School dropouts a concern


Shillingford is to conduct a study on school dropouts. File photo
Shillingford is to conduct a study on school dropouts. File photo

Government consultant, Gloria Shillingford, has expressed concerns over school dropouts on the island, noting that Dominica is too small to have such a problem.


Shillingford, who is a former government minister, has been mandated to conduct a study on the phenomena in the island’s education system

“For a small island state like ours, we cannot afford to have dropouts in school,” she stated at the opening ceremony on Wednesday of a workshop for enumerators who will be studying the problem.

She remarked that preliminary statistics show that boys drop out of school more often than girls and the problem is especially serious in the third and fourth forms of secondary school.

“We do have preliminary statistics which show us, for example, that boys are the greater percentage in comparison to our girls, that we already know that the third forms and the fourth forms where we have a serious problem,” she explained.

Shillingford noted that the problem exists although access to schools in Dominica is not an issue and there are a number of social interventions by the Ministry of Education and the government.

“We have child-friendly schools, we have transportation, books and uniform programs and school feeding programs yet statistics tell us that still too many of our children drop out of school,” she said.

She explained some aspect of the study.

“We need to know where are those persons who drop out of schools,” she said. “We also need to know what is the major problem. Is it society, is it the school, is it the parent who is responsible for this?”

Shillingford noted that short-term recommendations are being put in place to tackle the problem, which includes the position of School Attendant/Counselor and a system where teachers can easily flag children at risk to report it before it comes to the stage of drop out.

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  1. Bertrand Jolls
    September 22, 2016

    I say bring back the cane! It they want to leave school, the teachers should be allowed to beat some sense into them.

    It worked for me and here I am now, a supervisor at a cane factory earning a good wage.

  2. DION
    September 18, 2016

    This is just another job for the boys while the rest of us catch hell. This audit fall within the job of the chief education officer. Or is it a way to tell the CEO that we have no confidence in you?

  3. September 17, 2016

    I had the opportunity as a young person myself to see underage students drop out of school. Since then I have seen later cases. Some reasons are the same, others have changed.

    (1) A home environment that was not conductive to studying at home and doing homework: parents fighting, siblings screaming, and music blaring, etc. The parents use of alcohol can create be a determent
    to a healthy atmosphere.

    (2) Lack of discipline: Too much watching television, and playing video games, and not enough parental encouragement to study for exams.

    (3) Little effort is made to find out what a student wants to be – or do for a living – and they are not being helped to move in that direction. Subjects that are related to the student’s own hopes and aspirations are the subjects he or she will enjoy and do well in. However, I have seen the “system” hammer students with subjects they detest and continually fail in until they drop out of school.

    • September 17, 2016


      The marijuana is causing a problem. Recent studies by two medical schools have proved that smoking marijuana damages the area of he brain responsible for memorizing and learning. Their statistics showed students who had smoked marijuana over an extended period of time tended to have lower grades and a higher dropout rate.

      This is why it is shocking to find people working in government or in the educational system advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana. They have a responsibility to govern accordingly, and share their knowledge with our young people.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  4. Paul Jumo
    September 16, 2016

    Dropping out is good! In Spain 50% of the workforce is unemployed. There you will find young people with 1 to 2 degrees working as bartenders (if they are lucky) with no other job prospects in sight.

    I dropped out a 14 in Dominica, got various jobs,then paid my way to the UK, got a job there and when I was sure what I wanted to do, went to night school got some GCE’s under my belt and then later on Uni and here I am now with 3 degrees.

    Kids, get a job as soon as you can. Study part-time when you have the job and then take things from there. That is how I did it.

    And about money? I have assets of around USD4 million. Not bad for being a drop out from listening to teachers who are too dumb to get any other job!

  5. Vex
    September 16, 2016

    Jsp sorry

  6. Vex
    September 16, 2016

    They need to bring back just. We not ready for universal education

  7. Mother
    September 15, 2016

    What do you expect teacher Gloria when children pass directly into secondary education without sitting an aptitude test and no exam. Under USE the schools are obliged to take them but some can not even read or write. These children are at a disadvantage right from the start and are left behind without hope of ever successfully finishing high school. They start skipping lessons and if there is little or no parental support, inevitable will join the ranks of unemployable on our streets. I do feel sorry for them. USE is is useless, no more than a political expediency for political gain that eventually bite us but these poor children most of all.

  8. marigold
    September 15, 2016

    I strongly believe that “school dropout” is a critical social issue and should be dealt with all the time. I have already guided a secondary school teacher who was conducting research on the same topic: Reasons why so many students of School (? ) continue to drop out. That teacher selected the appropriate method (Qualitative Research) prepared the design and conducted the research such that conclusions could be drawn without bias. The results showed that many variables were at play in the situation. Factors within the children themselves, parental support or no support, homework demands from teachers, methods and strategies teachers used or did not use. Student textbook issues. Too much homework was given and not corrected. A very significant finding was that in many instances “boys and girls were treated differently” in co-ed schools. The social environment of schools were problematic.
    I believe a person with a very good background in research is needed to help with this…

  9. mention
    September 15, 2016

    i expect to hear that soon or later. When Jays selling books so expensive, you have school fees and some people are single parent with many children and still you have to feed the children and yet you still have no job

  10. LifeandDeath
    September 15, 2016

    Good topic for discussion and that is just one angle of the education woes in the beloved Dominica. Another is the number of Graduates that fly out of Dominica in search of viable employment.

    • September 17, 2016

      They are going to go where they can get a job in their field.

      They are also going to go where they can raise a family in a safe environment.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  11. Independent Observer
    September 15, 2016

    Government consultant??? That is a first problem.

    The issue of dropout has very little to do with the ability to find work.

    Many children drop out b/c they are processed into high school without the requisite skills needing to succeed such as being able to read, write and to do basic maths. Match the students getting C and D grades with the number of drop outs. You can give text books, access, bus rides etc but if a child does not have the critical knowledge and skills you have doomed them to fail. It is good to see that you and your govt have recognised that you have put the cart before the horse and not focused on the right aspects regarding our children’s education.

    I hope that the people charged with doing this inquiry are indeed researchers in education and not just friends of the ruling administration that need work.

  12. Tell the Facts
    September 14, 2016

    Today there are more distractions than previously. 24/7 TV and Technology are two of them. Then, the higher the Form the more difficult the studies. It will take additional concentration to succeed.
    Gloria must talk to the parents and these students. Try to get to the root of the problem of what is restricting them from this continuation education which is for their benefit. They have reasons why they dropped-out. Do the parents take an interest in them and their studies?
    They may need extra-curriculum lessons. Who will help them?
    It is a poor argument, for anyone to state that when they drop out of school they know they will be unemployed. Who really knows? No one can see the future. Why even give this a thought and make such a statement? What they have to do is put their heart and mind to it and diligently study, knowing that it is only for a short while and they will graduate. They must think of the future that lies ahead for them if the graduate.

  13. September 14, 2016

    No motivation, no jobs after school, Dominica is a failed state under Skerrit and the DLP

  14. guest of honor
    September 14, 2016

    people like you disgust me. you very well know what the issue is but you want spotlight back on you or maybe you want a bigger post than “consultant”?? you want more money not true?? you want to be back in the sunlight after SKERRIT kick you aside not true?? YOU DAMN WELL KNOW WHY THEY DROPPING OUT!!! they leaving to go and do NEP to feed themselves. boy I vex wi!!

    • September 23, 2016

      Your comment is rude and in bad taste.

      This is no way to contribute towards the betterment of your nation. What I see is people with no real knowledge of the inner workings of the government saying unkind things about its ministers who are doing their best in difficult times. It is no way to dig yourselves out of the hole you are in or leave the past behind.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill.

  15. guest of honor
    September 14, 2016

    they dropping out because they tired see their mothers and fathers struggling under the strain and pressure SKERRIT has brought to Dominica. they dropping out because they are the older ones so they think its time to go try and make money to help their younger siblings have a better chance than they did. their mothers and fathers can no longer afford to send them school because SKERRIT has made Dominica a hell hole!! but all this isn’t news to you Gloria because you helped to put it like that. they dropping out because they know and bear witness to others who finish with how many subjects and cannot get a job so to them what sense does it make to keep spending money they already don’t have?? many of them cannot get financial assistance because their household not RED!!! better RED than DEAD right?? YOU Gloria and SKERRIT and the rest of the cabal… YOU HAVE DESTROYED AN ENTIRE NATION AND ITS YOUTH!! doe come and play part worried now.

    September 14, 2016

    The dlp rubbish admin created a ting called USE all these children that went to sit the common entrance and obtained E in math, E in english, E in science and E in social studies are then sent to secondary school to excel how can someone who obtained 4 Es in primary school material magically do well in secondary school. Gloria in u all quest for votes and popularity U all failed the ppl children! Now u want to come act like u care! lady do what ostriches do go bury ya head in sand and tel the rest of the dpl trash with u!!!

  17. I Want To Know
    September 14, 2016

    Why go to school when the good doctor has taught us that we could buy a doctorate over a weekend? The good teacher has taught us how to get rich and move from rags to riches overnight, without having to sweat, without having to open a book and yet, be referred to by the media of state radio as DOCTOR?

    • I Want To Know
      September 14, 2016

      Oh, I forgot to add, why go to school when the good teacher taught us how to get a doctorate over a weekend, without attending school, and yet upon his arrival got a welcome return at the airport? The children see, they hear and they learn what our leaders taught them

      • September 18, 2016

        Why are so many DNO commentators still bringing up the subject of your Prime Minister’s honorary doctorate?

        It seems these commentators are not well educated because they do not appear knowledgeable.

        Do they even know what an honorary degree is :?: It is granted to individuals who have “earned” it – not by sitting in classrooms and writing examinations – but by their life experience, and/or by outstanding contributions in their particular field.

        The naysayers are not usually people with degrees earned or honorary. Those who hold a degree tend to respect others who either have earned academic qualifications or who an institute of higher learning has considered worthy of recognition for reasons significant to their board of trustees.

        The talk of Mr. Skerritt buying a degree is babbling from misinformed people see his degree as an opportunity to challenge his integrity. This nonsense should be brought to an end.

  18. viewsexpressed
    September 14, 2016

    Shillingford noted that the problem exists although access to schools in Dominica is not an issue and there are a number of social interventions by the Ministry of Education and the government. Skerrit government has failed the children and families of Dominica, for years operated a Red Begging Clinic. That is not an investment but a bobol.
    Gloria, you are right that “statistics tell us that still too many of our children drop out of school,” because your efforts and that of your corrupt Labour Party have not been of quality but introduced a begging bowl Red Clinic scheme which got parents dependent on you all rather create jobs that they earn their own money. There is no production in Dominica that parents were proud of. Labour Party under Skerrit and his weak government killed the productive sector of Dominica. Now you have a nice paid job as a consultant to do and say the things we have been saying for years. That is stop buying poor parents, stop hand-outs., not an investment.

  19. Pure Possie
    September 14, 2016

    Skerrit left our young people hopeless and that’s the main cause of drop out when they should be planning for life after graduation or college. When I was in 4th form I couldn’t wait to graduate so I could get a good job be it at Bellfast, DBGA, SS, Brisbane, C&W, etc and start to dream of owning my house, get married, get a car and have a family. All our young people are seeing today is NEP, and, that is ONLY for supporters of Skerrit. as he has brought closure to most of the above places.

    They realize the Skerrit administration has taught them that education is NOT important because when educated people who are qualified apply for jobs, they give them to their friends who are not qualified………. That’s the root cause madam. People don’t feel good about their future.

    “Shillingford noted that short-term recommendations are being put in place to tackle the problem.” Madam, how do u tackle the problem when u said in the above paragraph before…

  20. Pure Possie
    September 14, 2016

    “We need to know where are those persons who drop out of schools,” she said. “We also need to know what is the major problem. Is it society, is it the school, is it the parent who is responsible for this?”

    Sammy referred to the WICB sacking of coach Simmons as “The blind leading the blind.” Well Sammy, look a clear evidence of the blind leading the blind because Ms. whose poor job as a government minister was and still is part of the problem she is hired to investigate.

    Mom, if they were able to transit from Elementary to 1st, 2nd, 3rd form and once they get to 4th & 5th, when they should be graduating they dropping out, is that not a clear sign that they are worried about their future, as all they can see is hopeless, a government that cannot do anything to bring meaningful employment and as a result, all they can see is NEP, if they are supporters of Skerrit? When I was in high school in the 80’s I couldn’t wait to graduate because there was hope for the future. Not so…

  21. Tjebe fort
    September 14, 2016

    The prospect of a job with the NEP programme is not a big incentive to finish your studies, is it.

    • Jaded
      September 15, 2016

      What an idiotic comment! So students decide at that young age that they are better off dropping out of school and considerably reducing their chances of getting even a minimum wage job because they are not impressed with the NEP. So all young people go to school just to work for the NEP. Why don’t you make a contribution by not commenting on matters you know nothing about. You sound like an elementary school dropout.

      • Me
        September 15, 2016

        You sound very jaded my friend. Maybe some day the will find real use for USE!

  22. dominican
    September 14, 2016

    Ms. Shillingford i hope the Counselors your government going to hire will be trained professionals and not be hired because they can maintain a half conversation on WHATspps with our very sincere and respectable ministers. (just saying)….

  23. Gloria, daughter of me uncle Jonathan Dods, the late, and niece of me mother Yvonne Dods, the late; you need to stop being so hypocritical okay! When you were another puppet in Skerrit circus you should have done something about the high volume of drop-outs.

    The size of Dominica is no smaller today than when you were minister of nothing in Skerrit’s cabal. You allowed that guy to use you up and when he knew that Wesley people would not vote for you, because you betrayed them; he off load you like a bunch of green banana off a truck, and then add to your trauma, he replaced you with my and your cousin (poor Athena) with the burden, but Wesley were smart enough to reject her as another one of Skerrit’s puppets.

    The reason there are so many dropouts is all due, to lack of employment, they know when they finish, there is nothing to do, so what’s point? Everybody do not expect to get a cut from the sale of the passport industry you know!

  24. Big- Bannan
    September 14, 2016

    Bwavo MA shillingford remember our freedom of speech is under hostage in Dominica . You cannot bring up something like that if it’s going to make our dictator look in adequate . So more drop outs= more poverty, more crime. But those that Finnish school cannot get a job anyway so here we go again. Yes papa

  25. Ba Yo Bwa
    September 14, 2016

    Hopefully, a full and comprehensive report on the lady’s findings, along with explicit recommendations on the state of affairs is in the offing. We hope too that DNO will comb the report – if it is made available to the media – and share some of the stats and recommendations.

    We eagerly await the medium and long-term recommendations and policy proposals from the Ministry concerned to change course with our young men. I myself could propose some ideas, as the easiest thing is to lay all blame for this alarming situation at the feet of parents.

    But there is something more sinister going on with our boys and their lack of interest in education, generally; and that is they do not feel connected. What’s going on in our classroom is still mostly a traditional approach to teaching and learning.

    Boys tend to be doers, not listeners. Boys need hands-on, experiential learning to excel in class. Our teaching must cultivate boys’ innate interests and tendencies; not force boys to…

  26. curiorcity
    September 14, 2016

    This is a simple solution! when we mention school and child, the next thing that comes to mind is ,They must be living at home with parents. Invite the parents to the school to give an explanation and their whereabouts during school hours, and what do they do for the week and where they go. What hour do they come home at night time.

  27. patty
    September 14, 2016

    again another of the hypocritical aspects of this labour regime i dislike…..

    the issue is that the economy is “dead” the middle class is out of the window..
    you fools have created a welfare state, heard such educated fools boasting about govt help to citizens, and increasing more persons on the can this impact economy growth and independent angles for it’s citizens…

    this regime needs a pan cover hit on their heads…the education dept has enough resourceful folks to do that job, it’s not a NSA scientist testing rockets modules? is it?

    dominica will continue to be the poorest and slowest economy once labour remains in power, they lack any positive images of growth after 16 years it’s all about fooling their ignorant bases… bon labour till de end…wicked lot!!

    • viewsexpressed
      September 14, 2016

      You are so right, very right, right on Que. This Labour party people are corrupt, lack vision and operate a fast food, come as you like government.

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