The early school leaving rate fell to 13.3% in 2021, the lowest rate in history




The Active Population Survey published on Thursday reveals that the early educational leaving in 2021 reached its lowest figure Since there are records with a 13.3% of people aged 18 to 24 who had not completed the second stage of Secondary Education (VET Intermediate, Basic or Baccalaureate) and were not following any type of training. It’s about a drop of 2.7 points (17%) in this rate compared to the previous year, equaling the largest drop since 2000 in percentage points and the largest as a percentage of variation.

Since 2011, the early dropout rate in Spain has decreased by 13 points, from 26.3% to 13.3%, almost halving. Despite the fact that the decrease was greater among men (14.3 points) than among women (11.8 points), the difference between both groups is still very significant, with 16.7% and 9.7 % abandonment, respectively.

In other words, male early leaving is 72% higher than that of women.

These data demonstrate “the LOE reformed by the LOMCE was giving positive results and that the decision to approve the LOMLOE was purely ideological and political, not based on evidence,” says Luis Centeno, deputy general secretary of Catholic Schools. For Centeno, the LOMLOE “is an example of how education is used as a pure political weapon, to the detriment of the educational community and, especially, of the students.”

In another sense, they also give an account of the situation of recent years, since “in times of pandemic, young people continue studying because there are not many opportunities to find a good job, because young people are increasingly aware that having training it is important in a complicated economic situation and also that there has been an increase in the offer and quality of VT”, explains Ismael Sanz, vice-rector for quality at the Rey Juan Carlos University and an expert in Education. It has also influenced, he explains, the flexibility of promotion, “which has meant that some students who in other circumstances would have dropped out of school, continue in the classroom.” Flexibility in the short term is not bad, Sanz insists, “the problem is when the promotion continues to be made more flexible for several more years.”

More higher education

The 2.7 point drop in early school leaving and training in 2021 compared to 2020 is associated with a 3.5 point increase in the percentage of the population of these ages that has reached ISCED level 3 ( equivalent to the second stage of Secondary).

The significant increase in the level of training of the young population in the last decade, key in the significant reduction in early school leaving, is also reflected through the evolution of the percentage of the population of 20-24 years old who have reached at least the second stage level of Secondary. In 2021 this indicator stands at 78.8%, 16.8 percentage points more than in 2011 (62%) and increasingly closer to the European average (84.3% in 2020).

Refering to Higher education, the EPA indicates that 48.7% of the population aged 25 to 34 has reached this level, 1.3 points more than the previous year and clearly above the European average for 2020 (40.5%). Women stand out in this category, with a rate of 54.4%, well above that of men, at 43.1%. It should be noted that in the last year this rate has grown by 1.8 points for men.

Finally, the indicator permanent education of the adult population shows a very significant growth. In 2021, 14.4% of people aged 25 to 64 had followed some type of training in the last four weeks, a 31% percentage change compared to the figure for the previous year, 11%.

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