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2014 Policy Brief 8Policy Brief 9 - Better Education Results through Equitable Resourcing

Public ordinary schools are fundamental drivers of socio-economic development, and their adequate and equitable funding is important for realising the goals envisioned in the National Development Plan (NDP). The basic education system in South Africa is fraught with performance weaknesses and disparities, arising from long historical, systematic under-investment and policy failures. Successive years of education and school financing reforms have improved resource distribution between affluent and less affluent schools. However, equitable education remains elusive, as revealed by variations in resources and learner achievements across provinces, districts and schools. This is in part because resource allocations and funding of other critical inputs disregard historical disparities and other constraints experienced by disadvantaged schools. Continuing to use the current school resourcing framework is likely to reinforce inequalities and perpetuate a vicious cycle of underdevelopment. Therefore, the Financial and Fiscal Commission (the Commission) recommends that government allocates resources to schools on the basis of minimum inputs required to deliver the curriculum outputs. This will require aligning learner subsidy allocations with national policy requirements and priorities, reprioritising provincial education budgets and standardising the monitoring of school-level expenditure and performance.

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