Opportunity 10: Reflection and Analysis


‘School Dropout. What’s the Catch?’ Our new publication

While almost every child starts school in South Africa, over 40% won’t ever get to even write matric, let alone pass it. With so much attention paid to the matric pass rate each year, this major failure of our education system has long been hidden from view – despite the fact that an under-educated population […]

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Posted on 8 Jan 2020

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Tracking learners through school is our best bet against school dropout

All eyes are on those who concluded their matric finals last week, while far too little attention will be paid to the alarming number of learners who left school before Grade 12. In fact, adequate tracking of dropout at school level does not exist in South Africa. To ensure more children reach matric, we need […]

Posted on 9 Dec 2019

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Let’s get behind the General Education Certificate — and make it work

Currently, half of all children who start school make it to matric — the majority drop out in Grade 10 and 11 after repeating multiple grades. Grade 9 marks the end of compulsory schooling; if done right, formalising this point in a learner’s educational journey could be an important mechanism to improve outcomes for young […]

Posted on 3 Oct 2019

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Our challenge is psychological as much as it is economic: Ten ways to create new opportunity for young people

We are fast running out of time to create hope for the millions of young people who are still excluded from the formal economy. Escalating violence in South Africa shows that the problem is not absolute poverty; after all, there are many countries poorer but more peaceful than ours. Rather, the problem is extreme inequality, […]

Posted on 16 Sep 2019

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The true cost of our failing education system

Despite significant investment in South Africa’s education system[1], far too many children cannot read or write and struggle with basic numeracy. Not only is this robbing our learners of their potential, but it’s also hurting our economy, too, with a new report revealing that grade repetition costs us R20-billion a year. South Africa’s education system […]

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Posted on 2 Sep 2019

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Steps to address South Africa’s dropout crisis

The majority of learners who start Grade 1 will not complete their schooling. The South African education system is failing our children because a lack of educational qualifications puts them at a disadvantage in the labour market, increasing the prospect of a life mired in unemployment, and in so doing, perpetuating cycles of poverty and […]

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Posted on 12 Jul 2019

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Children should feel valued, not threatened

Our daughter came home in tears from her first day of the new school term.  All the teachers had commenced class with a pep talk on knuckling down to work right away. Some chose to motivate their students, but three harped on the unpleasant consequences of poor behaviour. In school, the wages of sin is […]

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Posted on 12 Apr 2019

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Connecting with learners to keep them in school

For many learners, school can feel like a losing battle. We see this in the country’s low matric throughput rates – with only 40% of learners who start school going on to pass matric 12 years later[1]. Merle Mansfield of the Zero School Dropout Initiative asks what can be done now to give our learners […]

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Posted on 29 Mar 2019

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Creating jobs and improving education at the same time

There’s a wonderful book by Dr Seuss that all parents should read to their children. It’s called Oh, the Places you’ll Go, written for young people as they set off on life’s exciting journey towards success (“98 and ¾ per cent guaranteed”!). But it’s not all breathlessly gung-ho. The book acknowledges that there are amazing […]

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Posted on 8 Feb 2019

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David, Goliath and half a gig of data

With a third of young South Africans marginalised from work, training and employment opportunities – there are over 8 million young people itching for opportunity. As Shakira Maharaj points out, young people are ready to make the most of what they get.  This past weekend was a big one for South Africa – the last […]

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Posted on 4 Feb 2019

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