Illuminating shadow education in South Africa: Mapping participation in and demand for extra lessons
The term ‘shadow education’ is widely used in the international literature to refer to after-school tutoring programmes (Zhang and Bray, 2020: 335). This paper investigates the prevalence of after school programmes in South Africa, focusing on extra maths lessons not provided by the school. Since 1995, the TIMSS results have consistently revealed that the majority of the country’s learners participate in extra lessons not provided by schools (Baker, 2001; Bray & Kobakhidze, 2014). However, there is very little research on the participation rates in this type of education in South Africa. This study analyses 2019 TIMSS data from grade 9 learner surveys, primarily focusing on participation in extra mathematics lessons. It seeks to determine demand-side factors driving shadow education in South Africa using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. We find that participation in extra mathematics lessons offered by schools is high in South Africa, and greater among learners from lower socio-economic backgrounds and school quintiles. The paper concludes with a call for further research and highlights the need for a national audit of after-school programmes.