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Statistical analysis of the school attendance rate among under 20 South African learners.

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School attendance is very crucial for the growth and development of the mindset of a child. The development of the mindset and provision of training to learners is an investment of a better future for the country. The government even made school attendance compulsory because of the fruits it bears in the future. But in the past, many studies have reflected a problem with school attendance and mostly the financial constrains appearing as the hindrance towards school attendance. Which is why the government has taken the initiative to make school attendance free for those who doesn’t afford to pay for it. This has reduced a greater number of individuals who had a wish to attend school but with no funds to pay for it and allowed an opportunity for those who need it. But still the country is experiencing individuals who are in school going age but not attending school. Some of these individuals are enrolled for school but choose not to attend. This brings many questions now about the factors affecting school attendance of learners. Which brings us to the aim of this study which is to identify factors affecting school attendance of learners at the basic education level. In identification of these factors, the study made use of different statistical mod- els which accommodate the binary response. The models used in the study include Correspondence Analysis(CA), Survey Logistic Regression(SLR), Generalized Lin- ear Mixed Model(GLMM) and Generalized Additive Mixed Model(GAMM). The results suggest that the likelihood of school non-attendance is associated with Northern Cape and Western Cape which are mostly dominated by Coloured/Indian/Asian race groups sharing ”Other” relationship to household head and have no parents presence. Moreover, the female learners with mothers not alive and coming from families with salaries and pension/grant as source of income are less likely to attend school. While learners coming from all other provinces except the two specified above, African/Black by race, sharing child/grandchild relationship to household head, have both parents alive, deviating from household with high wealth index z-score and have total income above R25000 are more likely to attend school. This is a clear indication that the initiatives which were applied by the government and results of the past studies have assisted in improving school attendance, but still more initiatives are needed to cover the areas which are still reflecting poor school attendance in order to meet the aims of the Millennium Development Goals.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.