Subject Material

Dropouts – a Growing Problem in the Western World

Published: 02.06.2009, Updated: 24.10.2011

Pre-reading activity
Do you know anyone who has quit school without finishing their education?

Bored of school?

Have you ever been so bored of school that you have considered quitting? Have you more than once thought that it would be wise to do something else than school? If these thoughts have crossed your mind, you are surely not the only one. Pupils leaving school before they finish their education are today a growing problem in the Western world, and the drop out rate is increasing dramatically.


Fotograf: Henry Romero
There are, however, negative consequences of quitting school before you have finished your education. Today’s society demands skilled professionals to a much greater extent than only 30 years ago and young people without an education will have fewer opportunities on the job market since most employers require that their employees have formal education. Young people without an education often have problems finding a job and sometimes they end up with a job that they find boring and without challenges. In addition, people without an education will in the long run often have trouble finding a job which is secure or well-paid.


The consequences of leaving school could also be worse. Some drop outs do not find a job at all and are therefore trapped in unemployment. The problems caused by unemployment can again be dramatic. Lack of money, and in the worst cases poverty, can be the result of unemployment. Pupils who leave school may also lose the daily company of their friends and some find themselves trapped in loneliness and despair.



  1. What are some of the reasons why teenagers drop out of school?
  2. How do you think their fellow students react to other students dropping out? Are they envious, worried etc?
  3. What are some of the likely short term and long term consequences of dropping out
  4. How can school change to prevent people form dropping out?
  5. Do you believe that Norway differs form other Western countries when it comes to pupils quitting school?

Video: Government Drive to Keep Teens in School

Watch this video and write a text in which you sum up what the government initiative is all about. Make sure you include some of the statements that are made in the interviews.

Finally include a paragraph or two where you share your views on a good school.