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

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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.

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