PRETORIA, 22 July 2021 – The impact of disrupted education since the COVID-19 outbreak has been devastating, with learners between 75 per cent and a full school year behind where they should be, according to latest statistics. Rotational attendance, sporadic school closures and days off for specific grades, have resulted in school children losing 54 per cent of learning time.

Some 400,000 to 500,000 learners have reportedly also dropped out of school altogether over the past 16-months. This is most likely for children living in informal urban and rural settings, with household poverty also playing a critical role. The total number of out of school children is now up to 750,000.