Drop Outs

The current and future health and welfare services risk becoming subject of pressure from those who do not complete their education as they fall out of the labor market too early. Through this research project, the municipalities of Frøya, Hitra and Smøla will pilot, verify and investigate a new method that enhances early intervention on different levels of vocational training in the public sector. The research will examine and document the effectiveness of using the methodology on a local and regional level. 

The percentage of pupils who complete secondary education has not been improved after the school reform in Norway. 68-72% of pupils completed their secondary education five years after starting it (Statistics Norway 2013). This means that around 3 out of 10 pupils do not complete secondary education. The Minister of Education Kristin Halvorsen awarding 150 million Norwegian crowns in last autumn’s election campaign to employ new measures in vocational education further emphasizes the actuality.

In 2007 age cohort, which is the last cohort Statistics Norway has released figures on, 17% of pupils ended their education before completing the entire course (i.e. they dropped out). In addition, the figures show that 5-6% of an age cohort spends more than five years on completing their education, while about 7% fail in at least one subject.

In the period following the reform of 1994, the dropout rate in secondary schools has dropped slightly from around 20% to 17%. This breaks down to 7-9% in high school courses and approximately 27% in vocational programs. In spite of the many different measures that have been employed into vocational training during the past 10 years, the dropout rate has held stable at about 27% in vocational subjects since 2001. The data for the 2007 age cohort is the lowest percentage of "quitters" in vocational education measured by Statistics Norway, and these data show that a lot is still to be done.

Various measures are needed to make those who drop out to endure, and those who fail to pass the exam:

  • Enhanced academic skills: The partners in this project will pilot, verify and study how use of mobile technology can:
    • Help create a new learning method that utilizes instant feedback on tests in order to enable students to immediately learn from their mistakes and thereby improve their academic performance. This will include Mathematics in 10th grade of elementary school and the first grade of secondary school in vocational programs.
    • Examine in what ways the new learning method creates positive student attitudes towards wanting to learn more and learning something new. This includes fostering the motivation through the use of technology on devices that all students use everywhere except at school!
  • Reduce the percentage of dropout: In the same three municipalities, the research in this project will pilot, verify and study how use of mobile technology can help to:
    • Create a monitoring and evaluation method of early intervention where teachers, students, education offices and enterprises in the second grade practical subject "Practical Work" (9h/week) will explore new mobile technology services that enable the secondary school to send out evaluations to students’ mobile phones and their trainers at enterprises in a simple way, and receive (quick) feedback from both students and enterprises. The teacher will be able to continuously evaluate the academic progress while students are doing their apprenticeships. A teacher shall, in contrast to the current situation, be able to easily follow up many students who are geographically spread across many different companies. After the second grade of secondary education the teachers, students, training offices and enterprises will be trained to use the new technology and methodology.
    • Expand the use of the methodology to the first 6 months of apprenticeship where the training offices will be using the technology to monitor the trainees during the first 6 months’ start-up period in the company.

Additionally, an international verification of the methodology and technology in other education sectors will be conducted by SSIS that will be testing the methodology and technology in Mathematics.

SRS 2.0, PELE 1.5, Eval 1.0 and iLike 1.0 are available for use.