Zero Dropout in the News

Zero Dropout in the News
  • Posted on 28 Jul 2021
  • LISTEN: Track and trace the learners who have dropped out now that schools are reopened

  • The longer it takes to get learners back to class, the less likely they are to return. This is one of the reasons why it’s imperative that schools ramp up their reintegration programmes as classes resume this week. Merle Mansfield, Programme Director of the Zero Dropout Campaign, speaks to Cape Talk host Lester Kiewit about […]

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  • Posted on 28 Jul 2021
  • Few hiccups as Cape learners return to school

  • The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said it was pleased with the start of the third school term on Monday, with schools operating as per their temporary revised education plans. Zero Dropout Campaign programme director Merle Mansfield said it was imperative that schools ramp up their reintegration programmes by tracking absent learners to ascertain why […]

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  • Posted on 27 Jul 2021
  • ‘The dropout rate has tripled’: Too many students are ‘falling through the cracks of the education system’

  • Schools are scheduled to open today at a time when school attendance is the lowest in two decades. Fewer learners have returned to school this year compared to pre-pandemic attendance figures, and the dropout rate has tripled. “The longer it takes to get our learners back to class, the less likely they are to return,” […]

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  • Posted on 27 Jul 2021
  • VIDEO: The Zero Dropout Campaign calls for tracking and tracing of absent pupils

  • Fewer pupils have returned to school this year, compared to pre-pandemic attendance figures. The dropout rate has also tripled. This is according to new data published by researchers involved in the NIDS-CRAM survey. Merle Mansfield, programme director of the Zero Dropout Campaign, speaks to eNCA’s Tumelo Mothotane about the need to track and trace absent […]

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  • Posted on 23 Jul 2021
  • The heartbreak behind children leaving school

  • A young boy’s education is stopped when it has barely started, all because he’s from an impoverished family who hardly survived even before Covid-19 brought added burdens. Merle Mansfield, programme director of the Zero Dropout Campaign, says poverty and inequality are still the biggest underlying causes of children leaving school. […]

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  • Posted on 9 Jul 2021
  • As many as 750 000 children have dropped out of school during the pandemic

  • As many as half a million more children than expected have dropped out of school during the pandemic. School dropout may have tripled from 230 000 learners pre-pandemic to approximately 750 000 in May 2021. This is according to findings released on Thursday in the fifth set of results from the National Income Dynamics Study – […]

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  • Posted on 9 Jul 2021
  • LISTEN: School dropout has tripled during the pandemic

  • An extra 500 000 children have dropped out of school during the pandemic, according to new NIDS-CRAM Wave 5 data. Research shows that dropout numbers have tripled from 230 000 before the pandemic to approximately 750 000 in May 2021. Merle Mansfield, Programme Director of the Zero Dropout Campaign, speaks to Cape Talk host John […]

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  • Posted on 1 Jul 2021
  • LISTEN: Parents are not substitute teachers but their support is crucial

  • Rahima Essop, Head of Communications and Advocacy, speaks to Power FM host Thabiso Tema about the need to maintain a child’s connection to learning when schools are closed. Schools are closing earlier than expected for the winter break because of new lockdown restrictions. It comes at a time when learners are grappling with rotational timetabling […]

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  • Posted on 29 Jun 2021
  • LISTEN: Schools are closing but learning should continue

  • Rahima Essop speaks to SAfm host Stephen Grootes about the relationship between learning losses, disengagement and dropout as the school winter break is brought forward this year. According to the results of Wave 4 of the NIDS-CRAM survey, in 2020 primary school children learnt roughly a quarter of what they could have learnt for Home Language, […]

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  • Posted on 28 Jun 2021
  • LISTEN: How can you support your child at home during the pandemic?

  • Merle Mansfield speaks to Talk Radio 702 host John Perlman about the importance of maintaining a child’s connection to learning when schools are closed. The winter school break has been brought forward as part of new Covid-19 restrictions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 27 June.

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  • Posted on 17 Jun 2021
  • OPINION: Now more than ever, we need to help learners catch up. Here’s why.

  • More than a year after the first known case of Covid-19 set in motion a raft of lockdown restrictions, social science researchers have released new data about the impact of disrupted schooling on children. The findings confirm what many warned would happen — early grade reading among primary school children in lower quintile schools has […]

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  • Posted on 2 Jun 2021
  • VIDEO: School dropout in South Africa

  • The Zero Dropout Campaign featured on The 77 Percent, a show about issues facing young people across Africa. In South Africa, around 40% of learners drop out of school before finishing matric. Poverty and inequality are the underlying drivers of dropout, which is why lower quintile schools are worse affected. In these communities, learners drop […]

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  • Posted on 28 May 2021
  • LISTEN: The investment case for After School Programmes

  • What role can After School Programmes play in addressing inequality in our schooling system? Zero Dropout Campaign Programme Director Merle Mansfield and Sibongile Khumalo, Executive Director at The Learning Trust, spoke to Power Perspective host Khaya Sithole about the investment case for after-school enrichment initiatives.

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  • Posted on 19 May 2021
  • VIDEO: Zero Dropout Campaign unpacks the NIDS-CRAM data

  • The recently released findings from the NIDS-CRAM Wave 4 report shows how disrupted schooling has affected access to school meals, learning trajectories, and gaps in learning. The survey found that 57% of children had missed a school meal in the last seven days. One of the expected long-term effects of Covid-19 disruptions to education is […]

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  • Posted on 17 May 2021
  • LISTEN: New NIDS-CRAM data shows significant learning losses in no-fee schools

  • A survey shows that learners in no-fee public schools have learned 50% to 75% less in 2020 than what they could normally learn. Project Lead of Reading for Meaning, Pumza Ndamase, speaks to Cape Talk Host Africa Melane about the value of an accelerated catch-up literacy programme.

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  • 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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