SPF Project

Zero Dropout

Funded by: Entertainment Industry Foundation

Programme Manager: Dr Paul Cromhout

Sector: Education

The Small Projects Foundation (SPF) has launched an urgent campaign to reach out to those learners who have not returned to school this year, assess their barriers to returning, and address the uncomplicated barriers as quickly as possible to encourage them to return to school by at least the end of May. 
EC Dept of Education’s Directorate Youth & Special Programmes is leading the Steering Committee of this campaign.

The problem: 
Thousands of learners drop out of school every year; COVID-19 has made these numbers increase even more. 
Most dropouts never escape the cycle of poverty in their lives - their future opportunities are severely limited, and they are at greater risk of gender-based violence, drug & alcohol addictions, HIV, & teen pregnancies.

Campaign approach: 
Identify dropouts; 
Contact caregivers by phone and home visits; 
Identify barriers to re-enrollment; 
Address uncomplicated barriers by end of May; 
Develop longer-term dropout prevention strategy; 
Provide periodic feedback to schools, districts and DoE. 

SPF will utilise its existing network of programmes, mentors, field workers and support structures already working with youth to roll out this programme with DoE’s support.

These include: 
Learners who have dropped out will also be enrolled in SPF’s existing youth support clubs.

Focus districts: 
Buffalo City Municipality and Amathole Districts 
Focus grades: Grades 8 to 12 and Grades 1 to 4 

Benefit for schools: 
Re-enrolling dropouts demonstrates greater learner retention for continued DoE support. 
Support to help schools, learners and parents to address barriers to school-going.

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