Preventing School Drop-Outs: Parents and School Initiatives
Education is a fundamental right of every person that provides capital towards success. For some, it has become a bleak undertaking. Despite the importance of education towards having a better life, there are still people who chose to let go of school and settled for whatever life may bring them.
Seeing the Bigger Picture
School dropout is merely a statistical term that represents the decline of students getting the benefits of the educational system. But what lies behind school dropouts are the risk factors that cause its occurrence. Several researchers have presented the elements that relate to the phenomena. In 2007, a study revealed that students who are dropping out of school mostly come from low socio-economic class, showing poor school performance, disinterest in school activities, and less presence in school premises. But more than the identification of the risk factors is the prevention that may alleviate the increasing incidence of school dropout.
Confronting the high school dropout problem requires commitment from the parents and the school administration. This problem should not be handled and solved by one group only. In fact, this needs joint effort and collaboration of all the persons and organizations that are responsible for the success and well-being of the student. As such, some evidenced-based initiatives are encouraged to be practiced by other schools to ensure that their students are not falling out of the system. Some of these initiatives include:
- A quality early childhood education
- Giving attention to the social and emotional learning of the child
- Monitoring of student’s attendance and school performance in academics
- Following up with students who are lagging and providing intensive coaching
- Adopting a positive school climate, and
- Hands-on relationship with parents, families, and communities.
It All Begins In The Home
Society dictates that home is the first school for children, and parents are their primary teachers. This has not changed since the concept of family as a unit has emanated even from the dawn of man.
Everything starts at home; the extent of encouragement for learning that the parents can give their children is the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school. When there is constant quality communication within the family, a reasonable expectation for their child’s education and future career has been grounded. Parents become involved in their child’s education, and success is more likely to happen. Hence, family involvement plays a vital role in a successful school completion of every student. Parents should take the extra mile to impose early childhood education to their child as this may start to develop the interest of their child in the idea of going to school. The parents are the primary key players in preparing the child to embrace the importance of education.
“Help your children find relevance for school learning by providing context and connecting it to personal meaning. Help them discover how what they are learning at school is relevant to their lives and their worlds,” writes Judy Willis M.D.
The school as such, plays a significant responsibility in this undertaking, once a child starts schooling as most of his time is entirely spent in school. This is how much of a challenge for a school to be in charge of the future of every student. And this task is to help every student earn a degree and use it towards their journey for a better life.
“Unfortunately, our educational culture assumes that we don’t teach enough curriculum and don’t demand enough of children. Children learn to pass tests, not love learning,” writes William R. Klemm Ph.D.
But with the increasing occurrence of dropouts, an extra challenge has been laid on the educational system. The school’s initiative through its teachers will help solve this pressing problem. Robertson, Smith, & Rinka (2016) mentioned ways on how the school can take action in decreasing dropout rate:
- Telling the story. There is no better way of making students realize the value of education than presenting the real-life scenarios of those students who opted to forgo for their studies.
- Give students a place to be. This only means providing an environment conducive to learning, free from bullying and rejections, by doing this, every student will find their reason to stay.
- Provide career and technical education as well as using technology to engage students. These provide excitement in learning and will increase the interest of students to finish their studies as they will soon develop a career path and know where they are going to.
- Providing multiple career pathways and starting a mentoring program will help students to explore their capabilities and abilities because every student has their way of learning.
Preventing dropouts requires a proactive involvement between parents and the school and most importantly the students. Giving the students every reason why education is essential will make them realize the value of it.
Amos, Christopher Nicholas, “The Relationship Between School Leadership and Graduation Coach Interventions in Rural and Urban Settings” (2012). Dissertations. 484. http://aquila.usm.edu/dissertations/484
Robertson, J. S., Smith, R. W., & Rinka, J. (2016). How Did Successful High Schools Improve Their Graduation Rates?. Journal of At-Risk Issues, 19(1), 10-18.