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Zero Dropout campaign aims to nurture relationships with learners every day

Written by: Tlou Legodi

A report states that up to 75,000 pupils in grades 7 and 12 are expected to drop out. It is not a new problem but is worsened by the COIVID-19 pandemic and the school closures we have dealt with.

We have reached out to Zero Dropout campaign, whose goal is to halve South Africa’s dropout rate by 2030 by spurring individual and collective ownership of the problem. We want to know what’s happening on the ground and how their campaign helps dropouts and what parents and the community can do to help these children.

John Perlman on Afternoon Drive speaks to Zero Dropout programme director Merle Mansfield for more.

Dropout is one of those hidden crises we have in the country. We have been trying to raise the alarm around it with the Zero Dropout campaign to make sure everybody understands that we are worried about pupils who start grade 1 who don't make it to matric and drop out f the school system.

Merle Mansfield, Programme director - Zero Dropout

This happens annually and there isn't a national programme or a coordinate response. This is the first time that we had numbers and projections coming from the national Department of Basic Education that speaks to dropout. It is encouraging that the department is starting to think of it as a problem that wants to be responded to but definitely the impact of even the COVI-19 disruption is greater and amplifying the conditions we have been struggling with.

Merle Mansfield, Programme director - Zero Dropout

Dropout isn't a singular event. It doesn't just happen. A child doesn't just decide that I'm finished with school and they stop. It is actually a process of disengagement that happens over a period of time.

Merle Mansfield, Programme director - Zero Dropout

Learning is relational. We need to work on that relationship that we have with learners in school every day.

Merle Mansfield, Programme director - Zero Dropout

Listen below for the full interview...


This article first appeared on 702 : Zero Dropout campaign aims to nurture relationships with learners every day




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