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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

BLAKE, Beverley  and  MESTRY, Raj. The influence of parental demographics on school choice decision-making in Western Gauteng, South Africa. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2021, vol.41, n.3, pp.1-13. ISSN 2076-3433.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v41n3a1958.

Major political changes since 1994 have initiated the pace of change in the South African education system. Parents' values, traditions and practices that served in the past were no longer relevant in the new dynamic educational environment. Parental school choice and "the right to choose" movement has subsequently come to the fore. The purpose of this article elucidates findings regarding the demographics of active school choice engagement among middle class parents in Western Gauteng, South Africa. The study, situated in the Gauteng province, South Africa, followed a conclusive research design with a post positivist paradigm. Parent questionnaires were distributed to different types of urban schools to establish the perceptions of parents regarding the factors, anxieties, aspirations and strategies influencing school choice decision-making. Findings reveal that language, income and education not only have a definitive influence on active school choice engagement but also affect the level of importance attached to specific school choice factors. Education in South Africa can thus be viewed as a unique complex system embedded in a political, cultural and economic context.

Keywords : cost; decision-making; education; parents; principals; quality; school choice.

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