Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Research in Teaching and Education
The Short Run and Long Run Contribution of Primary and Secondary Education to Economic Growth in South Africa: A Human Capital Perspective
The study aimed to establish the short-run and long-run contributions of primary and secondary education to economic growth in South Africa. The human capital theory, endogenous economic growth, and literature view education as a major determinant of the economic growth in any economy. Most if not all countries, with the aim of promoting economic growth in their economies South Africa included have invested huge amounts of government expenditure on primary and secondary education. In this regard an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing analysis was applied to establish whether there is cointegration between education and economic growth in South Africa using primary and secondary data for 17 years period from 2002 to 2018. The results of the diagnostic tests indicate that variables are integrated at order level 1 and the cointegration of the examined variables is confirmed by an ARDL bound test. The findings show that enrolment in primary school and government expenditure on primary education has a significant contribution to economic growth only in the short term but as insignificant impact in the long term. Secondary school enrollment has no impact on economic growth both in the short and long run except for the regulatory quality the government. This study concluded that both primary and secondary education have no long-term contribution to economic growth. These findings raise concerns that prompt the need to consider the implications of the contribution of education to economic growth for policy and practice with the view of improving both the short and long-run contribution of primary and secondary education to economic growth. The policy implication could be that it does not help to increase the quantity and access to education without increasing the quality of education. This study thus recommends that there is need to restructure primary and secondary school education to align the curriculum with potentially productive sectors such as agriculture, entrepreneurship, construction, research, and technology.