Europska Unija definira osobe koje rano napuštaju školovanje kao osobe u dobi od 18 do 24 godina koje imaju samo niže srednje obrazovanje, ili nižu razinu obrazovanja, te osobe koje više nisu dio obrazovnog sustava ili osposobljavanja.

Dakle, rano napuštaju školu oni koji su stekli samo predškolsko, osnovno ili srednje obrazovanje u manje od dvije godine.

Rano napuštanje škole može imati više oblika. Uključuje mlade koji su napustili školovanje prije završetka obveznog obrazovanja, one koji su završili obvezno školovanje, ali nisu stekli višu srednju kvalifikaciju, te one koji su pohađali pred-strukovne ili strukovne tečajeve koji nisu doveli do kvalifikacija ekvivalentna višem sekundarnom stupnju.

Early leavers from education and training among people aged 18-24 years, 2019

Aktualne informacije koje je objavila Europska unija mogu se pronaći na stranici Early leavers from education and training across EU regions

Situation in Turkey
Evolution of ESL in Turkey

Early school leaving and absenteeism has always been in the priority list of the problems the educational institutions are facing in Turkey. This is due to the fact that some of the students attending the public schools have a series of socio-economical problems,they come from different cultural backgrounds and as they don’t have sufficient parental support they are behind their class mates in terms of academical success. All these problems result in distancing themselves from school and that leads to the high rates in absenteeism or early school leaving.

The ministry of education and other educational bodies have been taking precautions,running projects like ours in order to lessen the number of these students. They have been trying to make schools a more attractive environment for these students,support them financially and the teachers at schools have been supporting these students with extra classes to improve their success.

Despite all these efforts made,during the pandemics process we were faced with a totally unexpected and different scenario as a country. We had to close schools and the students had to go on with their education through online classes for more than a year. This situation obviously caused a lot of problems fort he students from the risky group as they lacked technological devices or the internet to attend the online classes. Although the govermental bodies and local institutions tried to do their best to provide these children with what they needed in order to be able to attend their classes,it was not always enough.

After the online classes process, we observed a positive attitude in the parents’ point of view towards education and school. We can easily say that during those times when their children were at home, in front of the screens trying to catch up with the school subjects, struggling on their own, away from their peers and teachers, the parents began to understand the great importance of the school as an educational institution and teachers as leaders and guides in their childrens’ lives. We have seen that parents felt themselves inadequate in helping their children with their lessons, planning their free time, assisting them for their homework and maintaining a disciplined atmosphere at home.

From the students’ point of view, they came to realise the importance of school and education mainly because the pandemics helped them to see face to face interaction among the shareholders of education is of crucial importance and they have begun to understand the value of attendance more as they fell behind the rest of the class more and more because they couldn’t fully attend the online classes. All the schools in Turkey have supported their students with extra classes to help them recover from the absence in online classes but the process had been too long to fully heal; they were locked down in their homes for almost a year and a half. More students have declared that they have difficulty doing their homework as there is a big gap in their knowledge of the cirriculum of each school subject. In order to overcome this obstacle, as the teachers in every school, we came to a mutual understanding on lowering the difficulty level of the questions in our exams and to support these students more especially before the examinations.

To sum up, the process of pandemics has brought a structural change to the concept of education all over the World.It remains to be seen which of these changes will remain when the pandemics is finally over and which will disappear and what schools as an educational institution will look like in the eyes of the shareholders in the end. In the meantime, all the teachers will continue to provide as much support as possible to the students for their social and academic wellbeing.

Situation in Ireland
Evolution of ESL in Ireland

Situation in Italy
Evolution of ESL in Italy

Situation in Croatia
Evolution of ESL in Croatia
Situation in Spain
Evolution of ESL in Spain

One of the main educational objectives for the EU is the reduction of Early Educational Leaving below 10%, as stated in the 2020 European strategy. Since it is a persistent phenomenon, with different realities depending on the country, it must definitely be approached from a polyhedral perspective.

This reality is still today the gateway to school failure and must be understood as a serious social problem associated not only with the lack of academic preparation but, subsequently, with worse chances of employability and the precipice which implies social exclusion, but it also significantly affects the expectations of the people who experience it, as well as their own freedom and personal autonomy.

Spain’s educational system has managed to consistently decrease the ESL rate in recent years but, although widely differing among regions (some well accommodated within or below the EU average), the national figures sit at a current 16% and are still very far from that 10% goal.

In this project, we have tried to introduce arguments and proposals in an interdisciplinary approach, showing the efforts carried out in our region (Asturias), the second one in Spain with a lower ESL: joint intervention between different public services (educational, social, cultural, healthcare…) and social entities working in the school areas; intervention with families and students on issues such as self-esteem, personal well-being…; improvement of their living conditions, among others.

From what we have seen, a shared effort between all educational administrations and other public and private institutions is necessary to address this phenomenon and achieve the eradication of early school leaving in the coming years. The sum of all the parts will be the beginning of the end of the problem.