Call for Proposals: Pilot Intervention to Tackle School Drop-Out

DG Murray Trust
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 29 February, 2016
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

The DG Murray Trust (DGMT) is a private foundation which supports initiatives that aim to bring about dynamic and fundamental impact on the lives of people in South Africa.
 
The DGMT is calling for proposals for experiments that tackle school drop-out in South Africa.  
 
The foundation invites you – as well-known organisations in this field, or fresh new alliances - to design and implement a programme focused on identifying Grade 8 and/or 9 learners who are at risk of dropping out and putting in measures that reduce the rates of grade repetition and drop-out.
 
The project will be implemented over a period of 36 months through a phased approach.
 
The DGMT is looking for proposals that make a strong and compelling case as to how the proposed strategies get to the heart of the challenge of school drop-out in South Africa.  It would like to see crisp and different ideas, connecting people and resources in unusual ways.  At the same time, we recognise that sometimes what is missing is just good implementation of well-established solutions. Proposals will be reviewed with an eye to cost-effectiveness at scale.
 
The DGMT invites interested parties to read the Terms of Reference below.
 
Enquiries: Chiara Baumann, Email: chiara@dgmt.co.za

Terms of Reference
 
Problem Statement
 
In 2003, 1 085 570 learners started Grade 1, yet in 2014 only 49 percent of the 2003 Grade 1 cohort wrote matric and only 36 percent passed. The majority of children spend many years in school, yet leave without a matric certificate. While primary school enrolment in South Africa is high compared to many developing countries, there is a large drop in enrolment between Grades 10 and 12, with repetition and drop-out rates peaking in Grades 10 and 11. Many learners who drop out have repeated several times, and leave Grades 10 and 11 at ages 18, 19 or 20. The decision to leave school without completing matric is complex and multidimensional. Boys report a lack of finances and girls report pregnancy as the reason for dropping out. However, self-reported reasons for drop-out are biased – they are likely to reflect only the event or constraint that immediately prompted the decision, not the root cause or accumulated challenges that have built up over many years.
 
Research based on the National Income Dynamics Survey (2008) suggests that children who drop out between Grades 9 and 12 typically:

  •  Are older, and further behind for their age;
  •  Attend a poorer school with lower matric pass rates;
  •  Are less proficient in English reading and writing;
  •  Are less likely to live with both parents;
  •  Have parents with lower education levels;
  •  Are more likely to live in a poor household; and
  •  Are marginally less likely to expect to complete matric.

Not keeping pace at school and therefore grade repetition, largely due to the low quality of primary and lower secondary education, is a fundamental pre-determinant of who drops out. However, grade repetition is not sufficient to address the problem of learners lagging behind, and most schools appear to be poorly equipped to help learners who have fallen behind to successfully complete their schooling career through remedial support. Moreover, evidence suggests that in many schools, grade repetition is not well targeted, i.e. some learners who should not repeat in fact do repeat and other learners who should repeat are promoted.
 
The tendency for children to spend many years in school and yet not to attain a matric certificate can be regarded as a key system inefficiency. Apart from the private costs to individuals associated with spending additional years in school (including the opportunity cost of foregone wages), the cost to the state per matric graduate is high when children spend many years in school without completing matric. There is a strong case to be made for better identification of youth who are at risk of dropping out and the implementation of preventative measures, at key grades prior to Grade 12, such as at Grades 8 and 9.
 
Objective

The focus of the pilot intervention is to tackle school drop-out in South Africa by identifying Grade 8 and/or 9 learners who are at risk of dropping out and test approaches to reduce the rates of repetition and drop-out in later years.
 
Requested Services
 
The requested services of the organisation are the design and implementation of a programme that includes:

  • A baseline survey for the target population that captures the profiles of the schooling, school characteristics, matric expectations, English proficiency, parental information, and household characteristics;
  • A strong short term (0-12 months) and medium term (12-48 months) Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy with clear reporting processes to both the funder and the school that allow a feedback mechanism to improve the programme operation; and
  • A ground-breaking pilot intervention that innovatively identifies Grade 8 and/or 9 learners who are at risk of dropping out and tests approaches to reduce the rates of repetition and drop-out in later years.

The project will be implemented over a 36 month period through a phased approach, but with the strong possibility of extending the timeframe depending on results. The focus is on Quintile 1-3 schools, in any part of the country.

DGMT is looking for proposals that make a strong and compelling case as to how the proposed strategies get to the heart of the challenge of school drop-out in South Africa. Although this is a pilot intervention, it is critical that the programme is designed and costed to eventually operate at scale.  For example, a one-on-one remedial programme may be ideal for many children, but a very strong case would need to be made for its cost-effectiveness in the South African setting.

We would like to see fresh and different ideas, connecting people and resources in unusual ways. At the same time, we recognise that sometimes what is missing is just good implementation of well-established solutions. 

What must be evident is a very clear connection between the well-defined problem and the envisaged strategy – and goals that are measurable within a four-year period.
 
Expertise

We would like to see unlikely partners with a mix of skills and perspectives coming together to bring new energy and expertise to a sector that often seems mired by the enormity of the challenge.

Proposal Outline

  • Submit a 3-5 page concept paper that provides a strong problem analysis; an overview of the programme model; and a compelling motivation;
  • Include track record and relevant experience of both the organisation and proposed team;
  • Include NPO and PBO registration (if registered); and
  • Include a high level budget.

Proposals should be submitted to chiara@dgmt.co.za before 11h00 am on Monday, 29 February 2016.

Shortlisted organisations will be requested to submit a comprehensive proposal online.

The proposals will be subjected to DGMT’s usual systems of proposal review and assessment, and final decisions for funding are at the discretion of the Board.

For more about the DGMT, refer to http://dgmt.co.za.

To view other opportunities, refer to www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/other-opportunities.

Location: 
South Africa

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