DISENGAGEMENT FROM EDUCATION AMONG ADOLESCENTS
One out of every ten teenagers of between sixteen and eighteen years old is either disengaged from education, professional training, or even employment (Verkuyten & Brug 2003). The period between the age of 11 and 17 is characterized by excessive stress. This is the period in which the youths experience puberty and start thinking in a significantly reasonable manner. It is during this stage that teenagers realize their capabilities and want to achieve considerably in terms of self-identity and how they express themselves. This is in an effort to become competent and develop self-esteem. They desire to excel independently and spent quality time with their peers. However, the youth need to work together with their parents and teachers to ensure that they manage the challenges involved effectively (Christenbury, 2009; Kristjiana & Sigrun, 2012). This proposal will analyze the issues and solutions to youth disengagement from education.
Disengagement in education is an issue that affects the adolescents, parents and teachers. This study targeted on adolescents aged between the ages of 11 and 17. It also involved parents and teachers whole deal with the adolescents. For a successful research, it is important to choose the right method of research that will provide the needed information. A wrong choice of research method can lead to in adequate results.
This study was based on individual discussions with students who are in school and those who dropped out. Parents and teachers were also engaged in discussions to find out the issues that affect the student’s performance in school. Questions asked in this study included: What level of education have you achieved so far? What level of education do you intended to reach? What are some of the challenges you face as a student? What are the other activities that you are engaged in apart from education? When compared to the rest of the activities, what activity gets the first priority? Does excellence in education make you proud? What does failure in studies mean to you? What would you do if you failed in your studies for more than two consecutive periods? What are some of the measures you take to encourage students to study as parents? What are some of the t6actics that can be used to motivate students? What discourges adolescent students from concentrating in their studies? What kind of relationship do you have with your adolescent son/ daughter? Have you ever lacked school fees?
In this study, four categories of people between the ages of 11 and 17 who are engaged and disengaged from education were identified. In the first category, there were engaged people involved in their school activities and ready to pursue education, giving it their full attention. It encompassed fifty per cent of the young people. Secondly, there were those who were disengaged from school, yet they wished to pursue education. However, they often diverted their attention to other issues while at times skipping classes or even deferring their studies. This accounted for 32% of the young people. Another group was made up of young people who were in school, but did not have interest to pursue their education beyond high school. This was 10 per cent of the study population. The rest of the group was made up of people who did not like school. They opted to concentrate on other capabilities that could earn them a source of livelihood in the future. The young people with the greatest risk of disengagement were found to have poor relationships between their parents and teachers. Others had disadvantaged backgrounds that made accessing resources difficulty (Drennon-Gala, 1995).
More than a fifth of all youths have been estimated to be disengaged from education (Ross, 2009). The adolescents experience a period of rapid change, and this may affect their mental health if they lack adequate attention and support. They should have trusting and caring relationships between them and their parents, as well as teachers who support them in their school work. Offering them opportunities to develop their identities and self-expression builds their competence. They develop a great self-esteem that further promotes their achievement in education and personal development. It is expected that the young people will desire to attend school and reach up to college education level (Arbuckle & Herrick, 2005). This is the least level of education that can assure them decent employment and financial independence. However, this level of education is not attained easily by all young people due to a number of challenges. These include economic strain, ethnic minority issues, poor reading skills, or even an environment that diverts attention from education. Such shortcomings may result to stress, and parents and teachers need to work with the young people to ensure that they achieve their educational goals (Verkuyten & Brug, 2003; Remschmidt, 2007).
` The passion for education can be instilled early in life by parents. This helps in reducing the chances of disengagement. When the young people enroll in school early in life, they may lose interest in the school system. Therefore, it is necessary for parents to guide the children and instill in them the need for education. This way, the children will grow up while valuing education and desire to study up to the highest levels. The current systems’ policies understand young people as all round learners. They have focused on a preventive approach in which they identify the causes of disengagement and tackle them before they affect learners. This is easier than addressing consequences of disengagement (McNeely, Nonnemaker & Blum, 2002). Parents also determine the environment in which the young ones grow. They should ensure that the people around their children motivate them to pursue education. Therefore, early intervention ensures that children focus on education and develop long term plans for education (Collishaw, et al, 2004).
Establishing a good relationship with the stakeholders is an important aspect in ensuring a successful implementation of the project. It is necessary to identify their influence and the roles that they play to ensure that a good approach is given in the implementation of this project (Rad, & Levin, 2006). The main stakeholders in this project are the parents and the teachers of the adolescence students. The people involved in planning and laying out policies on the education system also determine the quality of education that the young ones can access. An interactive session with the stakeholders will be the first step of ensuring that they understand the importance of the project. It will also familiarize the team with one another to provide a good working environment. The teachers will work closely work with the students to encourage them to present their concerns about the education that they receive. Parents will also facilitate the adherence to the recommended exercises by the students to ensure that they take part in the project. The policy makers will educate the community on the relevance of this project to the adolescents (Hudley & Gottfried, 2008; Ross, 2009).
Many organizations and institutions are willing to work with the youth as a form of corporate responsibility. Structural programs that protect the young people against deviance encourage organizations to participate in these exercises. This study will seek partnership from youth based groups and non governmental organizations that deal with the youth. Schools and colleges will also be involved since this is where the adolescents spent the most part of their days. These partners will work with the youth and the community to ensure that they are informed on the importance of this project in their lives (Rad, & Levin, 2006). Parenting and the home-school relationships are also determinant factors that determine the connection between the youth and the education institutions (Sodha & Guglielmi, n.d). To ensure that the partnership is effective, the partners will be involved in the student activities and meetings will be held regularly. This will keep the partners informed of the progress and will also give the partners an opportunity to play their role in the project. Once the project is complete and successful, the partnership will also come to an end.
The changes that occur in a young person’s reasoning and view of life can affect them mentally. Disengagement from education is one of the consequences that can occur if these changes are not managed well. The young person reasons differently and is determined to excel in life. This is especially in academic work. Failure to achieve success can damage the self-esteem of a young person. Therefore, it is recommended that parents and teachers should establish close relationships with young people and support them during this period. The young individuals develop their self-esteem and are encouraged to maximize their potential in education when they work in conjunction with teachers and parents. Such close relationships encourage healthy mental development and reduce the chances of disengagement in education.
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