Determinants of Grade 12 Pass Rates in the Post-Apartheid South African Schooling System

Posted: 15 Jul 2009

See all articles by H. Bhorat

H. Bhorat

University of Cape Town (UCT) - Development Policy Research Unit

Morne Oosthuizen

University of Cape Town

Date Written: August 2009

Abstract

This paper utilises an educational production function approach on post-apartheid data that include both schooling and community-level information, in order to empirically estimate the key determinants of Grade 12 pass rates in 2000. Quantile regression techniques are applied, allowing for more nuanced information. The key results are, firstly, that the pupil-teacher ratio is insignificant in explaining pass rates for schools below the 95th percentile of the school performance distribution. Secondly, the impact of resources on performance is not strong and, where there is a significant effect, it is highly dependent on the resource in question and the metric utilised for the dependent variable. Thirdly, knowledge infrastructure may be important to understand the absolute and relative performance of schools. Fourthly, proxy variables for teacher and parent characteristics are strongly significant, and the former should probably be a priority focus for any policy programme aimed at improving Grade 12 performance levels in South Africa.

Keywords: I21, O15

Suggested Citation

Bhorat, Haroon I. and Oosthuizen, Morne, Determinants of Grade 12 Pass Rates in the Post-Apartheid South African Schooling System (August 2009). Journal of African Economies, Vol. 18, Issue 4, pp. 634-666, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1433980 or http://dx.doi.org/ejn027

Haroon I. Bhorat (Contact Author)

University of Cape Town (UCT) - Development Policy Research Unit ( email )

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Morne Oosthuizen

University of Cape Town ( email )

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