Costa Rica: School Desertion and Repetition 1995

In March 1995, CIET conducted a study of risk factors of school drop-out and repetition among 1,694 children between the ages of six to 12 years from 1,068 households in the province of Puriscal. The household survey was then linked with the characteristics of schools which the child attended the previous year, and with information on their teachers. A cluster sample, stratified by district, was used. Of those admitted to school, one out of ten repeat the year, mainly the first grade (40%). The study revealed eight risk factors for repetition: having more than four siblings, having an illiterate household head, having household heads who are below 20 years of age, absence of educational materials at home, children with academic performance below 70 (out of 100%), having temporary teachers, and school size (more than 500 students). Two to three of every hundred students drop out of school (half of those drop-outs occur during first grade). Ten risk factors for dropping out were identified, some the same as for repetition. Others were: household head other than the father, no pre-schooling education, having to help with domestic work, being in schools with a single teacher, schools with a single classroom and school without recreational areas.