Never Let Me Down: A Case-study of Slovenian Policy Measures to Prevent Early School Leaving

Open access

Abstract

In this article, we discuss the factors that influence early school leaving, and the measures that were taken in Slovenia to prevent it. Reducing early school leaving (ESL) to less than 10% by 2020 is one of the key objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and Slovenia is already well below this target. According to recent analysis, Slovenia has one of the lowest rate of ESL among EU countries. In our review we will examine the reasons for such a low ESL rate and inspect institutional and policy measures that Slovenia has undertaken in order to reduce ESL and retain students in education as long as possible. We argue that Slovenia is successful in reducing ESL because of a wide-spread network of secondary schools, and measures that are directed in individualization, guidance and support for less successful students. In our estimation, one of the main reasons for the low rate of ESL in Slovenia is also the openness of vocational education system, that allows horizontal and vertical transitions. An area that needs additional attention from policy makers, concerns high-risk groups of students. There is also a need for teachers to develop additional inter-cultural and communication competencies, and schools should receive more funding for Slovenian language courses, working with the Roma, programs individualization for special needs students, extended schooling for students with special needs etc.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alivernini F. & Lucidi F. (2011). Relationship between social context self-efficacy motivation academic achievement and intention to drop out of high school: A longitudinal study. The Journal of Educational Research104(4) 241–252.

  • Audas R. & Willms J. D. (2002). Engagement and dropping out of school a life-course perspective. Hull Quebec: Applied Research Branch Human Resources Development Canada.

  • Banerjee P. A. (2016). A systematic review of factors linked to poor academic performance of disadvantaged students in science and maths in schools. Cogent Education3(1) 1178441. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1178441

  • Barle Lakota A. & Černoša S. (2011). National report of the Republic of Slovenia on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020) (unpublished report). Ljubljana: Ministrstvo za šolstvo in šport.

  • Čačinovič Vogrinčič G. Bregar Golobič K. Bečaj J. Pečjak S. Resman M. Bezić T. & et al. (2008). Programske smernice. Svetovalna služba v gimnazijah nižjih in srednjih poklicnih šolah ter strokovnih šolah in v dijaških domovih [Program guidelines. Counseling services in general upper secondary schools and in short vocational and technical upper secondary schools and in student dorms]. Ljubljana: Zavod Republike Slovenije za šolstvo.

  • Cairns R. B. Cairns B. D. & Neckerman H. J. (1989). Early School Dropout: Configurations and Determinants. Child Development60(6) 1437–1452. https://doi.org/10.2307/1130933

  • Cederberg M. & Hartsmar N. (2013). Some Aspects of Early School Leaving in Sweden Denmark Norway and Finland. European Journal of Education48(3) 378–389. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12036

  • Černoša S. (2012). Razvoj sistema izobraževanja v Sloveniji v luči uresničevanja skupnih evropskih ciljev analiza uresničevanja ciljev “Izobraževanje in usposabljanje 2010” 2000-2010 [The development of the education system in Slovenia in light of implement the common European objectives: Analysis of achieving the objectives of “Education and Training 2010” 2000-2010]. Ljubljana: Pedagoški inštitut.

  • Commission of the European Communities. (2009). Progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training. Indicators and benchmarks 2008. (No. SEC (2008) 2293). Brussels: European Commission.

  • De Witte K. Nicaise I. Lavrijsen J. Van Landeghem G. Lamote C. & Van Damme J. (2013). The Impact of Institutional Context Education and Labour Market Policies on Early School Leaving: a comparative analysis of EU countries. European Journal of Education48(3) 331–345. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12034

  • Dekkers H. & Claassen A. (2001). Dropouts - disadvantaged by definition? A study of the perspective of very early school leavers. Studies in Educational Evaluation27(4) 341–354. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-491X(01)00034-7

  • Employment Service of Slovenia. (2015). Mladi in trg dela [Youth and the Labour Force]. Ljubljana: Employment Service of Slovenia.

  • Employment Service of Slovenia. (2017). Strokovna izhodišča za leto 2018 [Expert starting points for 2018]. Ljubljana: Employment Service of Slovenia.

  • Ensminger M. E. & Slusarcick A. L. (1992). Paths to High School Graduation or Dropout: A Longitudinal Study of a First-Grade Cohort. Sociology of Education65(2) 95–113. https://doi.org/10.2307/2112677

  • European Commission. (2011). Progress Towards the Common European Objectives in Education and Training. Indicators and Benchmarks 2010/2011. Strasbourg: European Commission. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-policy/indicators10_en.htm

  • European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice/Cedefop. (2014). Tackling Early Leaving from Education and Training in Europe: Strategies Policies and Measures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  • Eurostat. (2017 September 1). Early leavers from education and training by sex and labour status (online table code: edat_lfse_14). Retrieved from http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/submitViewTableAction.do

  • Eurostat Glossary: Early leaver from education and training. (2016 April 13). Retrieved February 15 2018 from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained/index.php/Glossary:Early_leaver_from_education_and_training

  • Fernández-Macías E. Antón J.-I. Braña F.-J. & De Bustillo R. M. (2013). Early School-leaving in Spain: evolution intensity and determinants. European Journal of Education48(1) 150–164. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejed.12000

  • Geržina S. Vranješ P. Cek M. Hazl V. Mesec P. & Švab A. (2001). Modernisation of vocational education and training: national report Slovenia 2000. Ljubljana: National VET Observatory Slovenia Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Vocational Education and Training.

  • Hoffman J. L. & Lowitzki K. E. (2005). Predicting College Success with High School Grades and Test Scores: Limitations for Minority Students. Review of Higher Education28(4) 455–474. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2005.0042

  • Jimerson S. R. Anderson G. E. & Whipple A. D. (2002). Winning the battle and losing the war: Examining the relation between grade retention and dropping out of high school. Psychology in the Schools39(4) 441– 457. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.10046

  • Klanjšek R. Flere S. & Lavrič M. (2007). Kognitivni in družbenoekonomski dejavniki šolskega uspeha v Sloveniji. Družboslovne Razprave23(55) 49–69.

  • Lamb S. Markussen E. Teese R. Sandberg N. & Polesel J. (Eds.). (2011). School dropout and completion: international comparative studies in theory and policy. Dordrecht: Springer.

  • Marks G. N. & Fleming N. (1999). Influences and Consequences of Well-being Among Australian Young People: 1980–1995. Social Indicators Research46(3) 301–323. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006928507272

  • Markussen E. Frøseth M. W. & Sandberg N. (2011). Reaching for the unreachable: Identifying factors predicting early school leaving and non-completion in Norwegian upper secondary education. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research55(3) 225–253.

  • Organisation and Financing of Education Act. (2007). Official Bulletin of the RS (16//2007).

  • Rumberger R. W. (1983). Dropping Out of High School: The Influence of Race Sex and Family Background. American Educational Research Journal20(2) 199–220. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312020002199

  • Rumberger R. W. (1995). Dropping Out of Middle School: A Multilevel Analysis of Students and Schools. American Educational Research Journal32(3) 583–625. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312032003583

  • Stearns E. Moller S. Blau J. & Potochnick S. (2007). Staying Back and Dropping Out: The Relationship Between Grade Retention and School Dropout. Sociology of Education80(3) 210–240. https://doi.org/10.1177/003804070708000302

  • The Youth Guarantee country by country – Slovenia (2017). Strasbourg: European Commission.

  • Ule M. Kuhar M. & Kožar Černelič S. (2003). Kakovost življenja otrok in mladostnikov v Sloveniji: projektna naloga: študija problema osipništva v Sloveniji: zaključno poročilo [Quality of life of children and adolescents in Slovenia: Project: Study the problem of early school leaving in Slovenia: Final report]. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za družbene vede.