SCHOOL DROPOUT PREVENTION PILOT:

Identifying and reaching at-risk students

School dropout is a growing problem around the world. In many countries, the number of dropouts exceeds the number of children who never enrolled in school. Regardless of the timing or the reason, the cost of dropout for students, families, communities and countries is enormous. Learn more about the USAID-funded School Dropout Prevention Pilot (SDPP) Program that tested the effectiveness of dropout prevention interventions in four target countries: Cambodia, India, Tajikistan and Timor-Leste.

To visit the School Dropout Prevention Lab, click here.

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In rural Cambodia, students are frequently torn between attending school and staying at home to help work their parents’ farms. The resulting absenteeism, when chronic, can lead to school dropout, which is especially acute in Grades 7-9. The School Dropout Prevention Pilot, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, seeks to reach those at-risk youth by identifying them through an Early Warning System. Some schools in the pilot also received computer labs to entice student attendance.

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In Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, 26 percent of fifth grade children never make it to the sixth. Based on extensive research into the causes of absenteeism, an Early Warning System and an after-school Enrichment Program were developed to change that. These initiatives are part of the School Dropout Prevention Pilot, which also shows teacher how to identify and support student at risk of dropout. After-school activities make school a more engaging place where kids can learn and play, motivating them to come to school and stay the entire day. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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Tajik’s educational system, overburdened due to high enrollment, struggled with retention, especially during Grade 9, the last year of compulsory education. Through the Student Motivation Learning Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, an Early Warning System and an after-school tutoring program were established to identify and support students at-risk of dropout.

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In Timor-Leste, students are more than twice as likely to drop out in Grades 4-6 as they are later in their academic careers. The School Dropout Prevention Pilot, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, aims to reduce that trend through an Early Warning System and extra-curricular activities. Engagement of students, educators, parents and community members are at the heart of the program.

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