Press releases

Press releases
  • Posted on 6 Oct 2020
  • It’s high time we factor dropout into policy and planning frameworks and set reduction targets

  • On Tuesday, 6 October, the Zero Dropout Campaign addressed Members of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education about the country’s dropout crisis, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. “School closures, together with the economic impact of the lockdown, have placed learners already at risk of dropout into deeper financial, psychosocial and academic distress. Now more than […]

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  • Posted on 3 Sep 2020
  • Bright new ideas to promote literacy in the time of Covid-19

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has unsettled learning in different ways. It has disrupted schooling and slammed the breaks on many after-school literacy programmes. Considering that 78% of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning in any language, after-school programmes play an important role in helping children with gaps in their foundational literacy.

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  • Posted on 7 Aug 2020
  • The gendered impact of the Covid-19 school closures places girls at higher risk of dropout

  • In South Africa and other developing countries, school closures carry a high risk for marginalised girls because of exposure to sexual exploitation and teenage pregnancy while outside the classroom.
    “Protracted school closures exacerbate gender inequalities, which is why girls are particularly vulnerable to dropout,” says […]

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  • Posted on 23 Jul 2020
  • We need to ramp up our response to deal with dropout during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • The Zero Dropout Campaign is concerned that the latest decision to close public schools will negatively impact vulnerable learners from households hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The fact of the matter is that school closures carry high social and economic costs, particularly in disadvantaged communities, and increases the risk of learners dropping out,” says […]

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  • Posted on 15 Jun 2020
  • Channelling the energy and vibrancy of youth activism into dropout prevention strategies

  • The June 1976 protests have been credited with changing the socio-political landscape of the country and giving new impetus to the fight against Apartheid. This movement set a precedent for youth activism, which not only had the potential to change individual schools and the education system but society at large. Since then, various youth-led movements […]

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  • Posted on 20 May 2020
  • No school must be left behind in the 2020 recovery plan

  • The Zero Dropout Campaign calls on education officials to ensure that school recovery plans are implemented safely and consistently, particularly in lower quintile schools that do not have access to running water and sanitation. “We support the decision to complete the 2020 academic year, provided all reasonable measures are taken to protect learners, support staff, […]

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  • Posted on 20 Apr 2020
  • Learners in need of psychosocial support services amid reports of a spike in domestic violence complaints

  • Protracted school closures can lead to an increase in learner dropout, which is why we are urging non-profit organisations (NPOs) to revise their dropout preventative strategies to respond to the long-term effects of the lockdown. We also urge education officials to put measures in place to address learner disengagement, considering many are falling behind with […]

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  • Posted on 17 Mar 2020
  • We call on parents and communities to do their part to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 fallout

  • The national state of disaster declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa is an opportunity for parents and communities to do their part to mitigate the impact of school closures by ensuring that children are safe, emotionally supported, and do not fall behind academically. “School closures, even for short periods, carry economic and social costs, especially in […]

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  • Posted on 26 Feb 2020
  • Government’s spending priorities on Basic Education should address school dropout

  • In his Budget speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that R396 billion will be allocated to learning and culture. Education usually gets the lion’s share of the Budget, but how are our public funds supporting school dropout prevention strategies? “We are concerned that the government is not strategically addressing the high dropout rate with targeted […]

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  • Posted on 14 Feb 2020
  • Tackling the crisis of youth unemployment starts with reducing the school dropout rate

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa unveiled his government’s new six-pronged plan to tackle the high rate of youth unemployment during his State of the Nation Address, but this approach lacks the targeted policies needed to dramatically address the hidden crisis of learners dropping out of school. “The fact of the matter is that 44% of unemployed young […]

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