South Africa - Pupil-teacher ratio, primary

Pupil-teacher ratio, primary in South Africa was 30.33 as of 2015. Its highest value over the past 38 years was 44.54 in 1997, while its lowest value was 26.67 in 1991.

Definition: Primary school pupil-teacher ratio is the average number of pupils per teacher in primary school.

Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (

See also:

Year Value
1977 29.47
1978 28.48
1979 27.78
1991 26.67
1994 37.27
1995 36.28
1997 44.54
1999 35.94
2000 34.90
2001 38.90
2002 35.28
2003 35.37
2004 35.54
2005 31.39
2006 33.05
2007 33.19
2008 32.71
2009 33.58
2010 29.51
2011 32.60
2012 32.94
2013 32.03
2014 32.77
2015 30.33

Development Relevance: The pupil-teacher ratio is often used to compare the quality of schooling across countries, but it is often weakly related to student learning and quality of education.

Limitations and Exceptions: The comparability of pupil-teacher ratios across countries is affected by the definition of teachers and by differences in class size by grade and in the number of hours taught, as well as the different practices countries employ such as part-time teachers, school shifts, and multi-grade classes. Moreover, the underlying enrollment levels are subject to a variety of reporting errors.

Other Notes: Data retrieved via API in March 2019. For detailed information on the observation level (e.g. National Estimation, UIS Estimation, or Category not applicable), please visit UIS.Stat (

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Pupil-teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the number of students at the specified level of education by the number of teachers at the same level of education. Data on education are collected by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics from official responses to its annual education survey. All the data are mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) to ensure the comparability of education programs at the international level. The current version was formally adopted by UNESCO Member States in 2011. The reference years reflect the school year for which the data are presented. In some countries the school year spans two calendar years (for example, from September 2010 to June 2011); in these cases the reference year refers to the year in which the school year ended (2011 in the example).

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual


Topic: Education Indicators

Sub-Topic: Inputs