African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Relationship between socio-economic status and educational achievements of Ellisras rural primary school children, South Africa

MJ Themane, LLJ Koppes, KD Monyeki, JWR Twisk, HCG Kemper


The purpose of this study was to measure the relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and educational achievements (EA) of rural South African children. The data come from a sample of 238 children (118 boys and 120 girls) from the ongoing Ellisras Longitudinal Study. A questionnaire was used to gather information on six SES measures: Availability of TV and radio at home; type of dwelling; educational level of the father; number of people sharing a bedroom; cooking mode used; and household income. EA was measured using the Educational Achievement Tests. In this sample, with a very low average SES, no strong relationships were found between SES and EA. The general absence of significant relationships between SES and EA may be due to difficulties in accurately and adequately measuring SES and EA, and the little variations in SES. The ‘type of dwelling' and ‘cooking mode' however, was positively associated with EA. Based on this result, improvement of housing and cooking facilities may lead to improvement in the educational achievement of children in low SES rural communities.

Keywords: socio-economic status, educational achievements, rural South African children

African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance Vol. 12 (3) 2006: 298-309

AJOL African Journals Online