Education System in South Africa


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary School197159Education is compulsory through grade 9
SecondarySecondary Education101214 3National Senior Certificate (NSC) Exams taken upon completion of grade 12. The NSC grants access to higher education. Awarded since 2008.
SecondaryVocational Secondary Education111216 2 
Post-secondaryNational Certificate    1 
Post-secondaryHigher National Certificate    2 
TertiaryBachelor's (Arts and Science)    3 
TertiaryBachelor's Honors    1 
TertiaryBachelor's (Professional)    4Bachelor of Nursing Science (4 years), Bachelor of Laws (4 years), Bachelor of Architecture (5 years) and the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (6 years)
TertiaryMaster's    2 
TertiaryDoctorate    2 

Primary Education

Education in South Africa is continuing to take strain as the government attempts to achieve equal opportunities for all. The system is divided into 3 strata, namely general education and training, further education and training, and higher education and training. The process is compulsory through to grade 9, and spans 12 grades in total. The first 6 years are spent in primary school where literacy and numeracy are established.

Middle Education

The following 3 years are spent in middle school. Subjects taught continue to be academic with a flavor of vocational training. Completion brings with it a basic education and training certificate.

Secondary Education

Secondary education is administered through a network of previously mainly-white government schools and private colleges. Standards are generally high. Unfortunately school fees and tuition fees respectively debar the poorest from attending.

Vocational Education

Vocational training is administered by sector education and training authorities arranged across functional lines. Training itself is provided mainly by commercial colleges functioning partly under government subsidies. Beneath this lies a plethora of independent adult schools some of which maintain high standards.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education and training is provided through a large number of private and state-managed institutions South Africa Educationunder the overall control of the ministry of higher education and training. Polytechnics train technicians is a wide variety of disciplines while universities award traditional bachelors, masters and doctorates degrees. A wide divide in quality standards between previously “white” and previously “independent homeland” institutions continues to pervade society.

The oldest university in South Africa is the University of Cape Town established in 1829 and depicted here. It is set out on the lower slopes of the Table Mountain Massif as the architect interpreted the style of the Greek Pantheon.


© 2018, Scholaro, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Your use of this service is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.