“It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor.” – Nelson Mandela
Most South African learners who start Grade 1 don’t end up finishing matric. About half of all learners drop out of school after Grade 9. And even after that, only 4 out of every 10 high school learners pass matric – that’s less than half!
So it’s clear that school dropout is a big problem in South Africa. There are a few reasons for this: the biggest four are the cost of going to school, needing to find a job, failing school, and falling pregnant. For us to do something about school dropouts, it’s important to understand that it’s connected to poverty and the quality of education. We won’t get very far unless we deal with those issues as well.
What’s so important about getting an education? Well, it’s easy to see that having a matric helps you to study further and get a job. But even beyond that, staying in school can protect young people in many ways. Young people who stay in school usually have better health and higher earnings, and they learn more about safe sex.