For a long time, Early School Leaving (ESL) has been one of the matters on which several investigations have been made in international background and especially in European Union. To prevent ESL in EU countries, some radical precautions have been taken, and dropping the ESL rate has become one of the 2020 targets of European Union as mentioned in Education and Training in Europe 2020 (ET 2020). According to ET 2020, one of the education targets of EU by 2020 is to reduce the rates of young people leaving education and training with no more than secondary education to below 10 % and according to Country- Specific Recommendations (CSRs) in the area of education, prevention, intervention and compensation requirements will be implemented.
The general ESL rate of European Union Countries is 12.7 %. The ESL rate in Turkey is 39.6 % and that is comparatively high when compared to EU target (European Commission; Reducing Early School Leaving: Key Messages and Policy Support, Final Report of the Thematic Working Group on Early School Leaving, November 2013). With the rate of 24.9 %, Spain has the most ESL rate among the candidate countries of EU. In Greece this rate is around 11.4 % which is close to EU target but above the national target. In Germany this rate is 10.5 % which is around the desired level of EU and national target (ET 2020). Germany is one of the most successful countries that can deal with ESL in EU. Depending on these data, Germany will have crucial role in transferring good implementation process dealing with ESL to others.
One of the main reasons of ESL, according to “EU Final Report of the Thematic Working Group on ESL” is school absenteeism. School absenteeism is a threatening concern since students who do not share any social activities with their peers and grow in a socially excluded area in consequence of not attending the school, turn into troublemakers who are not eager to take any responsibilities. Moreover, it is highly probable that those students will constitute the high percentage of criminal rates of their nations.
On condition that student absenteeism is prevented or decreased to the minimum level, it will make a significant contribution to the welfare of the country as individuals far away from drug abuse and troubles and to the economy of the country as productive individuals which corresponds to Europe 2020: Europe’s Growth Strategy report which emphasizes the importance of employment levels; “Every year, 6 million young Europeans leave school with at best a lower secondary education. This currently represents 14 % of 18–24-year-olds, which in turn fuels high levels of youth unemployment. This is why the European Commission is trying to boost graduate numbers”.
In the light of explanations above, the main aim of the Project is to find international solutions to be used for diminishment of absenteeism, and also to identify the reasons of Student Absenteeism by preparing and conducting an “Student Absenteeism Survey” to target group which are the formal students of secondary education mostly between the ages 14-18 and these students will be chosen from the schools which are defined by the partners as implementation area. In accordance with the results of this survey, an Individual Solution Module for Absenteeism (ISMA) will be developed to make personally identifiable approaches and solutions to the factors that keep away the student from school and also an “ISMA Pathway” will be generated as a data pool. The counsellors will be trained by experts to create new content which will enable students to think about their career in a better way. To make the outcomes of this project more accessible, an online platform will be established and with the help of this platform, individuals will be able to get online support from the experts and they will be directed to right persons who are related to their problems. In addition to these, Theatre Pedagogy will be developed which will address to the subconscious of students about the disadvantages of SARESLE and this will be translated all the languages of the partner countries. And finally, each partner will write an academic article making national and international comparisons using ISMA Pathway to bring new methods to academy world with the aim of training more equipped educators of forthcoming years.
SARESLE is not just a local or regional or national problem, but an international one. EU’s reports and strategy plans about “Tackling Early School Leaving” which takes place in ET 2020 shows that this is the problem of most of EU Countries and nations are gathering to deal with this problem in an effective way rather than acting nationally. Also having a partner like Germany which has almost reached the EU target for ESL will offer an insight as a good example to the countries that have difficulty in preventing SARESLE.