Nikolaos Bitsakos


The following study explores the phenomenon of early school leaving and related prevention strategies, focusing on the region of Crete, an island in Greece which has high early school leaving rates. This is a qualitative research focused on the opinions and attitudes of the elementary and secondary school units’ directors. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted, showing the interviewees’ opinions about the reasons students leave school in this specific district, the applied prevention measures, and their evaluation. It is noted that the frequency of early school leaving in the local high schools and lyceums is high, while in the elementary schools it is low, which is mainly caused by the students’ decision to enter the job market, help their family agricultural business, and create a family of their own or get married -especially the female students. Furthermore, participants state that they apply certain prevention measures, which include regular communication with the close family circle and with students at risk. Finally, they state that the effectiveness of the measures implemented depends - to a large extent - on the funding provided to schools, mainly as recruitment of specialized staff.


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early school leaving; prevention policies; school directors’ insights

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