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ERIC Number: EJ1144003
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
Repeated Retention or Dropout? Disputing Hobson's Choice in South African Township Schools
Grossen, Silke; Grobler, Adelene A.; Lacante, Marlies
South African Journal of Education, v37 n2 Article 1367 May 2017
South Africa, like many developing countries, is heavily burdened by high dropout and unemployment rates and an undersupply of skilled workers. Grade retention is a common practice when learners do not meet the specific requirements--especially in countries with limited socio-economic resources. In South Africa, 52% of the learners are retained at least once before they reach Grade 10. However, the results of this study clearly suggest that the policy of repeated scholastic retention does not contribute positively to the academic achievement or to career maturity of Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners in township schools in South Africa. This study emphasises the importance of improving learner performance, starting in the Foundation Phase (Grade 0/R to Grade Three) and the need for accessible career guidance and counselling for all learners. By guiding these at-risk learners into vocation-oriented or technically oriented directions before the career maturity and academic achievement decline emerges, a decrease in dropout and an increase in the outflow of skilled people in the short term and unemployment in the long term may be addressed. The latter can be regarded as the cornerstone of socio-economic development and enhanced social capital in all developing countries.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 11; Secondary Education; High Schools; Grade 12
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A