Is the overall SA matric pass rate (78.2%) a distorted reality, considering that 489 800 learners who started Grade 1 in 2007 never reached matric?
Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty says the learner throughput and success rate in South Africa is affected by various factors.
Surty claims that SA schools have seen an increased retention rate until Grade 10 over the past 10 years.
He says the dropout rate is at it's highest between Grades 10 to 12.
Historically, we have had a problem with dropouts.— Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Basic Education
In the first 10 years, the retention rate is actually 95%. It has improved significantly. It's in the last three years [of high school] that we have a particularly critical challenge.— Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Basic Education
Teenage pregnancy, transitions to vocational streams at TVET colleges, grade repetition and other learning challenges are some of the contributing factors to the high drop out rate post Grade 9, he adds.
By law, education is only compulsory for the first 10 years of school.
Surty says the department must consider whether compulsory education should be for the full 12 years to discourage dropouts.
The deputy minister discussed the resource inequalities across provinces, the challenges facing teachers and other issues.
Listen to the in-depth discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show: