Research Publications

High school | Secondary school | Dropout | Gender | United Arab Emirates | Al Qasimi Foundation

Patterns and Perceptions in Male Secondary School Dropouts in the United Arab Emirates

Natasha Ridge, Samar Farah, Soha Shami
February 01, 2013

The impact of socioeconomic status, family, and school experiences on the school continuation decision has been well-documented in Western literature. To date, however, no empirical studies have been conducted on the Gulf region. Using a sample of 149 dropouts and 347 non-dropouts, this study is the first to apply a mixed-methods comparative design to explore the patterns and trends in male dropout rates across government schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Importantly, the study finds that the effect of teachers on a student's decision to stay in school can be as strong as family influences. Consistent with previous literature on other parts of the world, dropping out in the UAE is associated with low socio-economic background, poorly educated and/or uninvolved parents, and de-motivating school experiences marked by unsupportive teachers and disruptive peers.

The authors would like to acknowledge the generous support of Emirates Foundation for Youth Development who graciously funded this study. They appreciate their continued encouragement and dedication to the development of youth and education in the United Arab Emirates.

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