Dealing with High Dropout Rates

The high dropout rates in schools in every society are detrimental to the economies, health care systems, and overall well-being of every nation. Those who are uneducated and unprepared to compete for their share of success are often forced by circumstance to “play the system” to obtain the most basic of necessities of life. The cost of this is simply passed along to those who are holding their own, in the form of higher taxes to support the increase in the number of users of social services and governmental programs to assist the impoverished. Measures to increase the percentage of young people who are adequately educated could not only aid those affected with greater opportunities for a better life, but could reduce the financial burden placed upon citizens at a time when the global economy is struggling.

Dealing with high dropout rates is largely a matter of timing in addressing the issue aggressively to minimize the need for intervention. By placing proper importance on the matter in a preventative posture, the amount of funding and program increases would be reduced in proportion with the demand for services. The strain on local tax bases would fall, along with crime and the costs associated with incarceration and rehabilitation. Violence, especially domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and the number of individuals applying for and receiving welfare benefits are significantly and immediately reduced as literacy and educational opportunities rise. Most importantly is that an adequate education gives every individual the hope of a better life, and removes barriers to future success.

After an individual drops out of school, it is much more difficult to assess and correct the need for education than it would appear, These people seemingly drop not only from the educational system, but from mainstream society in terms of contribution and participation. Perhaps more government resources and intervention is necessary to locate and assist dropouts to return to a productive existence through the completion of education or at the least, by presenting short-term job training opportunities. Ignorance and poverty has become a vicious cycle that requires attention and compassion to be permanently broken. Through a collective effort of citizens, government and the educational system, dropout rates can be cut to not only serve society better in the present, but ensure a brighter future for the children of those individuals affected. Children learn from what they see, and an educated parent is more likely to have educated children.