South Africa’s Constitution includes a special section on the rights of the child because it recognises that many children suffered under apartheid and continue to face numerous challenges. In 2014, only 50% of South Africa’s 1.1 million pupils completed high (secondary) school. South Africa has a high dropout rate, especially amongst girls. Some of the main reasons for dropouts include child headed families; gender inequalities; teenage pregnancy; sexual violence; lack of access to sanitation, especially for menstruating girls; lack of transport and educational infrastructure; and poverty.
AASA believes that young people are the future of South Africa, and have, throughout South Africa’s history, led powerful struggles, and yet are frequently ignored when seeking solutions and often overlooked as a powerful collective to drive these solutions. As the largest and most energetic population, young people can and must be at the centre of our struggle for transformation and social justice.