LISTEN: The relationship between early pregnancy and dropout

Dropout comes at the end of a long process of disengagement in which a young person is pulled or pushed away from school. Research has shown that there are up to 40 different risk factors, and we also know that these risks may be pronounced in learners depending on their gender. For instance, before Covid-19, around 33% of school dropout among young women in South Africa was related to pregnancy. There is a mutually-reinforcing relationship between pregnancy and dropout: young women who are out of school are more at risk of becoming pregnant, and young women who become pregnant are more at risk of leaving school. Rahima Essop, Head of Communications and Advocacy at the Zero Dropout Campaign, speaks to SAfm host Kgomotso Moeketsi about this issue.