Zero Dropout in the News

Zero Dropout in the News
  • Posted on 3 May 2021
  • VIDEO: Getting our learners back to school

  • Newzroom Afrika host Stephen Grootes speaks to Rahima Essop, Head of Communications and Advocacy for the Zero Dropout Campaign about getting learners back to school. Before the pandemic, some estimates suggest that around 300 000 young people left the schooling system each year. However, the Covid-19 school closures, together with the economic shocks of lockdown, […]

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  • Posted on 14 Apr 2021
  • Trapped in a lockdown within a lockdown: The trauma of gang violence

  • Gangsterism permeates society at many levels, and its impact is felt at school level.  “Community violence or gang violence does affect school attendance. Many children in South Africa have witnessed community violence in some shape or form, either by hearing gunshots or seeing someone attacked,” said Rahima Essop, head of communications and advocacy for the Zero […]

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  • Posted on 7 Apr 2021
  • 1 088 Gauteng pupils failed to return to school this year

  • Civil organisation Zero Dropout Campaign’s head of communications and advocacy, Rahima Essop, said the fact that many pupils had not returned to school was concerning and required urgent attention in the form of a sustained drop-out prevention plan. “Drop-out comes at the end of a process in which young people become increasingly detached from their […]

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  • Posted on 31 Mar 2021
  • LISTEN: Is the pandemic forcing children out of school?

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to the BBC World Service about the high prevalence of school dropout in South Africa. She says that we need to intentionally work to prevent dropout in our schooling system to begin turning the situation around.

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  • Posted on 22 Mar 2021
  • LISTEN: “We need to turn access to education into success.”

  • On Human Rights Day, Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to Voice of the Cape about why four out of ten learners drop out of school before completing matric. Mansfield says that dropout is not a single event but rather a process of disengagement involving push and pull factors in a child’s life.

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  • Posted on 8 Mar 2021
  • LISTEN: Spotlight on school dropout

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to Cape Talk host John Maytham about the policies needed to reduce learner dropout. Leaving school early makes it difficult for young people to reach their full economic potential and reinforces a cycle of poverty.

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  • Posted on 8 Mar 2021
  • Zero Dropout Campaign’s Merle Mansfield on a mission to halve South Africa’s 40% school dropout rate

  • Merle Mansfield’s mission is to halve South Africa’s 40% school dropout rate by 2030. How? By asking children what they need and making sure adults listen. Social work and activism cannot be separated. Mansfield knows this from experience. When she was 20 years old, she started work in the child protection arm of the Cape […]

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  • Posted on 4 Mar 2021
  • What makes a learner more likely to drop out?

  • The likelihood of repeating grades doubles when learners reach high school. And this increases the odds of them dropping out. This is according to the latest report published by the Zero Dropout Campaign on 25 February 2021. The report found that learners dropped out of school because of a combination of factors, such as failing grades and disruptions in […]

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  • Posted on 1 Mar 2021
  • VIDEO: Here are the three things we need to reduce dropout

  • Zero Dropout Programme Director speaks to eNCA host Jane Dutton about the campaign’s new research report. Mansfield explains that at least three things need to happen to reduce dropout in our schools. Firstly, we need to make dropout a key performance indicator that can be measured and used to hold education officials accountable. We also […]

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  • Posted on 26 Feb 2021
  • Campaign calls for SA to talk about the pupils who dropped out of school

  • There is cause to celebrate the learners who matriculated in spite of the additional obstacles the pandemic threw in their path. However, the whereabouts and welfare of those who dropped out are just as important. And this urgently needs to become a national priority, argues the Zero Dropout Campaign.  South Africa must do away with […]

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  • Posted on 26 Feb 2021
  • LISTEN: Building resilience in our schooling system – before and after Covid-19

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to Power Talk host Thabiso Kotane about how Covid-19 increases vulnerabilities to learner dropout. Mansfield unpacks the findings of the campaign’s new research report.

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  • Posted on 25 Feb 2021
  • Government must intervene to ensure more learners reach and complete Grade 12

  • The Zero Dropout Campaign has called on national Government to do more to ensure that more South African learners, who start Grade 1, end up writing and passing their Grade 12 examinations. The lobby group says that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, 40% of children who started Grade 1, dropped out of school before reaching […]

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  • Posted on 24 Feb 2021
  • LISTEN: “Dropout is preventable but we are letting it happen.”

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to SAfm anchor Stephen Grootes about the state of learner-level data capturing in our schooling system. The interview is part of the show’s Mediated Conversation segment about changes in the South African education system.

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  • Posted on 23 Feb 2021
  • VIDEO: Matric class of 2020 achieves a 76.2% pass rate

  • What does the annual matric pass rate actually tell us about learners’ pathways through school, particularly during a pandemic? Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to eNCA anchor Tumelo Mothotoane about this issue. Mansfield says that the matric pass rate only tells us about the percentage of learners who wrote their exams and […]

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  • Posted on 27 Jan 2021
  • OPINION: Disruptions to schooling are not new. But our response must be

  • The global meme ‘building back better’ certainly applies to South Africa if we are to achieve a sustainable and resilient recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. We cannot simply rebuild the system with the same flaws. In our schooling system, building back better requires us to face head-on a major constraint to economic development and greater […]

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  • Posted on 19 Jan 2021
  • LISTEN: We need to be proactive about ongoing disruptions to schooling

  • Zero Dropout Programme Director Merle Mansfield spoke to Cape Talk host Lester Kiewit about the need to build systems of support for our learners as they face another year of possible disruptions to schooling. Schools and communities are going to be affected by Covid-19 until there is widespread rollout of a vaccine. Unlike last year, […]

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  • Posted on 18 Jan 2021
  • VIDEO: There are growing concerns about dropout. Here’s why.

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to Newzroom Afrika anchor Stephen Grootes about the government’s decision to delay the reopening of schools by two weeks amid a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Mansfield explains that we must shift the focus away from simply reacting to disruptions to building resilience in our schooling […]

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  • Posted on 16 Dec 2020
  • VIDEO: Incomplete datasets impact dropout tracing

  • Incomplete datasets are impacting our ability to track learners’ pathways through school over a long time, and that some learner records are untraceable. Rahima Essop, Communications Lead for the Zero Dropout Campaign speaks to eNCA anchor Tumelo Mothotoane about the need for reliable and complete datasets.

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  • Posted on 15 Dec 2020
  • Creating early warning systems to help prevent learners from dropping out of school

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield speaks to Cape Talk host Kieno Kammies about the need to track learners’ pathways through school over a long time. Collecting information about individual learners’ attendance, behaviour, and academic performance could help to flag young people most at risk of dropping out.

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  • Posted on 14 Dec 2020
  • Zero Dropout Campaign concerned about data collection at schools

  • Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield spoke to John Perlman on Talk Radio 702 about the need for accurate and complete datasets that track learners’ pathways through school over a long time. She explains that we need to be able to track learners more intentionally to know the true extent of dropout in the […]

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