School perseverance is everybody’s business

Did you know that 32% of young people have thought about dropping out but decided to stay in school because of encouragement from others?

Persevering at school means making the effort and finding motivation to earn a diploma or qualification. To do so, students must believe in themselves and embark on a path that is meaningful to them. The simple act of envisaging themselves in the future and nourishing their dreams and passions will foster motivation and commitment throughout their schooling.

Every young person needs encouragement every day. To encourage them to stay in school, we must emphasize the value of education so that:

  • they feel motivated and invested;
  • they feel able to complete an educational path adapted to their abilities and aspirations,
  • the demands of their student lives align with the other aspects of their lives.

We can all make simple gestures to support the efforts of our young people. It’s surprising how just a little helping hand can help a young person grow and achieve their potential.

Influences on school perseverance

The determinants of school perseverance are factors that influence students’ educational experiences. If the influence is positive, it is called a protection factor – something that tends to foster school perseverance.

These determinants are classified into four broad categories:

Family-based factors

  • Value placed on education and parental supervision

Personal factors

  • Self-control and social and behavioural conduct
  • Association with peers
  • Nutrition and physical activity
  • Tobacco, alcohol, or drug use
  • Work/school balance
  • Depression
  • Self-esteem
  • Grades in reading, writing, and mathematics
  • Motivation and engagement;
  • Educational and professional aspirations

School-based factors

  • Student-teacher relationship
  • Pedagogical and educational practices
  • Management practices
  • Support for students with disabilities
  • School climate

Environmental or social factors

  • Neighbourhood of residence and surroundings
  • Community resources

Dropping out – a complex phenomenon

Every year, too many young Quebecers still drop out of school before earning a high school diploma or qualification. The dropout problem is not just a school issue. We must understand that students do not drop out on a whim. Their experience at school is constantly affected by various factors – the “determinants of school perseverance.” If these factors have a negative influence, they are called risk factors, which increase the likelihood of a more difficult experience at school and can lead to a student’s dropping out.

Costs and consequences

The dropout problem is a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that has considerable repercussions both for the student who drops out and for society as a whole. It can lead to social inequality and affect economic growth, community engagement, and the employment market (through a lack of qualified workers), among other effects.

Taking action together

Today it is more important than ever to work together and coordinate our actions to encourage Québec’s young people to stay in school and achieve academic success, and to mitigate the dropout problem.

Together, let’s continue to give our young people a safety net. Let’s be caring and supportive so that they all want to persevere at school and can be happy while achieving their potential. In the right environment, all young people can persevere.