Factors Predicting Achievement, Drop Out And High School Enrolment In A Sample Of Peruvian Rural Students Abstract

Santiago Cueto


The educational system in Peru has many challenges to conquer, among them providing student populations in high poverty areas with quality service. Rural students are one of the groups that represent an important challenge, because they often speak an indigenous language and study in classrooms that combine a wide variety of ages and grades under a single teacher. This study used a longitudinal design to follow a group of students in 20 public schools in two rural areas. The first measurements were carried out in 1998, when all the students where in fourth grade. Tests of reading comprehension and mathematics were administered at the end of the school year, and again in 2000. Background information included anthropometric measures, questionnaires for the students, teachers, and schools. We went back to the schools in 2001 to record the grade reached by the students. We found that 43% of the students were in high school, while 20% had dropped out; the rest had repeated a grade one or more times. Educational achievement in 2000 was best explained by achievement in 1998, but dropping out was not associated with achievement. Dropping out was associated with gender (women were more likely to drop out), age (older students were more likely to drop out), height for age (positive association) and not living with both parents. We found no in-school support programs for students that fall behind their peers or are at risk of dropping out. In a way we could describe the observed schools as "Darwinian" in the sense that it is expected that students will adapt to the school. The performance of Factores Predictivos del Rendimiento Escolar 3 students has no consequences for their teachers. In terms of policy implications, we suggest considering interventions that account for not only educational variables, but also other needs of the students and families that are served by these schools.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v12n35.2004

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