05 SES 02, School Dropout: Local Community and Teacher Perceptions of Risk Factors, and Multi-Actor Perspectives on School Failure
School dropout has been defined as leaving education without obtaining a minimal credential, most often a higher secondary education diploma or ISCED 3c diploma (ISCED, UNESCO, 1997; K. De Witte et al., 2013). Dropping out of school is a serious educational and social problem. By early school leaving, most dropouts have serious educational deficiencies that limit their economic and social well-being throughout their lives. (Rumberger, 1987). Early school leaving may lead young people to a weaker position in society and in the labour market (European Commission, 2009). Young people “who dropout of school have a difficult time securing and maintaining stable employment and, on average, earn far less than high school graduates” (Bradshaw et al., 2008). Dropping out of school has severe consequences for society as well, as society experiences a loss of productive workers, the earnings and tax revenues they would have generated, and “the higher costs associated with increased incarceration, health care and social services” (Bridgeland et al., 2006). In order to reduce the dropout rates, the ‘‘No Child Left Behind Act’’ (2001), and the ‘‘Lisbon 2010’’ goals have been formulated. Most recently, according to ‘‘Europe 2020’’ EU goal is less than 10% of early school leavers by 2020 (Europe 2020, 2010.).
Among other countries in region, Serbia has a major problem with high dropout rate. According to data from EUROSTAT (2008) dropout rate in Serbia is more than 19%. As one of its educational goals, in educational strategic documents (Strategy of development of education in Serbia, 2020) Serbia has defined threshold of dropout rate in primary education at less than 5% of students in one generation.
There has been extensive research on the factors that lead to dropout and most research indicates that it is never a single factor but a combination of factors (Dowrick and Crespo, 2005). Dropout can be seen as the final consequence of a longer process of disengagement, due to influence of combination of different individual, family, school and systemic factors (Lyche, 2010). This research aimed at identifying and analysing systemic and school factors influencing dropout of school in Serbia.
The main idea is that, dropout phenomenon is not just school problem or problem of educational system alone. As other studies have stated, some broder circumstances and factors influence the risk of dropping out of school (Lyche, 2010;Rumberger and Lim, 2008).The focus of this paper is on the systemic factors, factors at national and local level, above and beyond school and individual level, that have major influence on drop out of primary and secondary schools in Serbia.
Bradshaw, C., L. O’Brennan and C. McNeely (2008), Core competencies and the Prevention of School Failure and Early School Leaving, in N.G. Guerra and C.P. Bradshaw (eds.), Core competencies to prevent problem behaviours and promote positive youth development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 122, pp. 19-32. Bridgeland, J., J. Dilulio and K. Morison (2006), The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts, Civic Enterprises, LLC, Washington. De Witte, K., Cabus, S., Thyssen, G., Groot, W., and Maassen van den Brink, H. (2013). A critical review of the literature on school dropout. Educational Research Review, Vol.10 pp. 13–28 Dowrick, P. W. and N. Crespo (2005), School failure in T. P. Gullotta, and G. R. Adams (eds.), Handbook of adolescent behavioral problems: Evidence-based approaches to prevention and treatment. Springer Science and Business Media, New York, pp. 589-610. EUROPE 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; Communication from the commission (2010); retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/pdf/complet%20en%20barroso%20%20%20007%20-%20europe%202020%20-%20en%20version.pdf European Commission (2009), Progress Towards the Lisbon Objectives in Education and Training: Indicators and Benchmarks 2009; retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning- policy/doc/report09/report_en.pdf ISCED 1997, International Standard Classification of Education I S C E D 1997, UNESCO; retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/education/information/nfsunesco/doc/isced_1997.htm Lyche, C. (2010), Taking on the Completion Challenge: A Literature Review on Policies to Prevent Dropout and Early School Leaving, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 53, OECD Publishing. Rumberg, R. (1987). High School Dropouts: A Review of Issues and Evidence. Review of Educational Research, Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 101-121 Rumberger, R. and Lim, S. (2008), Why Students Drop Out of School: A Review of 25 Years of Research, California Dropout Research Project, Santa Barbara.
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