Renewed Effort to Return Dropouts to the Classroom

Poverty is said to be the most common reason  for not attending school. Poverty is said to be the most common reason  for not attending school.

A study on out-of-school children conducted last year (ended in March) by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, has evaluated the reasons for the problem of school dropouts in the country.

An estimated 110,000 children who are out of school, have been identified by the State Welfare Organization (SWO), but the figure could be far higher given the huge number of working children. There are two million working children (unofficial figures say it has crossed seven million), and most of them are likely to be out of school.

The study examined the various reasons for children dropping out of school and the effort to get them back into the classroom.

Contact information of parents of school dropouts was provided by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Efforts were made to contact parents of all children, however, telephone calls made to 21,239 parents were unsuccessful, ILNA reported.  

Results of the study found that the most common reason for not attending school was poverty, followed by various physical disorders in the children, lack of access to educational space, as well as wrong cultural beliefs in families.

Parents of 8,015 children claimed poverty and financial problems prevented them from sending their children to schools.

Following the study, the ministry has formed a working group comprising representatives from the Education Ministry and different nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in order to develop appropriate strategies to get dropouts back into classrooms.

Parents of 7,217 children said disability in their children was the main reason preventing their children from attending school. Their contact information was given to the SWO which is obliged to examine and address the problems of disabled children.

Also, parents of 1,552 children said there were no schools in the vicinity of their homes, while 1,478 parents preferred not to send children to study due to cultural reasons.

Parents of 762 children simply hung up the phone, refusing to answer. The Labor Ministry has a plan to cut their cash subsidies and they will be dealt with according to law if they don’t have a valid explanation for their children’s absence in the classroom.

Currently, there are around 13 million students in the age group 6 to 18 studying at the primary, middle and high school levels, of whom around seven million are primary students.

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