Education is valuable. Every person is working hard to empower their children to get the best education. On the other hand, governments are working harder to ensure that children nationwide get good education. Despite these efforts, a many children start school but do not finish the program. There are many reasons that explain why students drop out of school without the education related while others proceed studying. Some students drop out of school, because of the financial constraints, and others - due to the social factors. A school dropout rate is a big problem affecting many schools across the world. The dropout can be defined in relation to all students who quit or terminate the studies and are not graduated. Parents are the first teachers or educators of their children; by not caring for their children’s education process they are encouraging the dropout rates (Laird and Chapman 89). Parents, in collaboration with their children’s’ school, should therefore intervene to solve the student dropout rate by focusing on the needs of the children.
Children getting out of school cost enough to the society. In America, for example, Laird and Chapman indicate that nearly a third of high school students fail to graduate with their classes (Laird and Chapman 87). Dropping out of school normally has effects on almost everyone, since it is likely to cost everyone something. On the part of the school dropouts themselves, they are likely to miss proper employment, live on poverty, be divorced, be unhealthy, or are likely to be beggars (Laird and Chapman 89). The society or nation stands the chances to lose workers while at the same time incur high costs of taking care of social services (Hoye and Sturgis 124). This makes a big problem for families who live in poverty.
There are various factors that contribute to drop out rates. Chapman and Laird indicate that family characteristics are a factor that contributes greatly to the high number of school dropouts that are recorded every year (Laird, Chapman 67). Parents entrust the school to educate their children and while they stay out of the process. Hoye and Sturgis outline that lack of proactive parental involvement in students’ life was found to be the main factor for dropping out (Hoye and Sturgis 102). This is because the children have more freedom to make choices which are sometimes wrong. As the parents or guardians get busy with their issues, the only time they get involved is when indiscipline cases arise with their children. Gausted asserts that they got involved once they realized that their children were about to drop out of school (Gausted 81), where they did not find appropriate roles.
Besides the above factor, there are others which explain dropping out of school. Gausted indicates that these factors include lack of parental attitudes towards children’s’ academics, single parenting or a poor academic backgrounds on the parents (Gausted 89). More especially the parental attitudes have been linked to student engagement in their studies or school and their rate of graduation. Parents often show little concerns about the dropouts, as their attitude towards the academic lives of their children is not that serious. According to Gausted, this minimal involvement to school matters and achievements contributes greatly to the students dropping out of school (Gausted 91), from the presumably oppressing environment.
Further, as a way of preventive strategy, parents need to watch out for the warning signs of dropping out. For example, in collaboration with teachers, parents can obtain useful data on the student while the student still in school to find any signs of a child dropping out. Teachers can inform parents of student’s records regarding skipping classes without permission. Any such signs as grade changes, behavior changes can be regarded as warning signs of dropping out. Consequently, parents should make the necessary interventions such as initiating close talks with the student. The communication should cover academic matters in a broad way. As Schargel and Smink put it, communication makes the children to feel loved and hence the thoughts of dropping out of school are seized (Schargel and Smink 256). School is just a place, where some personalities cannot develop their qualities.
Another way parents can prevent dropout rates is by acquainting themselves by what happens in school. They should be aware of what happens in school, what activities their children involve themselves with among other things. This acquaintance with school programs and activities will help them better understand what happening in their life. This way, parents will master and understand their children. Gausted states that such awareness enables the parents to quickly assist their children before they worsen and drop out of school (Gausted 103), as this is the main priority for the future.
Parents sometimes are not comfortable enough to be friendly or get closer to their children. And also some instances where the parents are involved with jobs where they travel a lot. A good solution in this case is for the parents to employ home teachers to offer tutoring to their children. With my own experiences as a foreigner from Africa; the Ivory Coast, when my father was too busy with his work, he hired a home teacher to tutoring me. Of course, this home teacher was specialize with everything concerning the school, since the home teacher made it to be in collaboration with all the school teacher in different subject mattering to the school. This approach may involve certain costs but is worth taking if the aim is to keep the child in check and busy academically. These home teachers or tutors can then provide the progress reports of the students to their parents. So any deviations from the norm on the part of the students can be noted and correct interventions applied. Related to my own background experience, Hoye and Sturgis agreed that employing home teachers is a good undertaking as they are both qualified to teach as well as help develop the social life of the children (Hoye and Sturgis 186), who only just trying to develop the best qualities with the help of education and getting to know new information.
There are great suggestions put across to deal with the home and school collaborative efforts. For example, Chapman and Laird say that a close relationship with the school should enable parents to know what happens at school. They also say regular parental-teacher meetings at school can help in the monitoring of the progress of students at school (Chapman and Laird 78). In such a way, students will feel that they are always checked and controlled (grades, attendance) by their parents. So they would avoid skipping classes or doing assignments.
The parents can finally get involved by being educated about the state law on school matters. For example, parents need to know the necessary age for children to attend school or the amount of freedom children should be afforded. Too much freedom given to the student is another factor for students dropping out of school. Therefore, through learning the state law requirements, they can guide and control their children on this issue concerning the dropping out rate. Parents should do more in their efforts to keep their children in school including getting up, ensuring they get to school, as the state law requires. As a matter of fact, Laird and Chapman affirms that Governments can help initiate parental training programs where parents can get to learn about these law provisions and guides (Laird and Chapman 147) that are useful to make new training programs for teachers concerning their roles in the education process.
However, the collaborative effort of school and home to solve family weaknesses may not be possible. They feel that a lot happens at home and with parents and hence to address such problem from collaboration alone is not enough. However, schools can get parents more involved by working out step by step in addressing various types of family circumstances.
The school dropout problem is a real problem that needs attention from stakeholders such as educators, policy makers, communities and the businesses. But firstly, it has to be addressed from home. This means that part of parents is more critical. This is because parents form the first molders of their children before children get out to the community or school. Therefore, parents need to take it upon themselves in collaboration with the school to save their children future. They should hence teach their children on values such as the significance of education.
On the part of the educational institutions, the efforts should be made about motivating children to study well in schools. They should feel themselves as the members of the community. They should study very well, and teachers should improve the environment in not by judging, but in a way of improving the attitude to life. Children should believe in success, and the positive feeling should be created in minds of children. They should feel themselves worthy; they should believe that they will manage to reach the success, first in studying, and then in improving their knowledge during the whole life.
Gausted, Joan. Identifying potential dropouts, Eugene, OR. ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational management (ERIC No. Ed 339092). (1991). Print.
Hoye, J.D. & Sturgis, C. The alternative pathways project: A framework for dropout reduction and recovery. Chicago, IL: Alternative Pathways Project. Http://www.ytfg.org/documents/AltPathy.7.7Julyfin.pdf. (June 2005). Accessed 29 March, 2014.
Jameson, S. Meta- analysis of grade retention research: Implications for practice in the 21st century, School Psychology Review. (2001). 30, 420- 437. Print.
Laird, J, Dobell, M., & Chapman, C. Dropout rates in the United States: 2004 (NCES 2007-024). Department of Education. Washington, DC. National Center for Education Statistics. – See more at: http://www.mcrel.org/about-us/hot-topics/ht-high-school-dropout#sthash.028XWhCx.dpuf. (2006). Accessed 29 March, 2014.
Schargel, F.P. & J. Smink. Strategies to Help Solve Our Dropout Problem. New York: Eye on Education, 2012. http://www.routledge.com/eyeoneducation/ Accessed 29 March, 2014.