Ramaphosa Urges Teachers To Keep School Dropout Rate Lower

empty classroom desks

Speaking at a Teachers Award Event in Kempton, President Cyril Ramaphosa was earnest about the importance of education and how black people were deprived education in the past. Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the annual National Teaching Awards in Kempton Park on Wednesday.  


President Cyril Ramaphosa had touched on the most troubling crisis faced by the South African public schools.

In his keynote address, he pleaded with teachers to devise ways to keep children in school in order to bring down the number of dropouts at public schools. 

The National Teaching Awards are meant to celebrate committed teachers who have been doing well, particularly in public schools.

In the current event of heightened school dropouts faced by public schools, the President challenged teachers to decrease the number of annual school dropouts to less than 25%.

He raised concerns about a high number of pupils who do not finish their matric year, partly because of historical discrimination in the context of apartheid, when black people were deprived of access to education. 

A report from the most recent National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) showed between 650 000 and 750 000 children dropped out of school in the last school year during the pandemic. 

As I am doing door-to-door campaigns, I interact with young people and the parents to ask how educated are they. How far did they go to school and I find discrepancies.

When children leave schools, Ramaphosa says teachers must ask why and try to intervene with a workable solution. 

Teachers were also praised for their tenacity and resilience under the difficult lockdown periods, which posed strenuous disruptions to the education sector. 

Ramaphosa added that teachers are called to bring up exemplary and responsible citizens who will not play part in crime and corruption. 

Teachers are challenged to keep learners at schools, at least until they finish matric and do this deliberately by walking into villages or townships hunting for those who seem to have given up hope. 

While campaigning for the upcoming elections, the president laid his bad experience of witnessing majority of families saying their children had long dropped-out of schools.

When learners finish their matric, they stand a better chance of securing a job, Ramaphosa said. 

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