Private schools are thriving in SA

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Curro just released its interim results for the half year to June 2019 and the figures tell a story of a company that has prospered at the expense of an overburdened public education system.

Not all public schools are terrible. Several rank among the best in terms of matric pass rates, and the better resourced public schools are able to match the academic achievements of the private sector. But Curro and other independent schools are clearly filling a gaping hole left by an overstretched and under-resourced public sector.

Figures from South African Market Insights show there are just short of 2 000 independent schools in SA with slightly more than 400 000 students. Put another way, about 8% of schools in SA are independent, accommodating 3% of the student population. The public sector has about 23 800 schools with 12.5 million students. This means the public sector is carrying a huge burden, with nearly three times as many students per teacher as in the private sector.

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