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The impact of the no-fee school policy on enrolment and school performance: Evidence from NIDS Waves 1-3

Author

Listed:
  • Nicola Branson

    (Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town)

  • David Lam

    (Population Studies Center and Director of the Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan)

Abstract

Post-apartheid education funding is designed to redress past inequalities in funding and, in doing so, work towards providing all learners with high quality education (Schools Act, 1996). In August 2006, new National Norms and Standards for Funding were established and the rollout of a no-fee program initiated. The program abolishes compulsory school fees in schools in the least socioeconomically advantaged sections of society. From 2007, the Minister of Education began declaring certain public ordinary schools to be no-fee schools, with additional schools added each year, such that by 2011 over 80% of all public schools were declared no-fee schools. The rollout coincides with the first three waves of the National Income Dynamics Study. We geo-link each respondent's location in 2007 to administrative school data and combine differences in distance to a no-fee high school in 2007 with differences across cohorts that result from the timing of the program rollout. We find no discernable impact of the program on enrolment at 16, 17, 18 or 19 or on educational attainment and completion of secondary school by age 20.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Branson & David Lam, 2017. "The impact of the no-fee school policy on enrolment and school performance: Evidence from NIDS Waves 1-3," SALDRU Working Papers 197, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:197
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    File URL: http://www.opensaldru.uct.ac.za/handle/11090/856
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Branson, Nicola & Kekana, Dineo & Lam, David, 2013. "Educational expenditure in South Africa: Evidence from the National Income Dynamics Study," SALDRU Working Papers 124, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Miquel Pellicer & Patrizio Piraino, 2019. "The Effect of Nonpersonnel Resources on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(4), pages 907-934.
    3. Nicola Branson & Clare Hofmeyr & David Lam, 2014. "Progress through school and the determinants of school dropout in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 106-126, January.
    4. Leibbrandt, Murray & Lilenstein, Kezia & Shenker, Callie & Woolard, Ingrid, 2013. "The influence of social transfers on labour supply: A South African and international review," SALDRU Working Papers 112, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    5. Robert Picard, 2010. "GEONEAR: Stata module to find nearest neighbors using geodetic distances," Statistical Software Components S457146, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 14 Sep 2019.
    6. Evan Borkum, 2012. "Can Eliminating School Fees in Poor Districts Boost Enrollment? Evidence from South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(2), pages 359-398.
    7. Martin Gustafsson, 2011. "The when and how of leaving school: The policy implications of new evidence on secondary schooling in South Africa," Working Papers 09/2011, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    8. Deininger, Klaus, 2003. "Does cost of schooling affect enrollment by the poor? Universal primary education in Uganda," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 291-305, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clair Null & Clemencia Cosentino & Swetha Sridharan & Laura Meyer, "undated". "Policies and Programs to Improve Secondary Education in Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 516e420e637c4851b15e6a3f6, Mathematica Policy Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    no-fee school policy; Post-apartheid education; National Income Dynamics Study; South Africa;

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