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Education in South Africa

Starts in
February & September
South Africa

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” (Mandela, 2003).

According to the Bill of Rights of South Africa's Constitution, all South Africans have the right to a basic education, including adult basic education and access to further education. The state has an obligation, through reasonable measures, to progressively make this education available and accessible.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world. At about 7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 20% of total state expenditure, the government spends more on education than on any other sector. Simultaneously, the quality of education in South Africa is frequently criticised and still today there are huge gaps between elitist private schools and poorly funded township schools.

This minor will give students exposure to a different cultural environment in which teachers are operating; Cultural sensitivity is not just a quality which many people of the world lack, it is also something you can develop while studying in South Africa. You will actually get to experience your place of study in the long term, picking up local knowledge such as how they socialize, communicate, prepare their food, what tourist traps to avoid and how to get the most out of your new town of Port Alfred. Your exposure to many different types of people will not only help you to develop your people skills, but it will also give you a firmer knowledge of others.

This minor is offered by the programme Teacher for Primary Education. 

Study features

Starts in
February & September
South Africa
European credits
Minor type
Voor specifieke hbo-opleiding(en)

Minor content

The following learning outcome are achieved upon successful completion of this minor:

  1. Explain the history of the South African Education System;
  2. Analyze the impact that the Bantu education system had on black communities;
  3. Evaluate the three legged pot approach to education (parents ,teachers and learners);
  4. Assess how socio economic challenges affect the behavior and academic progress of leaners;
  5. Compare the South African and the Dutch Education systems in terms of education policy, education funding, and governance of schools;
  6. Evaluate dynamic challenges experienced in the South African education system;
  7. Conduct applied research into the workings of the South African education system;
  8. Present your findings professionally to stakeholder;
  9. Analyze and see how you can adjust your own cultural behaviors.


Structure of the minor

The minor is structured over 9 weeks and includes three main activities:

  1. Work based learning in a local school for you to experience the South African school reality first hand and evaluate your own professional conduct in a different socio-cultural setting;
  2. Applied research in a real school to investigate challenges and opportunities to enhance the quality of education;
  3. 3. Classroom activities to explore theoretical concepts of the minor.

The module is structured as follows:

  • Week 1: Orientation
    a) Introduction to South African Culture through a cultural sensitivity lecture.
    b) Visit the school you will be placed with
    c) Draft your first research topics based on the information from schools
  • Week 2&3: Design
    a) Real world learning: two days at one school
    b) Lectures
    c) Design Based Education Sessions d) Group meetings (supervision)
  • Week 4,5&6: Fact Finding
    a) Excursions
    b) Spend two days in a different school
    c) Lectures
    d) Design Based Education Sessions
    e) Group meetings (supervision)
  • Week 7: Analysis
    a) Group meeting
    b) Design Based Education Sessions
    c) Module Assignment Consultancy Workshop
  • Week 8: Finalization
    a) Research report presentation
    b) Module Assignment Consultancy Workshop
  • Week 9: Reporting
    a) Research report submission


At the end of week 8 students are required to submit a research report and during week 9 students will do presentation on the research report.

Students will be given a topic to do a research report on based on challenges, current plans or future plans of the local school.

The research report should comprise the following:

  • a) Description of the school and its research
  • b) School mission and vision
  • c) School category
  • d) Key challenge or opportunity defined by the school
  • e) Research Problem
  • f) Research Questions
  • g) Methodology
  • h) Results
  • i) Discussion
  • j) Conclusions and Recommendations

Recommended knowledge

This minor will be taught in South Africa (Port Alfred) in English and is suitable for students from PABO and ITE. Having knowledge and understanding of English at B2 is a prefered minimum.

This minor has a practical approach where students will teach and do research/DBE assignment in local schools. See Grand Tour website for costs overview.


Do you have questions about this minor? Ask them via the online form.

Online form