South Africa is located in the southernmost tip of Africa and has a population of approximately 56 million. As a major donor, South Africa holds a seat on the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) Board of Governors.

 

School-age Population by Education Level1

4,911,133

 

4,989,785

Secondary

 

Tertiary

 

 

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending 20171

109.0%

 

100.4%

Female

 

Male

 

 

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education
for the school year ending 20171

26.4%

 

18.4%

Female

 

Male

 

 

Percentage of female teachers in 1

57.9%

 

n/a

Secondary (2017)

 

Tertiary

 

 

1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in March 2020

 

Literacy rate (2012)1

92.6%

 

95.0%

Adult (15+) literacy rate
Female

 

Adult (15+) literacy rate
Male

 

 

Economic Activity (2010)1

47%

 

59%

Adult (15+) economic activity
Female

 

Adult (15+) economic activity
Male

 

 

Political Decision Making (2014)1

42%

Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament

 

 

Life expectancy (2012)1

62

 

56

Female

 

Male

 

 

1. COL gender country profile April 2015 

 

5.4 153.3
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1

 

 

 
2.4 76
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1

 

 

 
21.9 56.2
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1

 

 

1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in March 2020

 

Highlights

COL’s work in South Africa is in the areas of higher education, open/innovative schooling, teacher education and technology-enabled learning.

Higher Education

COL collaborates with the University of South Africa (UNISA), the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria and the South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide), to develop and share ODL knowledge and resources.  South African experts have been commissioned by COL to provide technical advice to institutions, not just in Africa but also in Asia and the Caribbean.

  • At UNISA in Pretoria, the Youth Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies and COL, through the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC), convened a meeting on advancing youth work education and training.  This involved discussions on a proposal to create a Commonwealth Consortium on Youth Work Qualifications and was held to coincide with the Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work.
  • At the invitation of UNISA, COL had convened a team of international experts to conduct a quality audit.

Learn more about COL Higher Education 

Open/Innovative Schooling

  • A workshop attended by eight African countries, was held in Johannesburg on the topic of mobile technology-enabled learning for the African chapter of the Commonwealth Open Schooling Association which focused on the use of mobile phones in the development of learning content. Participants came from eight Commonwealth African countries, including South Africa.

Learn more about COL Open/Innovative Schooling 

Teacher Education

  • The Ministry of Education in South Africa has identified institutional partners to implement COL’s school based teacher development programme.
  • Teacher educators from South Africa’s North-West University attended a five-day training workshop on ICT in teaching and learning at the Singapore National Institute of Education.

Learn more about COL Teacher Education 

Technology-Enabled Learning

Learn more about COL Technology-enabled Learning

Partners

Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector.

COL's partners in South Africa include: 

  • Department of Higher Education and Training
  • SchoolNet South Africa
  • Southern African Development Community Centre for Distance Education (SADC-CDE)
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of South Africa