ActionSA alarmed by SA’s high school dropout rate, urges intervention by the Department of Basic Education

ActionSA believes the high drop-out rates are alarming and calls for government intervention.

Data released by Statistics South Africa show an increase in the number of children who are not attending school.  In 2021, close to 3% of the 15-year-olds and nearly 9% of the 17-year-olds had dropped out of school.

According to researchers, it is estimated that out of the 100 learners who began in grade 1, about 40 will sit for the Grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination. Of these 40, only about 12 will qualify for further higher education studies.

Data also shows that the drop-out rates are the highest amongst the higher grades, with grade 11 at 24,08% and grade 10 at 14,84% respectively.  We are talking of youth between the ages of 15 – 17 years.

There are various factors that researchers cite as reasons for the drop-out rates and includes the following:

– Poverty

– Child headed homes

– Teenage pregnancies

– Lack of interest

– Failing a grade

– Left behind in school work

Meanwhile at national level, the effects of the high rate of school dropouts is evident through the socio-economic issues we have as a country. Those include:

– High rate of youth unemployment

– Substance abuse

– Teenage pregnancies

– Poverty

– Skills shortage

These are socio-economic issues brought forth by lack of implementation of existing policy or complete lack of policy to address these matters which subsequesntly denies a great portion of our population an opportunity at an upward economic mobility. It is a vicious cycle that requires urgent government intervention.

Two of our core Education Principles as Action SA are that:

– Education is the most powerful tool to create a prosperous society.

– Education requires a wholistic society approach.

ActionSA will implement policies to ensure that all South African children and youth attend school. We will partner with families, communities, and civil organisations to ensure that our children and youth are skilled and economically active.