VOLANTE, JERRIM AND RITZEN: High school dropouts cost countries a staggering amount of money

Louis Volante, Professor in Brock’s Department of Educational Studies, co-wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the economic consequences for individuals and society when students drop out of school.

The article was co-written by John Jerrim, Lecturer in Economics and Social Statistics at UCL in London, and Jo Ritzen, Professor of International Economics of Education, Science and Technology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

They write:

Recently, the Ontario government proposed educational reforms that collectively amount to savings of almost $1 billion, according to an analysis by the charity People for Education.

As a result of reforms, students will receive less attention in bigger classes in Grades 4 to 12 and have fewer targeted resources available to them due to a reduction of education grants. At the secondary level, students will find fewer course options or fewer class sections due to teacher loss while being required to complete a minimum of four mandatory e-learning courses.

The potential consequences of mandatory e-learning for students who already struggle in ordinary face-to-face classroom situations are particularly troubling. Longitudinal research suggests the level of individual support students receive from their teachers in high school is important to staying in school. Are the most vulnerable students being put at increased risk for dropping out?

School failure has profound economic consequences for individuals and society. While the purpose of education should never be reduced to promoting economic growth, every child out of school represents lost personal and social opportunities — and staggering economic costs — for countries.

Continue reading the full article here.

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