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It hard but you can overcome Print E-mail
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Written by By Thamar Jones   
Thursday, 12 October 2017 00:00

The school year is young and flying quickly by; that is, unless you are a student.  If you are a student, then you are almost certainly counting down impatiently to Christmas break, hoping for some relief from the mountain of assignments, and the challenging class work. But regardless how challenging it gets, stay the course; choose to stay in school.

Many students do not.

Students choose to leave school for a variety of reasons, but the decision to do so has serious long-term consequences. Those without diplomas face limited job opportunities and a lowered earning potential. While the reasons for dropping out of school are varied, solutions exist to help young people stay focused on their education.

While each student who has made the decision to leave school has an individual story and reasons, there are several common risk factors.

Academic Failure

Struggling in school on a daily basis is the biggest reason most students choose to drop out of school. For example, according to Anne E. Casey  of Foundation by America’s Promise, children who are not reading proficiently by fourth grade are four times more likely to quit high school than their peers.

Early intervention is crucial in keeping engaged and successful in school. Tell a parent or teacher if you are struggling with core courses. Early intervention can significantly increase your chances of passing.

Attendance/Preparation

Students must attend school consistently. According to a study done by Attendance Works, students who had dropped out of school had a chronic history of absenteeism. Nearly 88% of students who had dropped out had missed at least 20 days of school in a given year, and an alarming three out of every four drop outs had missed more than 40 days in a year.

It helps if you can remember to be grateful that you have an opportunity to attain higher education while many others do not. Regardless of what: show up to class!

Disengagement

Often, students disengage from learning, feeling that their teachers do not care for the course material or understand how to connect it to real life. Students who are not involved with their school have a high chance of dropping out. Students who engage in extra-curricular activities have a higher chance of staying in school. Seek activities that keep you engaged. In addition, schools, teachers and administrators need to seek to create a community atmosphere to help students feel as if they belong. Parents can help by encouraging students to get involved in activities and develop talents and outside interests besides academics.

Pregnancy

Managing a healthy pregnancy while staying in school is extremely difficult; that is, in cases where the student is even allowed to do so. Most schools in Belize do not allow students to attend during the gestation period. Students who are pregnant need extensive support to be able to return to school.

Financial Difficulties

Students often drop out when they are not able to afford school fees, or the cost of class-related supplies and materials or even transportation and lunch. Creative options exist for students who must earn money while in school, including part time work or financial aid. Communication with school administrators on the impact of financial difficulties can provide a range of options that will assist the family and keep the student in school.

The Tough Choice:

Staying In School

While dropping out of school may seem like an easy way out of your academic struggles, keep in mind that the effects of dropping out are felt for a lifetime, both financially and emotionally.  Seek assistance from your parents, teachers, administrators and mentors in managing and overcoming your obstacles as soon as they arise. The decision to stay in school can be difficult, but is well worth it.