Eager students in Adola

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Presentation and Analysis of Findings

Data for this research was collected from two districts in Guji zone,  namely; AdolaRedde and GoroDola. From the two districts, six schools 30 % of the schools available in the two districts were selected. These are  Chenbe , keltageda, Odabuta and Samaro from  AdolaRede and GoroDerara and Mucho from Gorordola District. These schools become operational in the areas from the year 1968 to 2001. (See annex I to IV)

Respondents of the study were 6 school directors, 9 teachers, 1 school management committee (SMC) member,  200 students, 60 parents and 4 woreda education officials. Data from the school community (directors, teachers, and SMC members) was collected by a printed questionnaire; whereas, data from students, parents and local education officials were gathered through Focused Group Discussion (FGD) guides.  

The school community respondents were selected purposefully depending on their professional qualification (5 diploma holders and 11 degree graduates),  at least one year service in the schools, and willingness to give out information. Among the respondents, three persons have one to three years service, one person has five years service, nine persons have six  to ten years service, two persons have ten to fifteen years service and two persons more than fifteen years service.

Table 1: Trend of students’ school attendance

 

Over the last ten years

During the just ended academic year

Options

Number

%

Number

%

All registered attended without discontinuity

0

0

0

0

Most attended without discontinuity

4

25

4

25

Only some attend without discontinuity     

12

75

12

75

All registered discontinued their education

0

 

0

0

 

0

Other specify

0

0

0

0

Total

16

100

16

100

 

As on Table I above over the last ten years as well as in the just ended academic year, 75% of the respondents affirmed that among the registered all only some students attended school without interruption. This shows that discontinuation of education, either through absenteeism and total dropout is quite common in the location. Again the problem is recurring and much has not being done to reverse the situation for about a decade now. 

This finding is consistent to the Focused Groups Discussion (FGD) response of about 200 students[1] (Annex IV) which they gave positive answer to the question " Do you know students who have started school and dropped out of school and remain out?". On the follow up question to this, students at each of the sampled schools gave a list of names of their former class mates but out of school. That list has been given to the school. This response was further affirmed by the response of 60 parent groups[2], for the FGD (Annex II) question " Do you know students in the community who are dropping out of school?". Alike the students, the parents were also able to generate names of school aged children who dropped out of school.

All these responses are consistent to  the literature which says,  many students, particularly in emerging regions and pastoralist areas drop out of school at early grades." (EFA National Report 2015). The average longitudinal dropout rate from the two districts education statistics is as follows: 

Figure I: Second Cycle Primary Students Dropout Rates for the years 2012 to 2016 in Adola and Gorodola Districts

Academic year as EC

Districts

AdolaRede

Gorodola

2012/13

11.1%

12.5%

2014/15

12.5%

12.3%

2015/16

12.8%

12.5%

 

According to the figure above the average dropout rate of students in the two districts was 12.5% which is consistent to the national average of 12%. Various interviews and focused group discussions, with the same group of respondents as well as with the Woreda[3] Education officials (Annex I) supported the finding that over 12% of students are wasted in the system every year.

In their response to the question, "why students drop out of school?", almost all the respondents, teachers, directors, students, parents, and Woreda Education officials, agreed that there are complex causes for the dropout situation in the schools. Among others, they mentioned that  draught and hence migration of parents to other locations; demand for child labour; students  own need for immediate income; problems related to parents awareness about the value of education in general and girls education in particular; distance to and from second cycle primary schools; inability to afford education material and other school related expenses; overage enrolment; bad role model from high school completers who are unemployed in their locality;  repeating in one class;and lack of family follow up and support  during the school time were listed.

Table 2: In terms of gender, who are most affected by the school drop out?

Sex

Number

%

Girls

2

12.5

Boys

2

12.5

Both

12

75

 

16

100

 

According to 75% of the respondents on Table 2 above, in this location drop out is a challenge affecting boys and girls equally.  This finding shows that causes of dropout here are not specific to a particular sex groups but affects all. Almost all student and parents respondents agree with this finding, however, further assessments should be made to closely see which particular factors affect boys and which ones girls. The Adola Woreda Education official has to say this:

 "May be work load for boys to herd animals and support families in the field during harvest season could be a reason for boys dropout but lack of positive attitude to girls education and insecurity along the way could be reasons for girls dropout."

On a follow up interview to the respondents (teachers, directors, students and parents) most affirmed that in this community safety of girls while going to and from school is quite reliable. By tradition of the community there is no such case like abduction of girls for sex and early marriage without formal consent of the parents. This is the benefit of "communal life style".

Table 3: Which grade level of students are most affected by dropout challenges, if any?

 

Grades

Number

%

Grade 5

4

25

Grade 6

6

37.5

Grade 7

3

18.75

Grade 8

3

18.75

Total

16

100

 

As on Table 3 above, dropout is fairly distributed across all levels of the second cycle primary schools, but more sever at grades six and five. May be this is the time when students face complex in and out of school challenges such as transition crises (from lower primary to upper primary) where the pedagogy (self contained teaching) and the government promotion policy (automatic promotion) differs. And distance to second cycle primary schools from homes and household demand for labour during after school hours.

 

Table 4: Family Economic Standing and School Dropout

 

Economic Status

Number

%

Those from poor family households

15

93.75

Those from middle income family

1

6.25

Those from rich households

0

 

Total

16

100

 

According to a wealth ranking exercise with teachers, students and parents at all schools level, almost all respondents agreed that they have the following categories:

  • Poor - those having few (2-5) cattle and those who are daily  labourers;
  • Middle level- having about 20 cattle and  150-200 goats and sheep.
  • Rich - having 50 and above cattle and over 300 goats and sheep.

 

As it is clearly indicated on Table 4 above, 93.75% of the respondents witnessed that in this location those students from poor households are severely affected by dropout. The follow up interview to the student and parent respondents also identified reasons such as lack of family capacity to avail education materials and to feed the school going children; to get income children from poor family are sold  to the wealth family to keep cattle and  the  grownups engage in motorbike transportation  work. It is also reported that  poor parents don't bother themselves about their child education and don't see it as the child has missed anything for life.

 

Table 5:Contribution of literacy level of parents for students  to continue school

 

Category

Number

%

Yes

16

100

No

0

0

I don't know:

0

0

Total

16

100

 

The respondents of this study, almost unanimously, agreed that regardless of the family members level of education, those who are literate (who can at least read, write and do basic arithmetic)  support continues education of their children. Further probe on the respondents generated the belief that  "literate family has knowledge about the process and  benefit of education; so that they follow up their children education, and provide appropriate support for the child to continue education."

 

Table 6: Academic performance versus dropout

Category

Number

%

High performing students

0

0

Middle level learners

1

6.25

Low performing students

15

93.75

Total

16

100

 

As on Table 6 above, significant number of the respondents ( 93.75%)  believed that it is low performing students who are normally dropping out of school. They were further asked to give their reasons why they think that the low performing students drop out of schools, their reasons are as follows:

  • Lack of awareness about the benefit of education for their future carrier;
  • Lack of role model in the area;
  • Teachers absenteeism and classroom instruction problem;
  • Lack of appropriate learning materials;
  • Lack of supportive teaching program at school level: tutorial class;
  • Absence of family advice and follow up;
  • Lack of future hope;
  • When their academic result get lower, they get discourage to continue their schooling; and
  • Absence of motivation from the teacher side for those students with lower performance.

 

However, discussion with students and parents revealed that fact that performance of students in school may not be the key reason for school dropout. Some were able to list out names of good performing students (boys and girls alike) but dropped school due to economic reason, family gave them out for marriage and some girls gave birth so early. Thus, the issue of the relation between academic performance and school dropout is open for further study. 

Table 7: Children from which clan/social group drop school mostly

 

Social group

Number

Percent

Guji Oromo's

12

75

Amaharas

0

0

Gurages

1

6.25

Don't know

3

18.75

Total

16

100

 

As on Table 7 above, 75% of the respondents have affirmed that the indigenous Gujji Oromos are the most affected in school dropout. Further probe on teachers, students and parents to see the reasons why the Gujji Oromos are affected, many points were raised. Among others, most agreed that most Gujji Oromos are livestock farmers and they need labour to tend the cattle; they don't value girls education[4] as relevant, and they fear conflict with the neighbouring tribes such as the Borana's, Gedo's and Burji's hence they want to keep children under their control.

  Table 8:On Strategies to reverse school dropout

Strategic interventions

Yes

No

I don't know

No

%

No

%

No

%

Availability of mentoring/tutoring  support to  economically challenged  students

12

75

4

25

0

0

Availability of opportunities to  connect academics with meaningful community service

11

68.75

5

31.25

0

0

Is there any after school opportunity for students who need to be supported academically and continue their education till the end?

7

43.75

8

50

1

6.25

Total

16

 

16

 

16

 

 

To the surprise of this researcher[5], as on Table 8 above most respondents have already acknowledged that there are various school level mechanisms to support students from dropping school.  This again has been confirmed by the FGD with the Woreda Education officials. However, this finding needs  to be triangulated and further checked from other sources.

Furthermore, attempts were made to find out if parents are involved to  improve students continues learning in school? Among others the respondents said that attempts are made to empowering the community to engage in school systems, establishing a bridge that link school, parent and student and provide awareness creation training about the benefit of education for the community, strengthening the role of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and Kebele[6] Education and Training Board (KETB) on the education issue, strengthening the school community relation; use community elders and Geda elders to advice the community on the education of their children; and award those parents who devote to educate their children.

However, as the findings above affirmed all these efforts couldn't reverse the dropout situation in schools. Furthermore, the respondents indicated the weak teachers Continuous Profession Development (CPD) efforts of various actors (GO and NGOs) to support teachers who work with students at risk of academic failure  to feel supported and  to have an avenue by which they continue to develop skills, techniques, and learn about innovative strategies. As the result, teachers  application of active learning method didn’t go beyond the uses of group sitting arrangement at all school and classroom level. So we can say its application is very discouraging.Still the application of co curricular activities is only for report consumption. Various clubs are established at the beginning of the academic year, students are made to register as a member, after this step everything remains as shelf document. Regarding classroom instruction majority of the teachers claim the large class size as challenge. 

Finally, according to discussion with the local education officials and other NGO partners in the field,  all  strategies to reduce dropout are in place  but the application is of all is very loss. These strategies are as follows: existence of mentoring/tutoring services, connection of school learning with community service, presence of after school opportunities, parents  involvement to improve students continues learning, teachers continues professional development support fighting school dropout cases, and efforts to make the schools and the community safe for students. Hence, various concerted efforts need to be applied to enforce all these strategies to help reduce dropout. 

Annexes

Annex I

Focused Group discussion key questions for Woreda Education officials

  • What is the annual dropout rate?
  • What is the most current annual dropout rate for Adola?
  • Why do you think students drop out of schools?
  • How do you categorize the drop out students in terms of the list below:
    1. Age
    2. Sex
    3. Distance from school
    4. Academic standing
    5. Clan
    6. Religion
    7. Family economic status
  • When do most students drop out?
  • How do we hold districts and schools accountable for their dropout rates?
  • What proven strategies are being used to address the dropout problem?
    1. Existence of mentoring/tutoring services
    2. Connection of school learning with community service
    3. Presence of after school opportunities
    4. How are parents involve to improve students continues learning
    5. How are teachers continues development support fighting school dropout cases
    6. How are teachers equipped with active learning methods
    7. How are students engaged individually in instructional and extracurricular activities
    8. How safe are schools internally and externally
    9. Are they far from areas where access to addictive substances are on sale?
    10. How are the law enforcement bodies are protecting children from any criminal exercises. 
  • Do Woredas and schools have a dropout prevention strategic plan?
  • What roles do schools, education offices, parents and the general public play in dropout prevention?
  • How could we further address the existing dropout challenge of Second Cycle primary students in the woreda.

Annex II

Focused Group discussion key questions for Parent groups

  • Do you know school aged children, in the community, who are not going to school? Why do you think that they are not in school?
  • Do you know students in the community who are dropping out of school? Why do you think that they drop out of school?
  • Was there any effort made to help the dropout children return to school? Please explain!
  • If you know drop out students, who do you think are these students, in terms of the following:
    1. Age
    2. Sex
    3. Distance from school
    4. Academic standing
    5. Clan
    6. Religion
    7. Family economic status
  • When do you think most students drop out of school?
  • How do we hold districts and schools accountable for their dropout rates?
  • How do you think parents and the rest of the community can be hold accountable for the dropout rates?
  • According to your knowledge, what proven strategies are being used to address the dropout problem in and around the school?
    1. Existence of mentoring/tutoring services
    2. Connection of school learning with community service
    3. Presence of after school opportunities
    4. How are parents involve to improve students continues learning
    5. How are teachers continues development support fighting school dropout cases
    6. How are teachers equipped with active learning methods
    7. How are students engaged individually in instructional and extracurricular activities
    8. How safe are schools internally and externally
    9. Are they far from areas where access to addictive substances are on sale?
    10. How are the law enforcement bodies are protecting children from any criminal exercises. 
  • What roles do schools, education offices, parents and the general public play in dropout prevention?

 

Annex III

Questionnaire for Second Cycle Primary School (Grades 5 to 8)Teachers, school directors and School Community Leaders

  1. A) Introduction:

This questionnaire is created  by a student of  Class 2017 in Future Generation University, Virginia, USA for his research work in partial fulfilment of his MA degree in Applied Community Change. This questionnaire tries to search for information to answer the research question "why do second cycle primary school (grades 5 to 8) students in Adola  drop out of school before               they complete grade eight and what should be done to reverse the situation?"

All data given in response to this questionnaire items is confidential and only accessible by the researcher. Unless you want it otherwise, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO WRITE YOUR NAME OF PUT ANY IDENTIFIER ON THIS QUESTIONNIARE.

When options are given to a particular item, kindly put (X) on the space provided.

  1. B) General Information:
  • District: _________________________________________________________
  • Name of School:___________________________________________________
  • Year of Establishment: _____________________________________________
  1. C) Respondents Personal Details
  • Sex: Male _____             Female_______
  • Responsibility in school:
    • School Director:_________________
    • Teacher:______________________
    • SMC member:___________________
  • Years of service in school:
    • 1 to 3 ____________                               
    • 4 to 5 ____________
    • 6 to 10 ___________
    • 10 to 15 _________
    • 15 and above_______
  • If you are a teacher, subject (s) you teach in the school :

______________________________________________________________________________

  • Qualification:
    • Para-professional: _______
    • Certificate Holder:________
    • Diploma Holder: _________
    • Degree Holder: __________

Other specify:_________________

  1. D) Characterization of school Drop out
  • How was the trend of students school attendance in this school since ten years now? (If the school was there before ten years) or since its establishment.
    • All registered attended without discontinuity___________
    • Some attend without discontinuity       _____________
    • Most discontinued their education      _____________
    • All registered discontinued their education______________
    • Other specify__________

 

  • How is the trend of students school attendance in this school during this academic year?
  • All registered attended without discontinuity___________
  • Some attend without discontinuity       _____________
  • Most discontinued their education      _____________
  • All registered discontinued their education______________
  • Other specify__________

     3)  Who do you think are most affected by school drop out?

  • Girls______
  • Boys______
  • Both______
  • Other specify______________

   4)  Which grade level of students are affected by dropout challenges, if any?

  • Grade 5___________
  • Grade 6___________
  • Grade 7___________
  • Grade 8___________

Why do they drop out of school?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

     5) Why do you think second cycle primary students (grades 5 to 8)drop out of school? Please provide exhaustive list of the reasons.

               

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

     6) Do you think distance to and from school affect students drop out?

  • Those coming from far places tend to drop out of school____________
  • Those coming from nearby to school tend to drop out of school_______
  • Distance to school and drop out has no relation at all____________
  • Other specify:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

       5)  In terms of family economic standing, who do you think are most affected? (You can give  multiple answers)

  • Those from poor family households___________
  • Those from middle income family___________
  • Those from rich households_______________
  • Other specify___________________________

What do you think is the reason_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5.1 Please describe the common measure in this community for rich, middle class and poor in this community:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 6) Do you think literacy level of parents contribute to school drop out?

  • Yes____________
  • No_____________
  • I don't know:_______

 

6.1 If yes why do you think literacy level contributes to level of school dropout?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7)  In terms of academic standing, which students do you think are more vulnerable for dropout?

  • High performing students________
  • Middle level learners___________
  • Low performing students________

Other specify_______________________

7.1 Why do you think those group of students are more vulnerable: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

8) In terms of religion or type of belief, who do you think are affected by drop out of school the most?

  • Traditional belief (Wakefeta) believers_______
  • Christians________
  • Moslems_________

Other specify_______________________________________

8.1 Why do you think students to those groups drop from school more often________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  9) In terms of clan/social  group, who do you think are affected the most by school drop out?

  • Guji Oromo's______
  • Amaharas________
  • Gurages__________

Others, specify_____________

9.1 Why do you think this groups are affected____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. E) On Strategies to reverse school dropout

1) Is there a mechanism of mentoring/tutoring (a one to one caring, supportive relationship between teachers and students)  to support  needy students in school?

  • Yes______
  • No_______

I don't know____________________

2) Is there a way whereby students connect academics with meaningful community service to motivate potential dropouts continue their education?

  • Yes______
  • No_______

I don't know_______________________

3) Is there any after school opportunity for students who need to be supported academically and continue their education till then end?

  • Yes ______
  • No_______

I don't know_____________

4) How do you involve parents to improve students continues learning in school? Please describe:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5) How does the school work to improve students reading and writing skills (both in English and local language)  for effective learning? Please specify:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6) How is the teachers Continues Profession Development (CPD) efforts of various actors (GO and NGOs) support teachers who work with students at risk of academic failure  to feel supported and  to have an avenue by which they continue to develop skills, techniques, and learn about innovative strategies? Please describe:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7) How are the teachers effective to apply active learning/participatory methods of classroom facilitation? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

8) How are classroom instruction and extracurricular engagements of students individualized?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

9) How safe are schools for students to come to school and continue their education?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10) Are schools and the surrounding equally safe for girls and boys?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

11) Is the school devoid of places which are associated with selling of addictive substances (Cigarettes, Chat, alcohol, hashish,..etc)  and commercial sex work?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

12) how is the legal system (the Police, court) protect students from any effect of criminal activities in and outside of schools?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Annex IV

Focused Group discussion key questions for  students

  • Do you know students who have started school but dropped out of school and remain out?
  • Could you give names of any student you know, who is a drop out? (Give as many names as you can.)
    1. Why do you think that this student is still out?
  • Why do you think students drop school? Please provide detailed information on this.
  • Could you categorize those dropout students in your community in terms of the list below:
    1. Age
    2. Sex
    3. Distance from school
    4. Academic standing
    5. Clan
    6. Religion
    7. Family economic status
  • What proven strategies are being used to address the dropout problem?
    1. Existence of mentoring/tutoring services
    2. Connection of school learning with community service
    3. Presence of after school opportunities
    4. How are parents involve to improve students continues learning
    5. How are teachers continues development support fighting school dropout cases
    6. How are teachers equipped with active learning methods
    7. How are students engaged individually in instructional and extracurricular activities
    8. How safe are schools internally and externally
    9. Are they far from areas where access to addictive substances are on sale?
    10. How are the law enforcement bodies are protecting children from any criminal exercises. 
  • Do Woredas and schools have a dropout prevention strategic plan?
  • What roles do schools, education offices, parents and the general public play in dropout prevention?

 

                          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                          

 

                          

 

 

 

[1] 10 students selected per grades 5 to 8, 40 per school, and 200 from the six sample schools. In some schools the number was not ten per grade

[2] For this study  10 parents per school, active in school affairs, were selected and a total of 60 participated in the focused group discussion

[3] "Woreda" is a government structure in Ethiopia which is comparable to "District" to other structures.

[4] Some parents disagreed with this saying that this attitude is changed now.

[5] Un published baseline survey done for IIRR's Pastoralist Education Project (PEP), in the area,  in June 2017, indicated that there is no any functional support system in schools to improve academic performance of students and retention. 

[6] Kebele  is a lower  government structure in the country consisting of a clusters of villages

[7] Some parents disagreed with this saying that this attitude is changed now.

 

 

 

Some shots during the field work

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Conclusion and Recomendations

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusions

This study has reached to the following conclusions and below are the follow up recommendations to each:

  1. Data from qualitative means and official documents showed that about 12.5% of registered students drop out of school every year, which is consistent to the national average of 12%. Findings indicated that there are complex causes for the dropout situation in the schools, which are more or less consistent to the global causes of dropout indicated in the literature review section. Among others, the following are listed:
    1. Draught and hence migration of parents to other locations;
    2. Demand for child labour and students own need for immediate income;
    3. Problems related to parents awareness about the value of education in general and girls education in particular;
    4. Distance to and from second cycle primary schools;
    5. Inability to afford education material and other school related expenses;
    6. Overage enrolment;
    7. Bad role model from high school completers who are unemployed in their locality;
    8. Repeating in one class; and
    9. Lack of family follow up and support  during the school time
  2. In Adola, dropout challenge is not specific to a particular sex groups but affects all. However, further assessments should be made to closely see which particular factors affect boys and girls differently  so that  interventions can be drawn relevant to each group.
  3. Dropout is fairly distributed across all levels of the second cycle primary schools, but more sever at grades six and five. May be this is the time when students face complex in and out of school challenges such as the following:
    1. Transition crises (from lower primary to upper primary) where the pedagogy (self contained teaching) and promotion policy (automatic promotion) differs.
    2. Distance to second cycle primary schools from homes and
    3. Household demand for labour during after school hours.
  4. Those students from poor households are severely affected by dropout. The associated reasons identified are the following:
    1. Lack of family capacity to avail education materials and to feed the school going children;
    2. To get income, children from poor family are sold to the wealth family to keep cattle and  the  grownups engage in motorbike transportation  work, and
    3. Poor parents don't bother themselves about their child education and don't see it as the child has missed anything for life.
  5. Those who are literate (who can at least read, write and do basic arithmetic) support continues education of their children.
  6. Significant number of the respondents believed that it is low performing students who are normally dropping out of school. However, discussion with students and parents revealed the fact that performance of students in school may not be the key reason for school dropout. Thus, the issue of the relation between academic performance and school dropout is open for further study. 
  7. Most respondents have affirmed that the indigenous Gujji Oromos are the most affected in school dropout. Further probe on teachers, students and parents to see the reasons why the Gujji Oromos are affected, many points were raised. Among others the following are included:
    1. Most agreed that most Gujji Oromos are livestock farmers and they need labour to tend the cattle;
    2. They don't value girls education[1] as relevant, and
    3. They fear conflict with the neighbouring tribes such as the Borana's, Gedo's and Burji's hence they want to keep children under their control.
  8. Though it needs to be further studied, it has been acknowledged that, at least on papers,  there are various school level mechanisms to support students from dropping out of school but the application is of all is very loss. These strategies include but not limited to the following:
    1. Existence of mentoring/tutoring services,
    2. Connection of school learning with community service, presence of after school opportunities,
    3. Parents involvement to improve students continues learning,
    4. Teachers continues professional development support fighting school dropout cases, and
    5. Efforts to make the schools and the community safe for students.

 

 Hence, various concerted efforts need to be applied to enforce all these strategies to help reduce dropout. 

 

Recommendations  

Based on the above findings of this study, the follow up recommendations are generated.

  • In a concerted effort to address the dropout challenge in schools, various stakeholders, [parents, relevant government offices, relevant development actors (eg. NGOs), and the school community] should prepare proposals and implement for all or any of the following areas:
    1. School and community level Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) interventions, with contingency plans, should be launched with key objectives to reduce effects of  various hazards (mainly draught and conflict)  and to build communities resiliency.
    2. Projects for community economic empowerment through various household support and for children to "earn while learning" need to be developed and implemented with cautious management of the economic activity not to overrule the childs school attendance. 
    3. The Woreda education offices need to come up with a policy of "schools grant" with the target to ease economic burden on children, especially from poor households, to continue their education.
    4. Projects with the aim to mobilize the community to understand the value of education and most importantly the relevance of girls education should be launched and implemented in collaboration with the local community and religious leaders, and government officials through good role models and experiences sharing programs. These projects should also intend to inform parents on their role for their child's education and school level mechanisms created to recognize parents with outstanding contributions for their children's education.
    5. Concerted efforts of the community, government and the development partners need to be mobilized to build second cycle primary schools (grades 5 to 8) next to each first cycle primary schools (grades 1 to 4).
    6. Government and local development actors projects need to be launched to work for school aged school entrance and to create mechanisms for them to continue their education without interruption.
  • In Adola, dropout challenge is not specific to a particular sex groups but affects all. However, further assessments should be made to closely see which particular factors affect boys and girls differently  so that  interventions can be drawn relevant to each group. Further study need to be commissioned to identify particular challenges to boys and girls so that next projects could address the challenges with informed planning  and implementation.
  • The first cycle primary schools need to prepare students for second cycle primary and the second cycle primary schools need to see the transition challenges and create mechanisms for smooth transition of the students in regard to the teaching methodology, exams, and distance to and from schools. In this case, special attentions should be given to students in grades four, five and six.
  • As the findings affirmed, literate parents care much for their child's education than the illiterate ones. Hence, projects in support of schools need to be developed and implemented to run and support functional Adult Literacy (FAL) classes along the formal school system.
  • This study has come up with conflicting findings whether academic performance in schools will have relation to school dropout.   Thus, the topic is open for further study. Meanwhile, still projects intended to reverse school dropout challenges should also consider interventions to support students for better performance in and outside of classes. 
  • This study showed that the indigenous people (Gujji Oromos) in the community are affected differently than the other community members ,as far as dropout is concerned. Thus, special projects intended to address the special challenges of the indigenous community need to be developed and implemented. Among others these projects should focus on technology transfer related to labour effective livestock farming, promotion on the relevance of sending girls to school, and effective approached for conflict transformation with the neighbouring communities.
  • The concerned education offices and the school community need to reflect on the possibility of implementing and enforcing the school level mechanisms to support students stay in school. This includes conducting tutorial classes, connection of learning with community services, parents involvement to support students learning, teachers CPD and on safety of schools.  

 

[1] Some parents disagreed with this saying that this attitude is changed now.