Pretoria - Challenges within the basic education system do hamper the transition of many pupils to post-school education.
This was according to Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke, during a briefing on Higher Education and Skills in SA.
He said in 2017, only three-quarters of male pupils who attended Grade 10 in 2016 progressed to Grade 11, while the same was true for close to 87% female learners.
During the same period, even fewer males (71%) who attended Grade 11 in 2016 progressed to Grade 12 the following year, while 76% of the females could do the same.
The provinces that were most affected were the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal with obvious implications for the NSC performance in these provinces.
While NSC performance was generally better among male learners, no gender gap was observed in terms of bachelor pass rates.
According to the General Household Survey (GHS) 2017 data, close to 47% of youth aged 20–24 years who held bachelor degrees or qualifications equivalent to NQF level 7 belonged to the wealthiest household income quintile.
In comparison, only 7,4% of youth who held qualifications equivalent to NQF level 7 came from the poorest household income quintile.
Furthermore, close to 36% of youth holding post-graduate degrees or qualifications equivalent to NQF levels 8–10 belonged to the wealthiest household income quintile.
The report further shows that the general trend in participation in all institutions of post-school learning was upward with the total enrolment in higher education institutions in 2016 amounting to 49,9% of all enrolments within the sector; in TVET to 30,8% of all enrolments within the sector; in CET colleges 11,9% of all enrolments within the sector; and private colleges to 7,4% of all enrolments within the sector.
Despite gains in higher education participation rates, gender disparity was still a challenge as well as participation equity concerns for students from low income backgrounds.