Saltpond (C/R), May 27, GNA - Five hundred and fifty-two primary school children made up of 291 males and 261 females dropped out of school in the Mfantseman district last academic year.
Another one hundred and ten junior secondary students; 40 males and 70 females also dropped out of school within the period.
Mr. Isaac Bart-Addison, the District Director of Education gave the figures at a meeting of heads of schools, School Management Committees (SMCs), Parent-Teacher Association executives and some assembly members at Saltpond.
It was organised by the district directorate of education to brief the stakeholders on school mapping exercise conducted to seek information about schools in the district through data collection. Mr. Bart-Addison said information gathered indicated that 50 per cent of the children left school because their parents could not pay the school levies, 12.5 per cent left to work to support parents financially and 18.7 per cent dropped out because their parents could not care for them and therefore they had to fend for themselves.
Death of parents accounted for 6.5 per cent dropouts, whilst 2.5 per cent dropped out because of pregnancy.
The District Director said in responding to their future aspirations 64 per cent of the children showed willingness to continue with their schooling, whilst 36 per cent said they would not go back to school.
He said when the parents were contacted 42.5 per cent attributed their children out of school to their inability to pay their school levies, 15 per cent said they needed the children to work for them so that they could cater for the home, 10 per cent said their children were not clever at school so there was no need for the child to waste his or her time in school.
Mr. Bart-Addison said 72 per cent of the parents expressed the desire to send their children back to school, provided they could get help, while 28 per cent said they would not like the children to go back to school.
Forty-eight per cent of those who did not want their children to go back to school wanted them to help them in their work, 24 per cent said the children were dull so there was no need to waste money on them. Fifteen per cent said the children themselves were not interested in schooling so they could not force them, 10 per cent said they could not afford to send all their children to school, whilst three per cent said schooling was waste of time.