25 June 2018

South Africa: What It's Really Like to Be At School in South Africa

analysis

Getting an education is fundamental to moving our young people out of poverty and into economic opportunity. So why are we struggling to ensure children make it all the way through school? Perhaps it's because we fail to see what they're up against each and every day.

As a country we have committed to greater access to education for all children. The importance of early childhood education (the first five years of a child's life) to improve children's capacity to learn and thrive is now firmly on the national agenda. Even the significance of prenatal care is making inroads in our attempt to give children the best start in life - right from conception. But what use are these building blocks if we are not investing the same amount of energy and forward-thinking into keeping our children in school?

Studies show that over the course of primary and secondary school, we lose 45 percent of learners - they never make it to Grade 12, much less write a matric exam. While it may be legal in South Africa to exit the school system at the...

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