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Title: An exploration of drop-in among students who are at risk of dropping out of lower secondary school in Eritrea
Author: Kamuli, Khabusi Emmanuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 6814
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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There is consensus about the potential of education to influence the lives of individuals and society. Governments and the international community try to harness the positive potential by promoting universal access to quality basic education through periodic global goals, constitutional guarantees, deliberate national policies and increased investments in education. However, despite the multiple imperatives, evidence from national education systems and the Global Education Monitoring Reports indicates that the number of school-aged out-of-school children (OOSC) continues to grow exponentially, especially in low-income fragile contexts. The most affected are children in their second decade of life. In this thesis I problematised the contradiction between imperatives to increase access to education and the rapid growth in OOSC numbers, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. I analysed existing data from the Eritrea Education Management Information System and then applied conceptual frameworks drawn from literature on OOSC (UNICEF & UNESCO, 2015); on risk (Hammond 2007; Rumberger & Lim 2008), motivation (Deci & Ryan 2004) and resilience (Masten & Powell, 2013; Schoon, 2006; Wright, 2013) to explore the phenomenon of drop-in among lower secondary school students who were considered by their schools to be at risk of dropping out of school. My position as an insider/outsider facilitated me to conduct complementary analysis of existing official documents from the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The key findings were that whereas the traditional EMIS provided information on basic education in general, it was not adept at accounting for all children of school age, particularly 'invisible' children (Carr-Hill, 2012; UNICEF, 2005) such as those in institutions including those offering non-education, children living on streets, working children, or those kept out of sight due to disabilities. The Eritrea EMIS had a blind spot for qualitative data, and consequently, it did not sufficiently document the risks faced by students nor the strategies by individual children and institutions to overcome those risks. In this thesis I argue that information, which is readily available at school and community level, can be collated and analysed to advance understandings on student flows and children's ability to enjoy their right to education. I also note that whereas existing frameworks for assessing risk, motivation and resilience are helpful, they only provide a partial understanding of the way those concepts operate within the fragile communities in sub-Saharan contexts, particularly in the way individual resilience underpins students' volition to drop into school. For example, external resilience frameworks tend to base on a single system of learning whereas the students in fragile contexts function in multiple concurrent learning systems. The thesis recommends ways in which EMIS can be strengthened to benefit from complementarities of qualitative and quantitative data to provide a more composite view of children's participation in schooling. It also makes suggestions on how drop-in can be nurtured into more sustainable participation in schooling for at-risk students in low-income contexts like Eritrea.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available