Zero Dropout in the News

Zero Dropout in the News
  • Posted on 24 Jun 2022
  • OPINION: Even before the pandemic, pupils were falling behind – how can we achieve a fundamental catch-up?

  • Learning loss. We’ve heard this term a fair number of times since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It’s commonly understood as a specific or general loss of knowledge and skills, or a reversal in academic progress because of gaps in a pupil’s education. On radio, television and in newspapers, education researchers and experts used the term to describe the impact […]

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  • Posted on 20 Jun 2022
  • OPINION: Missing learners and shaky data. Why data collection systems need to be fixed

  • If someone wants to know how many pupils are enrolled in the South African public schooling system, we say ask the Department of Basic Education (DBE). If someone wants to know about absenteeism rates, repetition rates and matric pass rates, the department would have those answers too. The education department should, in theory, be the […]

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  • Posted on 29 Apr 2022
  • LISTEN: Could offering parents school vouchers help keep children in school?

  • In some parts of the world, parents and caregivers are given vouchers to spend on their children’s education to inspire greater choice and competition in the basic education sector. Over the years, there have been calls from certain quarters for a similar system to be brought to South Africa to give parents more power to […]

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  • Posted on 8 Apr 2022
  • We need to help teen moms, not punish them

  • A 2021 report from the Zero Dropout Campaign explains that pregnancy can interfere with a teenage girl’s education even before the baby is born. Young women are more likely to miss school during the pregnancy, as they have to take time off both before and after giving birth and also need to go for regular […]

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  • Posted on 7 Apr 2022
  • WATCH: Concerns over rising number of child pregnancies in KwaZulu-Natal

  • According to Stats SA KwaZulu-Natal has the highest number of child pregnancies between 10 and 17-year-olds. An estimated 83 000 children gave birth during 2019 and 2020. KwaZulu-Natal registered more than 18 000 childbirths, 5 000 of which were children between the ages of 10 and 14. Merle Mansfield, Programme Director of the Zero Dropout […]

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  • Posted on 4 Apr 2022
  • WATCH: School dropout in South Africa

  • School closures coupled with the economic shocks of lockdown has seen South Arica’s already high dropout rate increase. This problem of school dropout extends beyond the individual, as dropout and unemployment are inextricably linked. To deal with joblessness, we also need to plug gaps in our education system so that more pupils complete school. Zengeziwe […]

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  • Posted on 1 Apr 2022
  • LISTEN: We need an accelerated catch up plan for basic numeracy and literacy

  • Our Reading for Meaning Project Lead, Pumza Ndamase, spoke to Metro FM host Sabelo Mtshali about the need for accelerated catch up for basic numeracy and literacy after two consecutives years of disruptions to schooling. Ndamase explains that we need to meet learners at their level and respond to their needs. Where possible, plans to […]

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  • Posted on 23 Mar 2022
  • LISTEN: South Africa needs real-time data to get an up-to-date and relevant picture of school dropout in the country

  • The Zero Dropout Campaign has explored the knowns and unknowns in dropout debates and they recommend that the availability of accurate and reliable data will allow for accountability within the education sector. This is because the best way to promote accountability is by making dropout a key performance indicator and by making budgetary commitments that […]

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  • Posted on 22 Mar 2022
  • OPINION: Knowledge is power. Real-time data on school dropout needed

  • Before the pandemic, at least four out of ten learners in South Africa who started school did not finish. But Covid-19 lockdowns and two consecutive years of disruptions to regular schooling have amplified the factors that typically lead to disengagement and dropout. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has attempted to quantify the impact of […]

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  • Posted on 22 Mar 2022
  • WATCH: Concern over school dropout rate

  • South Africa’s education sector struggles to retain learners. Every year a large number of pupils enter the schooling system, but not all of them finish with matric. The Zero Dropout Campaign says this trend should not be normalized and much more needs to be done to adequately address the issue. Rahima Essop, Head of Communications […]

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  • Posted on 22 Mar 2022
  • South Africa needs a national education strategy to tackle the school dropout crisis

  • School dropout rates have an impact on students, their families and communities, and on society as a whole. While everyone in South Africa is impacted by the phenomenon, everyone has the potential to be part of the solution. Education experts explored the strategies that can be employed to protect learners’ constitutionally guaranteed right to education […]

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  • Posted on 24 Feb 2022
  • Learning losses, amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic, are going to be felt down the line

  • Covid-19 school closures, together with rotational timetabling have resulted in extensive learning losses. Gaps in foundational learning can catch up to learners in later grades. Without the foundational skills to grasp the curriculum, many learners become disengaged and drop out before completing matric. High repetition also leads to many learners being over-aged for their class, […]

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  • Posted on 18 Feb 2022
  • LISTEN: What does it take to help learners complete Grade 12?

  • Even before the pandemic four out of 10 learners would drop out of school before completing matric. The Zero Dropout Campaign wants to change the perception that school dropout is a normal occurrence by demonstrating what it takes to help learners complete Grade 12.  Seshego Kgopa, Mentor Manager at the Zero Dropout Campaign, speaks to Lesedi FM […]

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  • Posted on 16 Feb 2022
  • LISTEN: We need to curb South Africa’s literacy crisis

  • Recently the 2030 Reading Panel, chaired by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, met to discuss South Africa’s literacy crisis and found that it will take 80 years before all 10 year olds can read for meaning. Pumza Ndamase, Project Lead of the Reading for Meaning Programme at the Zero Dropout Campaign, joins Host Aubrey Masango to discuss this. […]

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  • Posted on 14 Feb 2022
  • OPINION: Challenging assumptions about school dropout – the evidence doesn’t support the popular stereotypes

  • Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, four out of 10 pupils in South Africa would drop out of school before completing matric. Why? What makes a pupil more likely to drop out of school? Is it poverty? Geography? Disability? How does a pupil’s gender shape their experience of school? These are fundamental questions in the campaign against school dropout, […]

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  • Posted on 14 Feb 2022
  • Dropout rate and unemployment are inextricably linked, say education organisations

  • On Wednesday, the Zero Dropout Campaign hosted a Twitter Space discussion on school dropout prevention with five other organisations. The discussion aimed to find possible solutions to prevent dropout. According to the organisations, to deal with joblessness, we also need to plug gaps in our education system so that more pupils complete school. Head of […]

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  • Posted on 4 Feb 2022
  • LISTEN: Reducing dropout goes hand in hand with reducing unemployment

  • Most young people who exit the schooling system without completing matric will struggle to find decent jobs. Young people without a matric certificate are cut off from chances in life. Chances to earn, learn and contribute to economic and social life. It’s imperative that everyone plays their part in working together to prevent dropout. Pumza […]

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  • Posted on 31 Jan 2022
  • WATCH: Education vs Survival – SA’s youth struggle to stay in school

  • Despite the country’s significant investment in basic education, around 40% of Grade 1 pupils will exit the schooling system before finishing matric. Disruptions at home and at school can unsteady learners: some get stuck, some fall behind, and some fall through the cracks entirely. Covid-19 school closures, coupled with the economic effects of the pandemic, […]

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  • Posted on 31 Jan 2022
  • School dropouts open up on tough choice between survival and education

  • According to a telephonic survey by the National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM), an estimated 700 000 pupils left the education system during the four COVID-19 waves between 2020 and 2021. Many of these learners dropped out for financial reasons, others lost their parents to COVID-19 while a large number of […]

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