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The school drop-out or rather “push out” problem in the South and in the North

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Both in developing countries in the South and developed countries in the North a large portion of pupils from each cohort drop out or, maybe more correctly described, are pushed out of school each year. In the South, there is also a considerable portion of school-aged children who do not attend school at all. The article examines selected data collected from ethnographic interviews, during a Norwegian ongoing longitudinal project, and a survey in Tanzania, and other developing countries. We ask the questions: What are the reasons for this situation? Are the reasons the same in the South as in the North? In this article examples will be given from a country in the North, Norway and a country in the South, Tanzania. What do we know about the reasons for dropping out of school in these two countries? Who are the children dropping out? From which social class do they come? Are they from urban or rural areas? Were there more boys or more girls? What happens to the children after they drop out of school? How much is the school itself to blame for the situation? How relevant is what is learnt in school to the life children lead and their job prospects? What could have been done differently in order to retain children in school in the South, exemplified by Tanzania, and the North exemplified by Norway?
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Keywords: Norway; Tanzania; comparative education; gender; language of instruction; mediating; pushout; school dropout; transparency

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

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  • World Studies in Education is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal offering a global overview of significant international and comparative education research. Its focus is on educational reforms and policy affecting institutions in the global economy.
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