Expert says politicians ignore school drop-outs

German politicians grossly underestimate the problem of student drop-outs in Germany, news agency DDP reported on Monday.

Expert says politicians ignore school drop-outs
Photo: DPA

About eight percent of each German class leaves school before finishing, education researcher Horst Weishaupt told DDP, adding that German political parties have reacted with “convoluted formulas” and “blanket suggestions.”

Politicians say they aim to lower drop-out rates, but aren’t concrete about their plans for helping “educational losers,” the researcher at the Institute for Educational Research and Educational Information said.

Struggling students need more support, rather than being funnelled into special schools, Weishaupt said.

“Teachers need more support to prevent transfers of students to special schools,” he said, adding that excluding trouble students does not help trouble students.

The expert also suggested that the German school system be reformed to a single-track system, as the Social Democrats, the Left party and the Greens have all suggested. But this won’t reduce drop-out rates if educators don’t focus on helping weaker students, he said.

One solution would be government support for low-income families, who often don’t send their children to high school out of financial concerns, he said. Meanwhile some students who do finish high school opt not to attend university for the same reason.

If the current situation doesn’t change, there will be a shortage of academics at universities within the next several decades, he added.

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