Early School Leavers

2133 Words Dec 31st, 2012 9 Pages
Essay on Early School Leavers
This essay will examine the issue of Early School Leaving. The legal definition of early school leaving in the Republic of Ireland is “non participation in school before a young person reaches the age of sixteen or before completing three years post primary education, or whichever is later”. Another useful definition is “leaving the education system without a minimum of five passes in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent qualification”. In Ireland up to nine thousand young people leave school early every year before taking the Leaving Certificate. The Leaving Certificate is the final state exam in the Irish secondary school education system. The essay will examine the factors that influence a young person’s
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The unemployment rate for people in Ireland aged eighteen to twenty four was just over twenty five percent in 2009, while the rate for early school leavers was double that. In most cases today employers and training courses require a minimum of Leaving Certificate completion. Early school leaving does not just damage a person’s academic skills it also hinders their social skills, such as working in groups and how to behave within pre-existing institutional boundaries. It also limits them from meeting and interacting with different ethnicities and personalities. Therefore the risk is that a person who leaves school early may lack the skill set necessary to participate to their full potential in their society. In Ireland, the dominant philosophy on education appears to be the progressive emancipatory perspective. This perspective puts the needs of the individual and the needs of society on an equal level. It recognises that there are different styles of learning. In this philosophy, education is seen as a positive force for change in society. In the Irish education system the student can still choose subjects, the college they go to and the career they wish to pursue, although these decisions are often influenced by social and economic factors at the time.
Early school leaving does not only
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