Grade repetition should not be the first means of learning support, advises education expert Elizabeth Walton.
According to Walton, the grade repetition rate is higher than it should be in the country, particularly grade 9 to grade 11.
The Basic Education's Departments policy on progressing poor performing learners has raised much debate.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga believes that frustrated learners deserve a second chance, as explained in a column written in the Sunday Times.
However, Walton explains that there need to be preventative measures in place to help avoid grade repetition, which may not be the best solution for a child.
Walton claims that grade retention does not necessarily lead to a learner's improved academic performance.
It's very difficult to prove that there are positive effects (of grade retention). There's very little to suggest that doing the same thing a second time is going to result in improved understanding.— Elizabeth Walton, Wits Associate professor, in inclusive education
She unpacks research on teacher competency and pupils with learning difficulties and other pressures. Listen: