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Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday has suggested that he will, in Parliament, return to the issue of the number of students who do not complete their secondary education.

He hinted this after the answer he received on Thursday about a question he submitted on the issue.

In a question to Minister of Education, St. Clair Jimmy Prince Friday said:

“There is an alarming disparity among the secondary schools in the country concerning the graduation rates of students who attend the various schools.

“Will the Minister please state what is the completion rate (or drop-out rate) at each secondary school in the country for the academic years 2017 and 2018?”

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In response, Prince said:

“Mr. Speaker, the graduation rate, completion rate, and dropout rate, though they have a bearing on each other, cannot be used interchangeably since each denotes a different meaning.”

He said that in 2016- 2017, the overall dropout rate stood at 2.26 per cent, while in 2017-2018, it was 2.75 per cent.

He gave the following figures as the dropout rate for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years:

Secondary School 2016-17 (%) 2017-18 (%)
Sandy Bay 0.85 0
Georgetown 1.1 2.3
George Stephens 1.7 4.63
North Union 7.01 15.78
Adelphi 3.7 0
Emmanuel 0 1.6
St. Joseph’s Convent (M) 0.59 1.86
Mount View Adventist 5.4 4.17
West St. George 1.78 1.59
St. Clair Dacon 2.6 15.77
Bishop’s College 0.23 0.72
J.P. Eustace 4.83 0.9
Girls’ High 0 0.14
St. Vincent Grammar 0 0
Intermediate High 1.42 0
St. Joseph’s Convent (K) 0 0
St. Martin’s 0.26 0.76
Thomas Saunders 0.39 0.59
Troumaca 1.17 1.29
Bethel High 11.27 9.04
Buccament Bay 3.92 4.7
Central Leeward 2.79 1.2
Petit Bordel 2.5 2.8
Bequia Community High 5.34 6.15
Bequia SDA 1.6 0
Union Island 10.2 2.84

Responding to the data, Friday said he wanted a clarification on how the figures are attained.

“…what I am seeking to understand is how is it that you would have seen form 1 where a cohort of secondary students go in, and if you track that cohort right through form 5, it reduces, on average, over 30 per cent and that doesn’t seem to match with the low dropout rates which we are hearing here.

“Because I just looked at it anecdotally and I see in my alma mater that if you have 28 students starting in form 1 eight gradated form 5. Where are the remainder going? They are not in the school. And that suggests a 5 or 6 per cent dropout rate that doesn’t count. So, I will seek the clarification later, Mr. Speaker.”

In response, the education minister said that the various secondary schools have advised him that there are different reasons for people dropping out.

He mentioned migration, pregnancy, repeaters, and transfer –which he said is a different category.

“So, you will not find the same people at all times moving up from form 1 to form 5 and graduating at the same time. So, these are the reasons given to us,” Prince said.

Friday then asked if the figure quoted was the rate of drop out in form 5 and the minister said yes.

“That does clarify a lot,” Friday said. “Because I am looking at the students who go in at form 1, how many do survive to form 5. And the figures suggest that at least a third of them drop out before form 5.

The minister responded:

“Well, they drop out for various reasons.”

The opposition leader retorted:

“Well, I know the reasons are various but I want to know what is happening in the schools for the children who go in, what happens when they come out. They are supposed to come out after five years.

“Ok, I will follow up, Mr. Speaker, but that does clarify how the figures are attained.”

3 replies on “How many students really drop out of secondary school in SVG?”

  1. It would be easy to at least crudly determine the true rate of not graduating (vs. dropping out at various stages) from secondary school by looking at how many students are enrolled in Form 1 vs. how many graduated from Form 5 during the same year. If there are 100 students enrolled in September in Form 1 and 50 graduate from Form 5 the next June, the rate of non-completion of a secondary education is roughly 50 percent.

    Still, since out standards are so low these days, it is easy for the biggest dunce to graduate from Form 5 with 8 subjects.

  2. Working figures

    Mr Minister of education good day sir, I am look at your figures that you presented to the people seems to be confusing.
    What is there to compare your percentage with ? May you please give us some real numbers, so that we can work it out for our self.
    I know the game with number and try to use lowest formulas.
    Just like yesterday posting “SVG ” other have more for murders and smaller SVG (infer)
    The article was base on Gun and shooting and on on total murders that was committed.

    They never give a comparative number from 2018 -2018. Keep us in dark in education revolution age.
    Celsius was introduce gradually in SVG in 1979 after our volcanic eruption because the people became fearful and fahrenheit was put in back seat.
    Ex: 32 degrees Celsius is the same as 89.6 fahrenheit.
    Which looks smaller? I see a lot that from government.

  3. I am not a technical person so I will just agree with the figures for argument’s sake. But if you have been keeping with the news for the last few months you would have also seen that the criminals’ age were increasingly younger. The incidents in schools or involving students were prominent in the newspapers. The youth unemployment is sky high.
    I could see where Dr.Friday is going. These youths are important for our future and even our present.
    It wouldn’t hurt to call for more targeted youth programs, sports and recreational activities. Get the private sector involved in this if you can.
    It really is never simple but if you want to influence something you got to be able to measure it.

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