Dropout prevention should be a goal of SA school system, says NGO

According to organisations, many children drop out before reaching matric because of pressure, social injustices, financial reasons or children-headed household responsibilities.

FILE: Organisations said there were systemic issues that were confronting the education system. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Education organisations said the 76.4% pass rate for the class of 2021 was not a good indicator to see what the true state of the education system was.

According to organisations, many children drop out before reaching matric because of pressure, social injustices, financial reasons or children-headed household responsibilities.

More than 36% of all those who wrote the National Senior Certificate qualified for admission to bachelor studies at universities.

Equal Education's Stacey Jacobs said there were a number of factors to look at when trying to evaluate whether the quality of education had improved.

Jacobs said there were systemic issues that were confronting the education system.

“So, what’s really needed here is for government to treat education as a priority, which it does, but which we are not necessarily seeing.”

Meanwhile, the Zero Dropout Campaign's Rahima Essop said what was still concerning was the high dropout rate.

“We should be making dropout prevention an explicit goal of our schooling system. Dropouts should be a key performance indicator serving as an accountability measure."

The Free State is the best-performing province for 2021 according to government statistics, while Limpopo performed the poorest.

Experts said this poor performance could be attributed to infrastructure challenges and rotational learning.