Reducing SA’s school dropout rate is a big ask. Merle Mansfield is committed to halving it by 2030. Here’s how.

The dropout rate in South Africa’s schools has long been a cause for concern. The Covid-19 lockdown has just made it an even greater worry but it’s not an insurmountable problem, as Merle Mansfield and the Zero Dropout Campaign show.

The statistics are daunting: Around 40% of South Africa’s Grade 1 learners will leave school before completing Grade 12. Merle Mansfield, programme director of the Zero Dropout Campaign, is one of the people working hard to change this.

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