Fewer students do not complete their secondary school education. In the last five years, the proportion of dropouts has hovered below 1 per cent compared to 4 per cent in 2000.
Similarly, fewer are dropping out of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Hawazi Daipi said in his reply to Mr Alex Yam (Chua Chu Kang GRC).
Of the 25 per cent of a Primary 1 cohort that goes to ITE, 80 per cent graduate with a full certificate.
Most dropouts quit because of a "complex interplay of several factors", including difficult personal and family circumstances and negative peer influence, Mr Hawazi said.
To minimise the dropout rate, schools provide pastoral care and career guidance, as well as track students who are at risk of dropping out. One preventive measure he cited is the time-out programme, which takes students out of regular classes and provides them with customised projects to rekindle their desire to learn.
ITE too has several preventive programmes, including counselling support and a more flexible curriculum.
"This prepares students for a cluster of related careers to keep them interested, even if they are not able to enrol in their first-choice course," he added.
This article was published on April 15 in The Straits Times.
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