This paper examines the issue of school dropout in six communities in the Savelugu-Nanton District in the Northern Region of Ghana. The study focused on 89 children (64 boys and 25 girls) aged 7-16 years, who had dropped out of school. A snowballing sampling method was employed to recruit participants to the study. Two researchers interviewed the children using semi-structured interview schedules over a period of three weeks. School dropouts were asked to tell their own stories about their schooling experiences and the factors which led to them leaving school. From their accounts dropping out of school appears to be the result of a series of events involving a range of interrelated factors, rather than a single factor. The complex nature of the processes leading to dropout demands input from various actors (i.e. teachers, head teachers, parent-teacher associations, school management committees and community members) to detect and address at-risk factors early in order to reduce the likelihood of dropout.
Comparative Education (2009) 45 (2) 219-232 [doi: 10.1080/03050060902920625]