Much like the country itself, South Africa’s educational system is a thing of great diversity. In terms of the quality of instruction, their available facilities, and the financial resources they can bring to bear, South Africa’s schools and universities vary widely.
Attempts to standardize that quality are well underway, with around 20 percent of South Africa’s national budget being funneled towards the improvement of educational institutions around the country. The goal is to slowly close the gap between the advantages of the wealthy and those of the poor, a goal that is similarly served by the introduction of the OBE (Outcome Based Education) system.
The system aims to prevent a common trend amongst underprivileged high schools, which is to pass students that don’t deserve to advance in order to meet pass-rate quotas. Instead, under the OBE system, students are forced to fully demonstrate their understanding of the subjects they study, and are allowed (in a manner styled after the UK system) to progress at their own pace, module by module.
Cape Town has literally hundreds of schools spread throughout its suburbs, a small number of which are privately funded institutions. The average ratio of students to teachers in public schools is around 32 to one, whereas private schools have around 17 pupils to ever teacher. Regardless, there are many excellent public and private schools in the city, several of which are on a global level in terms of the quality of their instruction (see the Public Schools section).
There are also several well-regarded international schools that provide tuition in U.S. and U.K. curricula, as well as two very good foreign language schools. (See the section International Schools).