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Would more than half of South African parents advise their kids to emigrate?

In a survey conducted by South African website Parent24, participants were asked: “Would you advise your child to stay in South Africa or emigrate?

“Over half” of South African parents answered that they would tell their child to emigrate, the website reported on their 2014 Kids Nation Survey under the headline “‘Get out of SA’ fearful parents tell kids”.

But the survey was not representative of all South African parents. “It was open to any [South African] citizen,” Parent24’s media liaison, Ilse Fourie, told Africa Check. “The participants had to fill in the questions online and then leave their details, to ensure that they could not complete the survey more than once.”

A poll can only be deemed scientific – and therefore representative – when the research organisation have chosen respondents that will reflect the distribution and diversity of the target group, in this case South African parents.

A dead give-away is that the Kids Nation Survey was conducted online, when the last general household survey carried out by Statistics South Africa showed that only 40,9% of South African households had at least one member who used the Internet - either at home, work or an internet café.

Another problem with online surveys is that research organisations have to accept biographical information at face-value. A respondent could easily pretend to be a parent - or a minor to be a parent, for example.

“The results of the well-conducted scientific poll can provide a reliable guide to the opinions of certain segments of society – even an entire nation – while the results of an unscientific poll tell you nothing more than what the respondents had to say,” our guide to understanding and reporting on opinion polls explained.

So although interesting, the Kids Nation Survey is no more than a compilation of around 2,700 respondents’ opinions. - 10/11/2014

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