School Dropout Pattern among Senior Secondary Schools in Delta State, Nigeria

Patrick Osawaru Ajaja
2012 International Education Studies  
The major purpose of this study was to determine the pattern of dropout among secondary school students in Delta State. To guide this study, 7 research questions were asked and answered, 3 hypotheses stated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The design of study was Expost facto using the past school attendance registers as the major instrument. The samples of the study consisted of 120 senior secondary schools and 120 vice principals. The collected data were expressed in percentages, and
more » ... in percentages, and analyzed with t-test statistic. The major findings of this study included: (i) a higher percentage of dropouts in SSI, and a decline in SSII; (ii) a higher percentage of dropouts among females in all parameters; (iii) a higher percentage of dropouts in rural schools; (iv) a higher percentage of dropouts in mixed schools; (v) a higher percentage of dropouts in public schools; (vi) a significant difference on percentage dropouts between male and female single sex schools; (vii) a significant difference on percentage of dropouts between mixed and single sex schools; and (viii) a significant difference on percentage dropouts between schools in urban and rural areas. It was concluded that the single most important factor, which influenced pattern of dropouts, was student's sex. Globally, reasons why students dropout from school can be categorized into four clusters. These include; School International Education Studies 146 related, Job related, family related, and community related. Study by Frendenberg and Ruglls (2007) identified twenty four factors under family cluster; three factors under community cluster and twelve factors under school cluster. The factors identified under family cluster include; low family socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic groups, male, special education status, low family support for education, low parental education, residential mobility, low social conformity, low acceptance of adult authority, high level of social isolation, disruptive behaviour conduct, being held back in school, poor academic achievement, academic problems in early grades, not liking school, feelings of "not fitting in" and of not belonging, perceptions of unfair or harsh disciplines, feeling unsafe in school, not engaged in school, being suspended or expelled, conflicts between work and school, having to work and school, having to work or support family, substance use and pregnancy. In community cluster, the following factors were indentified: living in a low income neighborhood, having peers with low educational aspirations and having friends or siblings who are dropouts. Under school related cluster, these factors were indentified; low socioeconomic status of school population, high level of racial or ethnic segregation of students, high proportion of students of colour in high school, high proportion of students enrolled in special education, location in central city, large school district, school safety and disciplinary policies, high-stakes testing, high student -to-teacher ratio, academic tracking, discrepancy between the racial or ethnic composition of students and faculty, and lack of programmes and support for transition into high for 9 th and 10 th graders. While job related cluster entails: those students who could not work and school at the same time, those who had to do a job to survive and those who found job. Improving graduation rates is a specific objective that can bring educators together for research, intervention, and advocacy to improve the lives and well-being of young people (Freudenberg and Ruglls 2007). Although a comprehensive analysis of multidisciplinary studies on strategies to reduce the incidence of dropout is beyond the scope of this study, Bridgeland et al (2006) advocates on what might help students stay in school are highlighted below: (a) improve teaching and curricula to make school more relevant and engaging to enhance the connection between school and work; (b) improve instruction and access to support for struggling students; (c) ensure strong adult-student relationships within the school; (d) build a student relationships within the school; and (e) improve the communication between parents and school. International Education Studies
doi:10.5539/ies.v5n2p145 fatcat:b3dyjnncfzgbhnqhlqtwbkxwym