How The Education Department Plans To Tackle The Dropout Rate


Researchers have revealed an estimated 230 000 and 300 000 learners dropped out of school each year before the emergence of the pandemic. The Education Department has shared how it aims to tackle the issue of dropouts and learner retention using its systems and processes.



The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has been using the South African Schools Administration and Management System (SA-SAMS) as one of its tracking and tracing processes.

According to the Zero Dropout Campaign, the high dropout rate has social, public health, and economic implications for the country.

The department said that its process is an effective way of record-keeping, enabling efficient practices by converting manual processes to automated functions to track learners who do not return to school. 

In a statement, the department clarified:

Monthly and Quarterly Attendance reports are generated from SA-SAMS for reporting and monitoring by the district. 

As the department’s schools are guided by the Policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment, and Support Policy, learners are screened and supported through teachers being able to identify academic, behavioral, and social barriers.

It has been reported that besides teachers, the DBE has trained Learner Support Agents (LSAs) that are placed in some schools to identify learners with psychosocial needs.

Should the need arise, the teacher or School-Based Support Team will make a referral to the most relevant government department such as the Department of Social Development (DSD).

In the case of child abuse, neglect, and children living on the streets, the DSD will take over and potentially make it a legal matter by involving the children’s court. The department also offers financial assistance to parents who are having financial difficulties.

Education activists are also playing their role, using research-based solutions to help decrease the country's school dropout rate.





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