By Nicci Hayes, Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University Our current system of promotion and progression in South Africa — though well-intentioned — has had negative consequences for teaching and learning, specifically for children in some of the country’s most impoverished communities. During my three decades as an educator in the Eastern Cape, I saw first-hand […]
After the yearly celebrations at the release of matric results, it’s crucial that we focus on the young people who didn’t reach matric, failed their examinations, or need to improve their marks. A matric certificate has a lot of value in enabling young people to unlock work opportunities and to access further education and training. In the absence of any other school-leaving certificate, a matric is currently the only signalling tool for employers to assess competencies and skills for those who do not complete any post-school studies[…]
Before the pandemic, around 40% of learners who started Grade 1 dropped out before completing matric. So, for many learners, disruptions to schooling are nothing new. But in 2020, things got worse. The type of disruptions that usually lead to disengagement and dropout were amplified by the pandemic. And when schools reopened, about 15% of […]
The Preamble to our Constitution states that we, the people of South Africa, will work together to create a society in which we ‘free the potential of each person’. It positions the collective potential and capabilities of our citizens as a critical resource to the success in the developmental challenges we face. The reality is, due to the state of education in our country, much of this potential is squandered each year.
The past year will be remembered as the year of Covid. For children, the pandemic brought with it lockdowns and school closures, and when schools reopened, most children could only attend on alternating days or weeks. As a result, far less teaching, and consequently, far less learning took place. There was also probably much forgetting.
South Africa simply does not have the right types of records (datasets) to measure and monitor school dropout properly. While there are several datasets tracking matric exam results, annual school surveys, and master school lists, this information is only at the ‘aggregate’ level, not at the level of individual learners. Learner-level information could help us […]
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) recently released concerning statistics about the country’s dropout crisis, worsened by the Covid-19 school closures. On 1 September, officials from DBE told Members of Parliament (MPs) that they are now tracking absenteeism rates at schools to get a better sense of how many learners are likely to drop out.
A research paper from the University of Stellenbosch has recommended all children be allowed to return to schools and Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) without delay. Schools and ECD centres were closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The decision preceded the commencement of a hard lockdown in March. Academics Servaas van der Berg […]
Imagine that you are learner living in a rural village in South Africa. You dream of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, and moving to the city. Before you can do all that, you must first complete high school. You wake up each morning at the crack of dawn to prepare for a long walk […]
This is a case study of the use of Early Warning Systems (EWS) for the prevention of school dropout. The Zero Dropout Campaign has been providing strategic and M&E support to four organisations focused on reducing dropout. This report was compiled by the New Leaders Foundation.