Equal Education says the 2018 matric pass rate of 78% announced by the Basic Education Department is not entirely accurate as it ignores the number of learners who dropped out on the road to matric.

The dropout rate at schools in South Africa is between 50 and 60%. A number of factors influence learners when it comes to leaving school.

Drugs, gang violence and teen pregnancies are some of the factors.  The repeating of grades and bullying are also serious issues that contribute to scholar drop out.

Co-head of research at Equal Education, Rone McFarlene, believes that various factors affect and influence the dropout rate.

“Learners who repeat grades are most likely to drop out of school and probably the most important factor is poor foundation phase education. So the gaps in learning emerge in the foundation phase as learners move through their schooling career. Those gaps grow bigger and bigger until the learners become completely disaffected and drop out of school.”

According to McFarlene’s research, responsibility lies with parents and educators.