JOHANNESBURG - A significant number of pupils drop out of school before they reach Matric.
Education researcher Nic Spaull says poor learning in the foundation phases could be to blame.
"I did a brief look at the numbers. If we look at when we started school 12 years ago, there were 1.1 million children in grade one," he said.
"But when you look at the 2014 Matrics, there were only 550,000 students. Where did the half a million students go?"
Spaull said the problem isn't just before Matric, but much earlier.
"If we looked at 100 students that started school 12 years ago, only 48 of them reached Matric, 36 passed and 14 qualified to go to university."
The SA Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) has also expressed concern about this issue.
The union says less than 50 percent of learners who enrolled in grade one in 2002 have written final Matric exams.
SADTU says the drop in the pass rate is also worrying.
"Though we are concerned about the drop in terms of the pass percentage, we feel like we must be happy about those who have made it.," said SADTU Deputy General Secretary Nkosana Dolopi.
"Importantly, to thank all the teachers... so it's all because of their hard work.
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