A letter to the teachers of English: 92Why students drop out of schools: a study (1) [Archives:2005/864/Education]

August 1 2005

Dr..M.N.K.Bose ([email protected])
Associate Professor of English,
Faculty of Arts, Ibb

Dear Fellow teachers,

Another serious problem has been put under microscope by one of our students, Khalid Yahia Al-Ghaithy, in his research exercise recently. The problem is serious but has not drawn the attention of people concerned. In these nine years of my stay here, I haven't heard of any useful attempts made to solve the problem. The study is a small-scale one but has useful information to those interested in finding a solution to this problem.

The study has collected information from teachers in a few schools in Ibb governorate, but the information collected is relevant to the whole country; that's why I am presenting the findings to you. Students who drop out increase not only the illiteracy rate but also unemployment rate; according to psychologists, they increase the crime rate in the country too. A large number of idle youth is a potential danger to the country and the dropouts join this group, if they are not taken care of.

The study has found three main categories of reasons for the dropout: student-related, teacher-related and society-related. Among the student-related reasons, the most prominent ones are the student's inability to understand the lessons, the psychological and economic problems of the student, his/her fear of failure, lack of time to do homework; among the teacher-related reasons the major ones are unsuitable teaching methods followed by the teachers, lack of counselling in schools, the frequent absence of teachers, the dictatorial attitude of teachers, huge amount of homework given to students, corruption prevalent in schools, lack of necessary equipments in schools, lack of motivating activities in schools; among the society-related reasons the prominent ones are illiteracy among parents, lack of cooperation between parents and schools, social problems such as divorce, scatter in the families, early marriage, the financial situation of the families of students, high cost of living, bad companionship of the students themselves, students joining schools either very young or very old and lack of educational programmes in the media.

The study has made several recommendations to reduce the drop out rate in schools in Yemen; they are, revising the school curriculum to make learning interesting, providing each school with a counsellor to help solve the psychological problems of the learners, staffing the schools with qualified teachers, equipping the schools with necessary teaching aids, providing incentives to motivated teachers, curtailing corruption and favouritism in schools, updating the criteria for evaluation of students' performance, encouraging co-curricular and extra-curricular activities such as sports, summer camps, educational tours in schools, encouraging parent-school contacts and improving the economic situation of the society so that parents are able to take care of the needs of their children. Some of these problems, especially the academic ones will be discussed in detail in the next letter.

” Think before doing to avoid failure”

Yours fraternally,