Keeping kids hooked on school

The risk of kids dropping out of school can start early as elementary school or the beginning of high school. As this year's Hooked on School Days campaign gets underway, let's take a closer look at some of the findings of a Léger poll of Quebec youth who've faced schooling challenges, including kids who've dropped out of school, thought about dropping out or have gone back to school after dropping out.

Did you know that 29% of dropouts said they didn't receive any help or encouragement before abandoning their studies?

The poll, which was sponsored by the IRC network - This link will open in a new window. with financial support from the Desjardins Foundation, is intended to give key players the tools and guidance they need to keep kids in school, by shedding light on why students drop out and what can be done to keep them in class.

Recognizing the early signs is important

“29% of the youth polled began thinking about dropping out when they started high school or even earlier.”

This finding shows how important it is to recognize the early signs and get involved as soon as possible.

Poor academic performance isn't the only reason for dropping out

“Only 13% of respondents said they were getting low marks, while 47% said they were getting passing grades.”

Poor academic performance isn't the only indicator for tracking students at risk of abandoning their schooling. Such a high percentage of students passing their courses seems to indicate that there's a key point when students are struggling with schoolwork, without failing their courses.

Keeping kids in school is everyone's responsibility

“82% of the youth surveyed believe that keeping kids in school is everyone's responsibility, and 69% of them feel that society isn't doing enough to prevent youth from dropping out.”

They feel that everyone—schools, the government, daycares, municipalities, employers, community organizations, the media, CPEs and the health network—all have a role to play in keeping kids on track to graduation.

On the other hand, most dropouts feel it's strictly up to the individual. This is all the more reason why everyone needs to be there for and support youth.

Even small actions can make a difference

According to youth who've considered dropping out, but didn't, encouragement from family, friends and teachers is what had the most impact on their decision to stay in school. For dropouts who've returned to school, work experience is the deciding factor. This shows the positive impact employers can have in encouraging dropouts to discover their talents and steer them back to school.

For more details, see the survey results.

What are you doing to keep kids in your community hooked on school?