An exploratory study of education policy and school dropout in Bhutan
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 09:23 authored by Gyamtsho, S
This thesis examined school dropout in Bhutan in relation to macro-level policy (macro-level policy is policy which affects the whole country) and systemic programmes. An exploratory approach was necessary to appreciate the increase in school dropout in Bhutan. School dropout may appear small in number but its consequences are devastating, diminishing opportunities for personal success, employment and social integration. It is also likely to be associated with antisocial behaviours (substance abuse, criminal activities and misdemeanours). This study explored school dropout as it is becoming a growing problem in Bhutan, with students increasingly dropping out of school. The focus on school dropout so far has been primarily focused at a micro level, in terms of capturing the voices of teachers, students, school leaders, parental perspectives, but very little is known from the perspectives of the policy makers and/or Cabinet Ministries. The aim of this study was to conduct an exploratory study to capture the voices of the current Cabinet Ministers in terms of what explains school dropouts. A study of this nature was necessary as it provided macro level insights into how policy and governmental directives directly or indirectly came to influence student retention. Findings from the study revealed that the five Cabinet ministers with responsibilities that intersected with the issues of school dropout and who were the informants in this study believed the factors that contributed to dropout in Bhutan were socio-economic status (SES), absolute poverty, family and poor academic achievement. These findings can assist in formulating macro level policy which can impact system-wide practice in improving student retention.
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