The 2021 School Realities Publication, EMIS has revealed that the learner-to-teacher ratio is mostly high for government-only paid teachers across all nine provinces. This ultimately means that teachers that are paid by the government are faced with a high number of learners in classes.
Overpopulated classrooms are a result of a number of factors such as teacher shortages and inadequate schools.
In a statement, the Department of Basic Education has confirmed that on a national level, the learner-to-teacher ratio for state-paid educators only is 34:1, on the other hand, for both state-paid and SGB-paid educators it is 31:1.
Limpopo is in the top two provinces with high learner-to-teacher in both categories. Limpopo obtained the lowest matric pass rate for the 2021 cohort of matriculants in the country.
Education activists have been vocal about overcrowded classrooms being the reason behind learner dropouts.
According to the National Income Dynamic Study - Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM), the school dropout rate tripled from 230 000 to 750 000 in May 2021.
In an attempt to give teachers assistance and create employment opportunities, government launched the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) in 2020.
Through this initiative young people were employed, not only reducing youth unemployment but also assisting in ensuring that teachers are supported in the classrooms.
The Basic Education Sector had been allocated R7 billion to implement this initiative.