This comes after conflicting reports suggested that half a million youngsters were affected and did not return to school.
Motshekga disputed the claims, telling MPs that the dropout problem was minimal and manageable.
"The DBE has paid close attention to this and has communicated with several researchers." After initially conflicting reports, there is now consensus that the first evidence that around half-a-million youngsters did not return to school when they should have is incorrect, according to Motshekga.
She was speaking about her R29.6 billion budget for the current fiscal year.
"The evidence we presently have, and researchers concur on this," she said, "indicates that there was no significant worsening of dropout trends."
Motshekga acknowledged that there have been some issues, such as enrolment in grades R to 1 being 25,000 lower than planned in 2021 due to parents delaying their children's initial enrolment.
"However, in comparison to the initial estimate of half a million dollars, this is a tiny and manageable concern."
According to Motshekga, the agency discovered that school participation rates increased during the epidemic after conducting its own investigation.
"According to recently revealed enrolment data, our schools' enrolments have been steadily increasing since before the outbreak, commencing in 2019; and this increase has not slowed during the pandemic." In reality, between 2019 and 2021, enrolments climbed by half a million. She attributed this to "fewer learners leaving school.
According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) between 2006 and 2016, the country made considerable progress in children's reading abilities prior to the epidemic.
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