School Dropout. What’s the Catch?

Although at least 40% of young people in South Africa drop out of school, there is no national task force focused on addressing this crisis.

The vision of the Zero Dropout Campaign is to halve the rate of school dropout by 2030 – which requires a collaborative effort targeting a range of actions that can intervene in school dropout.

Toward this end, the Zero Dropout Campaign pursues four strategies to ensure school dropout is firmly on the national agenda with a clear pathway for significant change:

  • Driving a powerful public advocacy agenda focused on mobilising a range of actors to take action on school dropout;
  • Developing an accelerated learning programme focused on the rapid catch-up of skills that enable reading for meaning to address underlying learning backlogs that contribute to learner dropout;
  • Supporting the development and mobilisation of a network of schools committed to zero dropout; and
  • Piloting innovative approaches to reducing dropout and learning from the implementation experience.

We believe that a coordinated response to school dropout must begin with accurate data tracking of individual learners, together with evidence-based interventions aimed at reducing learner risk and increasing learner engagement.

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