This paper analyses various data on the South African schooling system since 1910. The data collected for the study cover a wide range of education indicators, from pupil enrolments, pupil teacher ratios, real expenditure (aggregate and per capita), matriculation pass rates, to some indicators of the quality of matriculation passes. The authors provide an indication of both inputs into and outputs of the educational system. In broad terms, the data indicate that from an educational perspective South Africa followed a modernisation trajectory that, although it drew ever larger numbers of pupils into the schooling system, was partial, distorted and fundamentally dysfunctional. The educational process was strongly affected by racial factors. To the extent that education is an important determinant of long run growth performance of economies, this implies that South Africa's educational policies were inimical to its long run growth.
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