In 2017, SLF Director Andrew Hartnack has been a research/knowledge partner in the DG Murray Trust’s “Addressing School Dropout” pilot project, which sought to test a number of models to prevent high school learners from leaving school early. Hartnack visited eight NGO-run projects throughout the year to document the work each was doing in schools with grade 8 and 9s. Organisations were based in Cape Town, Paarl, Swellendam, East London, Pietermaritzburg and Tzaneen.
This project yielded great insight into the varying contexts of the South African school system which make learners vulnerable to leaving school before grade 12. It also identified several innovative approaches which reduce the risks of dropout and can work to assist vulnerable learners to do better in school and complete their secondary studies. Hartnack has written several reports and background papers for the DGMT during 2017 and will be publishing some of this material in academic journals in 2018.