School dropout: causes, consequences, solution and data in Brazil

Dropping out of school is the act of not attending classes, that is, dropping out of education for any reason.

This social problem, which is unfortunately common in Brazil, mainly affects high school students.

Causes of truancy

The causes vary depending on the level of education. In the early years (elementary school), the distance from the school associated with the lack of school transport, or who can take and pick up the child, is the main cause.

In high school, however, the lack of interest becomes one of the main causes, which results from the fact that, in addition to the content being exaggerated, being decontextualized, an opinion that is shared not only by students but also by the teachers.

The economic situation is another factor that strongly influences school dropout. To help parents, who sometimes even prohibit their children from continuing their studies, or even to have some financial autonomy, students start working without having completed their studies.

There are those who choose to reconcile work and school activities, but failing, decide to prioritize work and end up dropping out of school.

The social aspect has its weight in this issue. Difficulty in getting to school makes giving up to continue studying imminent. This is most evident in rural areas.

Much discussed in recent times, the bullying it also often makes students refuse to go to school.

School Dropout Charge
Ivan Cabral's Charge shows the problem of school dropout

Consequences of dropping out of school

Students who drop out of school tend to have low self-esteem, which makes their personal and professional relationships difficult.

Entering the labor market becomes more difficult, and the quality of services provided is leveled down, as well as their remuneration.

All of this generates a strong feeling of lack of motivation, which ends up further consolidating social inequality in Brazil.

Dropout data

According to Inep - National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira, according to the School Census carried out between 2014 and 2015, the school dropout rate is as follows:

1st) 1st grade of high school - 12.9%
2nd) 2nd grade of high school - 12.7%
3rd) 9th year of elementary school- 7.7%
4th) 3rd grade of high school - 6.8%

Secondary education leads with 11.2% of students out of school, and Pará is the state with the highest dropout rate in Brazil. In this state, 16% of high school students were in dropout situation at the time of the survey.

In 2013, the UNDP - United Nations Development Program indicated that, among the 100 countries with the highest HDI (Human Development Index), Brazil had the 3rd highest school dropout rate. The 1st and 2nd highest rates are in Bosnia and Herzegovina (26.8%) and the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, in the Caribbean (26.5%).

The data presented by the UNDP, however, were questioned by Inep. Inep claims that, in addition to being differentiated between countries, which led to outdated data, the survey did not consider 9 years in elementary school yet, but 8.

Read too:

  • Questions about social inequality
  • Social inequality in Brazil
  • The biggest examples of social inequality in Brazil
  • poverty in Brazil
  • education in Brazil

Is there a solution for dropping out of school?

It is necessary that teachers meet and evaluate students trying to detect if there are students within the student body that are prone to this situation. This is a school duty.

Detecting the problem is the first step in finding ways to solve it. The truth is that everyone needs encouragement, and not only that, but greater attention should be given to those who already have the characteristics that lead to school dropout.

Once the problem is detected, it is necessary to evaluate the way to act: resorting to the family to seek a joint solution, for example, after all, the absence of children from school is not always known by the parents.

In a second moment, when the school's efforts with the family are not enough, it's time for the Guardianship Council or the Public Ministry to be called into action.

See too:School Inclusion: Concept and Challenges

Active School Search

UNICEF campaign poster
UNICEF campaign poster

Active School Search is a platform that seeks to alleviate this problem. The platform is part of a UNICEF initiative that has some partnerships. It's called “Out of School Can't!”.

Through it, a group of professionals monitors students' absences. From this, a follow-up is developed that aims to make them return to school.

Interested? See too:

  • Illiteracy in Brazil
  • LDB (updated in 2019)
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