School Dropouts in Sri Lanka A Sociological Analysis

M. A. N. R. Perera


Education is a human right of nations, wealth of nations, and the might ofnations ever in the world. Therefore, every country is obliged to protect this right. Manycountries have included this right in their constitutions and also are practicing throughtheir socio economic and cultural policies. Since independence, Sri Lankangovernments, in their development efforts, have taken many progressive steps toimprove education. As a result, the country has gained admirable achievements ineducation such as higher literacy rate i.e. 92% for adults and 97% for youths. Yet, it isimpossible to evaluate the prevailing education system as “extremely well” due to somedrawbacks among which “school dropout” is a serious issue. The objective of this studyis to analyze the problem of school dropout in Sri Lanka from a sociological point ofview. Secondary data gathered through available literature was used for the study.Sociological theories and concepts were applied to identify causes for the schooldropouts.

In 2009, over 45,000 students dropped out of schooling. It is serious in plantationsector as 20% per year. Furthermore, boys‟ dropout rate is higher than girls. Lack offacilities, socio-economic deprivations have been hurdles for education in lower classfamilies. At the same time, this study mainly argues that as socio-cultural changes aresevere in present society, a complex set of factors associated with the family context hasmainly contributed to this problem in many families rather than poverty and lack offacilities.

Keywords: Education, School Dropout, Socio-cultural Changes, Socio-economicDeprivation

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