The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the disruptions that would typically cause a learner to leave school, and as a result, dropout figures are three times pre-pandemic levels. We need a collaborative and sustained approach to get learners back to school, and to keep them there. The longer learners are away from school, the less likely they are to return. It’s imperative that we ramp up reintegration programs as schools reopen. Rahima Essop, Head of Communications and Advocacy at the Zero Dropout Campaign, speaks to ETV about the urgent need to track and trace absent learners.