A high numbers of learners dropped out of the schooling system during the pandemic. Organisations have now collaborated to ensure that this crisis is resolved.
Researchers have revealed an estimated 230 000 and 300 000 learners dropped out of school each year before the emergence of the pandemic.
In a statement, Rahima Essop, Head of Communications and Advocacy for the Zero Dropout Campaign said:
A high dropout rate has social, public health, and economic implications for the country.
Essop said the basic education sector can build more responsive programmes, systems, and policies.
On the other hand, the Campaign has introduced Early Warning Systems (EWS) and psychosocial support as tools to resolve the issue of school dropouts.
EWS is a model that will help schools and educators assess learners’ risk of dropping out.
This is inclusive of the provision of psychosocial support – offered by counselors, social workers, or mentors – which is crucial for learners struggling to cope with school.
Essop has pointed out these three key areas are what ought to be closely looked at:
- Academic results
- Behavioral problems
- Chronic absenteeism
It has been reported that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) backs this model of assessing learners.
According to the organisation, dropping out is a process of the learner being disengaged, rather than a single event when the learner discontinues attending school.
Department of Basic Education (DBE) education researcher, Nompumelelo Mohohlwane revealed that around 46 000 children who were enrolled in schools during the start of the pandemic did not re-register in 2021.
Education experts also have shared how this has become a crisis and something needs to be done.