Major factors contributing to boys dropping out of secondary schools

Viola Mapani, John Mushaandja



This article reports the factors which contribute to boys dropping out of secondary schools in Namibia and other countries of the world. On average male students drop out of school in greater numbers than female students. Major factors that contribute to boys dropping out of school are: poor parental support in both academic and social lives of boys, failure on the part of boys to value and appreciate education, and the influence of peers. Another factor that influences boys to leave school early is financial difficulties of families. This factor drives boys to seek employment to supplement family income.

Full Text:



Ananga, E. (2011). Dropping out of school in Southern Ghana: The push-out and pull-out factors. Research Monograph No. 55. Retrieved from

Askew, S. and Ross, C. (1988). Boys Don’t Cry: Boys and sexism in education. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Beekhoven, S. & Dekkers, H. P. J. M. (2005). The influence of participation, identification and parental resources on the early school leaving of boys in the lower educational track. European Educational Research Journal, 4 (3), pp. 195-207.

Brett, R. & Specht, I. (2004). Young soldiers: Why they choose to fight. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Cardoso, A. R. and Verner, D. (2006). School drop-out and push-out factors in Brazil: The role of early parenthood, child labour and poverty. IZA Discussion papers 2515, Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA). Retrieved from

Chipita, J. T. (2007). Current macroeconomic framework, challenges and alternatives for the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Retrieved from

De Vos, A. (2002). Research at grass roots (2nd ed.). Pretoria: Van Shaick Publishers.

Dunne, M., Humphreys, S. & Leach, F. (2006). Gender violence in schools in the developing world. Gender and Education, 18 (1), pp. 75-98.

European Commission. (2010). Reducing early school leaving: Accompanying document to the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving. Brussels: SEC. Retrieved from

Gurian, M. and Stevens, K. (2005). The minds of boys: Saving our sons from falling behind in school and life. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Hammond, C., Linton, D., Smink, J. & Drew, S. (2007). Dropout risk factors and exemplary programs: A technical report. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center, Communities in Schools, Inc.

Hillman, A. L. and Jenker, E. (2004). Educating children in poor countries. Economic Issues No. 33. International Monetary Fund. Retried from

Humphreys, S. (2008). Gendering corporal punishment: Beyond the discourse of human rights. Gender and Education, 20(5), pp. 527 – 540.

Jackson, C. (2002). ‘Laddishness’ as a self-worth protection strategy. Gender and Education 14(1), pp. 37 – 51.

Jha, J. and Kelleher, F. (2006). Boys underachievement in education: An exploration in selected commonwealth countries. Retrieved from

Kane, J. (2006). School exclusions and Masculine, working class identities. Gender and Education, 18 (6), pp. 673 – 685.

McCready, L. T. (2009). Troubles of the black boys in urban schools in the United States: Black feminist and gay men’s perspectives. In W. Martino, M. Kehler, and M. B. Weaver-Hightower (Eds.). The problem with boys’ education. New York: Routledge.

Ministry of Education. (2003). EMIS: Education Statistics. Windhoek: MoE.

Ministry of Education. (2004). EMIS: Education Statistics. Windhoek: MoE.

Ministry of Education. (2005). EMIS: Education Statistics. Windhoek: MoE.

Ministry of Education. (2006). EMIS: Education Statistics. Windhoek: MoE.

Ministry of Education. (2007). EMIS: Education Statistics. Windhoek: MoE.

Mowes, D. L. (1997). A case study on factors which contribute towards learner dropout from secondary school in the Windhoek Region. Unpublished M. Ed thesis. Windhoek: Unam.

National Planning Commission. (2004). Namibia 2004 Millennium Development Goals Report. Windhoek: National Planning Commission.

Patrikakou, E. (2004). Adolescence: Are Parents Relevant to Students' High School Achievement and Post-Secondary Attainment? Retrieved from

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications.

Plank, S. B. and DeLuca, S. (2008). High school dropout and the role of career and technical education: A survival analysis of surviving high school. Sociology of Education, 81 (4) pp. 345 – 370.

Rankin, B. H. & Aytac, I. A. (2006). Gender inequality in schooling: The case of Turkey. Sociology of Education, 79 (1), pp. 25-45.

Rayment, T. (2006). Managing Boys’ Behavior. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Rumberger, R. W. (2001). Who drops out of school and why? Paper prepared for the National Research Council, Committee on Educational Excellence and Testing Equity Workshop, Washington, D. C., July 17-18, 2000.

Sax, L. (2007). Boys adrift: The five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. New York: Basic Books.

Scott-Jones, D. (2002). The complexities of gender and other status variables in studies of schooling. Human Development, 45 (1), pp. 54-60.

Sendabo, T. (2004). Child soldiers. Uppsala: Life and Peace Institute.

Shaningwa, S. (2009, September 10). Profile: Khomas Region. New Era, p. 4.

Silova, I. and Magno, C. (2004). Gender equity unmasked: Democracy, gender, and education in Central/Southeastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Comparative review, 48(4), pp. 417 – 443.

Slade, M. and Trent, F. (2000). What are boys saying. An examination of views about declining rates of achievement and retention. International Education Journal, 1 (3), pp. 201-229.

The World Bank and UNICEF. (2009). Abolishing school fees in Africa: Lessons from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique. Washington: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


UNICEF. (2004). The state of the world’s children 2004. What about boys Retrieved from

Weaver-Hightower, M. (2003). “The ‘boy turn’ in research on gender and education.†Review of Educational Research, 73(4), pp. 471 – 498.


  • There are currently no refbacks.