Why is it important to create a "guiding city"?

Adriana Dobritoiu,
Head of Primary Educational Department. Centrul Step by Step pentru Educatie si Dezvoltare Profesionala (Romania)

Awareness of Early School Leaving (ESL) phenomenon implications should be raised.
As everybody knows, a country's future depends largely on its young people and one of the headline targets of the European Commission is the reduction of the number of early school leavers to less than 10%. There are both personal and societal costs of dropping out. The loss of taxes, loss of production and the cost of assistance provided to dropouts make the problem of ESL an issue for every person/ taxpayer. The personal costs of dropping out include earning only half as much annual income as a high school graduate by the time prime working age is reached, while the likelihood of living in poverty is nearly three times higher for high school dropouts than for those who finished high school.
Some of the consequences of ESL as far as the young people themselves are concerned are:
(European Youth Forum 2007, GHK)
Within the European Union, the proportion of young non-EU citizens affected by early leaving from education and training is more than twice that of ‘nationals' (citizens of the reporting country), observes Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, in a press release.
Eurostat observes that a quarter (25.5%) of non-EU citizens aged 18-24 left education prematurely according to figures for 2014. Non-EU citizens are more than twice as likely to be early school leavers as nationals (10.2%). Yet, education is an important factor contributing to migrant integration into European society. It not only helps them in the labor market, but also contributes to migrants' active participation by communicating the culture and values of the societies they settle in.
High ESL rates can impact school and community climate; the consequences for the individual student can be enormous as dropping out has life-long impact. When a student drops out of school it is easy to blame the student for his or her school failures. Sometimes the student has neglected attendance and school work. Sometimes the school has not been responsive to the individual needs of the student. Sometimes school staff feel that the parents should have been more responsive to the school's efforts to help. While assigning blame for the unsuccessful student may feel good to the blamer, it doesn't address the most important problem: What strategies will help keep students in school or encourage students to return to school?

Designing Guiding Cities to focus on citizens' needs, will improve guidance and  the aim is to reduce ESL, therefore it is necessary to have a defined model to articulate better services and resources available in each community orientation and local context.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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