Dropout rate by grade

Definition

Proportion of pupils from a cohort enrolled in a given grade at a given school year who are no longer enrolled in the following school year.

Calculation method

Dropout rate by grade is calculated by subtracting the sum of promotion rate and repetition rate from 100. For cumulative dropout rate in primary education, it is calculated by subtracting the survival rate from 100 at a given grade (see survival rate).

Data required

Enrolment by grade for school year t and enrolment and number of repeaters by grade for year t+1.

Data source

School register, school survey or census for data on enrolment and repeaters by grade.

Interpretation

Ideally, the rate should approach 0%; a high dropout rate reveals problems in the internal efficiency of the educational system. By comparing rates across grades, it is possible to identify those which require greater policy emphasis.

Limitations

The level and maximum number of grade repetitions allowed can in some cases be determined by the educational authorities with the aim of coping with limited grade capacity and increasing the internal efficiency and flow of pupils (or students). Care should be taken in interpreting this indicator, especially when comparing education systems.

Purpose

To measure the phenomenon of pupils from a cohort leaving school without completion, and its effect on the internal efficiency of educational systems. In addition, it is one of the key indicators for analysing and projecting pupil flows from grade to grade within the educational cycle.

Quality standards

Like other pupil-flow rates (promotion and repetition rates), the dropout rate is derived by analysing data on enrolment and repeaters by grade for two consecutive years. One should therefore ensure that such data are consistent in terms of coverage over time and across grades. Special attention should also be paid to minimizing some common errors which may bias these flow-rates, such as: Over-reporting enrolment/repeaters (particularly in grade one); incorrect distinction between new entrants and repeaters; transfers of pupils between grades and schools.

Types of disaggregation

By grade and by sex.