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More corporal punishment in Province – report

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The Northern Cape remains the least populous province in the country but did show a slight increase in residents

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The Northern Cape is the only province in South Africa that has reported an increase in corporal punishment in the last year.

This is according to a report yesterday published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), containing a selection of key findings from the General Household Survey (GHS) 2017.

The survey was conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) from January to December 2017.

The survey found that the population of South Africa had increased from 45.9 million in 2002 to 56.5 million in 2017. The Northern Cape remains the least populous province in the country but did show a slight increase in residents, from 1 030 000 in 2002 to 1 214 000 in 2017. The number of households in the Province had grown from 247 000 in 2002 to 333 000 in 2017.

According to the report, there were approximately 14 million pupils at school in 2017, of which 5.9% attended private schools. Three-quarters (77.3%) of pupils who attended public schools benefited from school feeding schemes. Furthermore, 68.1% of learners walked to school, while 8.2% used private vehicles. Generally, the percentage of pupils who experienced corporal punishment at school during 2017 decreased nationally since 2009 and 6,8% of learners reportedly experienced corporal punishment at school in 2017.

While corporal punishment was most common at schools in Eastern Cape (12.7% ) and Free State (12.6%), the Northern Cape saw a increase in the percentage of pupils reporting experiencing corporal punishment, from 6.1% in 2009, to 8.6 % in 2017.

While more than three-quarters (77,3%) of learners who attended public schools benefited from school feeding schemes in 2017, compared to 63,1% in 2009, the Northern Cape saw a slight decrease in those benefiting, from 85.5% in 2009 to 85.3% in 2017.

The survey also revealed some problems experienced by pupils at the public schools they were enrolled at during the 2017 school year.

Nationally, a lack of books (4,0%), classes that were considered too large (3,6%) and high fees (2,8%) were singled out as the most important problems, followed by bad facilities (2,6%) and lack of teachers (2,1%).

In the Northern Cape, too large classes were cited at the biggest problem (3.8%), followed by lack of books, (2.7%) and poor quality of teaching (1.5%).