Júlio Fio Cangungo
Theme: To understand the factors that influence pupils’ with drawal from education.
My name is Júlio Fio Cangungo and I will explain about the first investigation that our Core Group No. 8 made. We did it over two weeks in the municipal capital of Longonjo. We chose to investigate education, and specifically the theme of factors that influence pupil dropout. It was cho¬sen because we know that many pupils do not complete their studies and, as future teachers, we wanted to know why.
The group was divided into two parts and so we were 4-5 students working together. In total we visited six primary and lower secondary schools where we talked to many teachers, pupils and some principals. The Dep-uty of the Municipal Director of Education received us. We also spoke with more than 50 families in their homes.
By the end of the period, we had collected a lot of information. We were welcomed everywhere and it was interesting to hear the explanations given. We found schools where there are pupils who study well and who receive good support from their families.
In the streets we found young people who do not study but each one has their stories to tell. Some say they do not like their teachers or the environment in schools and now need to earn some money. A young girl reported that she became pregnant and has to be able to buy diapers for her baby.
It was clear when we talked to teachers and families that some families support their children well and some families do not. Some pupils come to school without food or without their parents knowing whether or not they are studying.
In the end and after much discussion in our group we produced a report with a long list of important reasons that lead pupils to give up. We
presented our conclusions to core group 7 and then debated the results together.
Here are some of the reasons for abandoning school:
- Families with low economic status are always at risk because they cannot afford to pay school fees on time. Pupils from these families often have to do without breakfast or lunch or school material.
- Poor school performance leads some pupils to give up. Here the question is to improve the academic level. We found pupils who explained that they do not like the school or its teachers..
- An important reason is the poor support and follow up from the parents or guardians. Some pupils do not go to school regularly and the parents are not aware of this.
- Bad influence of friends if they do not study and lead a life of delinquency.
- A poor knowledge of the Portuguese language means some pupils have problems following lessons.
- The distance from home to school can be great and pupils have to walk a lot.
- Marriage and early pregnancy leads many girls to give up. We found two primary schools that do not allow pregnant pupils to study.
- Pupils with prolonged illnesses tend to fail.
- The participation of pupils in collecting wild fruits for sale and in family farming may lead pupils to interrupt their studies.
- Parents claim there is a shortage of teachers, especially in rural areas.
This investigation left an impression on me. It was very clear that there are many issues to improve and many pupils still give up. As it was our first investigation, we did not really understand what we were doing but with time we learned how to do research well and, for example, how to speak with traditional leaders.