School Dropout – Concept, causes, consequences and how to avoid it

We explain what dropout is, what factors intervene in this phenomenon, its causes, consequences and how it can be avoided.

school dropout
School dropout may be due to a context in which children are forced to work.

What is the school desertion?

School dropout, school dropout or early school leaving is understood as the withdrawal from the formal educational system, before having achieved the final degree corresponding to the completion of their studies. This phenomenon can occur in both primary and secondary education.

Due to its important consequences on the cultural and professional development of the community, there are numerous local, regional and international initiatives dedicated to combating it.

In addition, school dropout It occurs both in countries of the industrialized world and in those belonging to the so-called Third World. The difference is that in the first case it usually occurs in tertiary or post-secondary education processes, while in the second throughout the school chain: primary, secondary and tertiary.

Types of school dropouts

There are five forms of school dropout, which are:

  • Early desertion. When the student has been accepted into a school program and never attends the educational center or completes his classes.
  • Early desertion. When the student leaves the study program during the first four semesters.
  • Late desertion. When the student leaves the study program from the fifth semester onwards.
  • Total desertion. When the student completely abandons an educational plan and never returns to it.
  • Partial desertion. When the student takes a temporary leave of a certain duration and then resumes his studies.

Causes of school dropout

School dropout does not have a simple or unique cause, but is due to various factors, both conditioning (that facilitate or complicate the study) and determining (that prevent or allow the study).

In both cases, it is generally a set of social, cultural and economic causes that converge so that students leave school and dedicate themselves to something else. Desertion it doesn’t happen simply because people don’t want to studyRather, it is a complex phenomenon that reveals other deeper reasons in society.

Consequences of school dropout

school dropout consequences
In addition to formal education, schooling offers ample possibilities for socialization.

School dropout impoverishes the culture and educational level of society, making her more vulnerable in many ways. This is because the formal educational apparatus is much more than simply a way of incorporating practical or usable knowledge into the student.

On the contrary, by abandoning formal education, the student also loses the opportunity to take advantage of what the system offers as a process of early socialization, education in civic, moral, democratic values, which the individual will then put into practice during adulthood , when it comes to bonding with others.

To this must, obviously, be added the interruption of the professional educational process, which truncates the individual’s chances of self-improvement, forcing him to live off the exercise of less profitable, more sacrificial or even illegal work, since he lacks more complex tools to be useful to society in other ways.

Factors involved in school dropout

The factors of school dropout are the elements and conditions that trigger it. They may be:

  • Socioeconomic factors. Such as low family income and lack of school support, the need for early work to support themselves or the total lack of school incentives (supplies, books, public institutes, etc.).
  • Personal factors. Those of an emotional, motivational type, which respond to very particular conditions of the individual.
  • Psychological factors. Like learning disabilities, autism, etc.
  • Institutional factors. Lack of study opportunities or institutional helplessness, such as the absence of quotas, the absence of scholarships, etc.
  • Family factors. It is very difficult to continue your studies if you live in a dysfunctional, violent, disjointed family, in which abuse, drug addiction or death are present.
  • Social factors. Vulnerability to criminal situations, belonging to criminal gangs, drug addiction of the student, etc.

How to avoid school dropout?

The fight against school dropout involves the joint fight against all the factors that propitiate it, such as poverty, exclusion, drug addiction or criminality. So it is not an easy task. However, good steps in that direction are as follows:

  • Promote good educational environments. In which the students have real opportunities for growth and learning: material resources, decent facilities, teachers prepared for teaching, an environment free of bullying and other harmful socializations, etc.
  • Offer reintegration opportunities. They can be late or evening study plans, adult education, educational promotion plans, offers of scholarships or study aid, etc.
  • Invest in public education. It is very difficult, especially in developing countries, for a person to study if they do not have what to eat. For this, the State can invest part of its budget in quality public education, which offers free opportunities to those who do not have them.
  • Promote international aid programs. There are international institutions and sponsorships that fight school dropouts, and they can be accessed if you have the necessary information.

School dropout in Mexico

The figures for school dropouts in Mexico increase as students get older, according to the 2015 Intercensal Survey of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi). Thus, between the ages of 6 and 11, 98% of infants attend school, but as the age increases to the 12 to 17 range, the dropout rate also increases.

In 2015, in fact, 2.2 million adolescents dropped out of school (16.2%). The main reasons for this dropout are lack of interest in studying, lack of aptitude or resources for income (48.3%) and poverty (14.2%).