LISTEN: We need to improve our learner-level data collection and monitoring to reduce dropout

Rahima Essop, Head of Communications and Advocacy at the Zero Dropout campaign, speaks to SAfm host, Koketso Sachane, about South Africa’s high dropout rate and offers some solutions. Essop explains that one solution would be to collect accurate learner-level data. “We need accurate, real time, learner-level data that tracks a learner’s pathway through school to be able to get an up-to-date and relevant picture of dropout in the country,” says Essop. This is because high-quality administrative data can be used to track the overall health and functioning of our schooling system, learner progress, grade repetition and dropout. Furthermore, learner-level data can help educators take pre-emptive measures to prevent dropout, and ‘big picture’ data, at a country level, can inform better policy decisions.