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Type Report
Title Children Out of School: Evidence from the Community Survey
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Country/State South Africa
Section 3(1) in the South Africa Schools Act requires that all children "attend school from the first school day of the year in which such learner reaches the age of seven years until the last day of the year in which such learner reaches the age of fifteen years or the ninth grade whichever comes first". This period of compulsory schooling from grades 1-9 corresponds to the right to basic education that is guaranteed by section 29(1)(a) in the Constitution. Since 1994, South Africa has made significant strides in improving access to basic education, yet a recent survey suggests that approximately 400,000 children are still out of school. This essay draws on a detailed analysis of the 2007 Community Survey to explore patterns of access and exclusion and focuses on four key questions: (1) How many children have access to basic education? (2) In which areas of the country are children most likely to be out of school? (3) What are the characteristics of children who are out of school? (4) What are the key factors that shape children's access to basic education? (Contains 14 sources, 8 tables, and 2 footnotes.) [In: Pendlebury S., Lake L., & Smith C. (eds.) "South African Child Gauge 2008/2009. Part Two: Meaningful Access to Basic Education." Children's Institute, University of Cape Town. pp. 41-45.]

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