Good news: Canada's high-school dropout rates are falling (2006)

Lessons in Learning – December 16, 2005

While much progress has been made across Canada in reducing the high-school dropout rate, the progress is much slower among certain groups, including Aboriginal students, those in rural areas, and young men. The authors of this article examine what is known about factors affecting high-school completion, and look at ways to encourage all students to complete high school.

They note that case studies of Australian educational programs that have succeeded in retaining Aboriginal students have isolated a number of factors critical to their success, including community-based education and training; community relevance; a commitment to Aboriginal employment; and the balancing of expectations from two cultures.

Students in rural and isolated communities may see limited returns for their investment in education. Rural schools need to make special efforts to convince students of the long-term value of education, the authors note, pointing to programs that help schools partner with local industries to create school-to-work initiatives.

Male students may be more inclined to stay in school if they can see a direct connection between schooling and near-term employment opportunities. School-to-work programs, including co-operative education and apprenticeships, are extremely valuable in this regard.

The authors note that while young men are more likely overall to drop out, many young women drop out because they are pregnant. Programs that enable young women to continue their education while caring for their children remain important. Making child care available to student mothers provides these young women with opportunities to stay in school until graduation; learn effective parenting skills from child-care professionals; and consider postsecondary educational opportunities.

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APA citation
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). Good news: Canada's high-school dropout rates are falling 2006. Web. 2 Feb. 2023 <>
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) (2006). Good news: Canada's high-school dropout rates are falling. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from
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