Survivors of the experience: The first three years of secondary schooling in Trinidad and Tobago



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Office of the UNESCO Reprensentative in the Caribbean


A longitudinal study was designed to trace student survival to the end of the first cycle (third year) of secondary school through a randomly selected representative sample. The sample comprised 2, 125 students and 64 classroom groups—10 percent of the students of one year entry. Data gathering by questionnaire, interviews, and small-scale observation was done during the last five weeks of each school year. Results revealed that dropouts was greatest at the end of Year 2 (2.8 percent) and, in that year, was highest among students starting school with Common Entrance (CEE) marks, students from low income homes, males, students of remote schools, students in Muslim Board managed schools and students of African descent, and was related to situations where problems were more personal. Dropout in Year 3 was highest among girls, students who considered themselves White, and related to situations where the problem was within the school environment. Dropout of boys from boys’ schools, children of mixed descent, and children from father-only and grandparent or guardian-headed household continued unabated throughout all three years.


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educational wastage, secondary school