In the 2014/2015 school year, 45 students from the “Eqrem Çabej” gymnasium in Vushtrri dropped out of school. This school has around 1,500 students.
A direct reason why all these students dropped out of school was the massive migration of the Kosovars toward western countries at that time.
“But most of them returned as ‘repatriated pupils,’” Qendrim Uka, head of “Lëvizja Koha” NGO says. The purpose of this NGO is to increase the level of practical work in the municipality of Vushtrri.
Apart from the drastic example from some years ago, the rate of students dropping out of primary and secondary school in Vushtrri in general does not differ much from other towns.
Enver Bajrami, spokesman of the Department of Education at the Municipality of Vushtrri, says that during 2017 only, 29 students dropped out of high school, whereas only one dropped out of primary school.
The representative of the NGO “Këshilli i Veprimit Rinor Lokal” in Vushtrri, Drita Dibrani, mentions some reasons for dropping out of school.
“Youth leave school due to economic conditions and parents’ lack of awareness to educate their children. However, we at the Local Council of Youth Acting will try hard to succeed at preventing school-dropping by our youth,” Dibrani says.
The Department for Education, according to the spokesman Bajrami, tries to convince those who drop out of school to get back to it, by talking to them and their parents.
“Each school has its team against school-dropping. At the same time, we have a team at the municipal level. Its tasks are to try to solve this problem. In case they cannot do it, they report it to us. After that, we meet and take initiatives: we visit that family and try to find a solution to get those children back to school. Last week there were two girls in one of the primary schools whom we convinced to get back to school,” he says.
There are several reasons for dropping out of school. Last year, a girl left Eçrem Çabej gymnasium in order to get married.
“Her parents came and asked for her. We were obliged to call the police, and then they interrogated her friends. After finding out where the girl was, we found out the reason why she left school,” the principal of this gymnasium, Xhevat Lahu, says.
The school which he leads had prevented a girl dropping out of school by paying her monthly travel ticket. Her family was living on social assistance and they could not afford that expense.
Milazim Hyseni, principal at “Ali Kelmendi” primary school in Vushtrri, emphasizes that in this school also there are cases of dropping out of school, even though economic conditions are not necessarily the cause.
“He (the student) had disabilities and decided to quit school. There is a special classroom with 13 pupils at our school, but the student we are talking about had other members in the family who had problems of this kind also,” Hyseni says.
By the end of last year, in the first semester, a pupil of the same school dropped out of school.
“Since the beginning of the first grade he did not attend school regularly, but somehow managed to pass the grade. He did not have any health problems or economic problems in his family. We contacted his family and talked to them, but we could not convince the pupil to get back to school,” says his teacher, Ardita Luta Bajrami.
E.G., a 17-year-old from Vushtrri who wanted to remain anonymous, says that a year ago he decided to stop attending the High Professional School, Department of Economy, because he had to work. He has two sisters who are students and his father only worked during summer for an asphalt company.
“I started only as a practice, but after two months of practice I received my first salary. I covered some family expenses with my salary and due to numerous absences I was forced to quit school,” says E.G., who currently works as a barber.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) in Kosovo asserts that in 2016/17 school year, 247,824 pupils attended primary school. Whereas, 86,447 pupils attended high school.
The percentage of the pupils who during this school year (2016/17) dropped out of primary school is 0.01, whereas the percentage of those who dropped out of high school is 1.6.
The percentage of those who drop out of primary school and high school is 0.4% lower compared to the previous school year.