hence school learner dropout is a concern particularly at an advanced stage of schooling, and it has been an on-going problem for over 10 years. The study is based on secondary data and statistical data obtained from the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal province.