R50m initiative to curb dropout rate

Leonie Wagner

THE Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) has stepped in with a R50-million initiative to get hundreds of school dropouts from Helenvale in Port Elizabeth back into the classroom.

Funded by the German Development Bank, the agency conducted research in the impoverished suburb and found that scores of children had left school and spent their days roaming the streets.

The study could not specify how many children had actually dropped out but found that of the 1275 children interviewed, many first bunked school and then stayed absent for weeks before dropping out completely.

MBDA planning and development manager for township renewal Eldrid Uithaler said while driving around the area doing research they saw at least 200 children under the age of 15 loitering around duringschool hours daily.

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