President’s Foundation study finds early school-leavers at high 20.4%

Early school-leavers in Malta well above EU average of 11.2%

Maltese early school-leavers double the EU average

At 20.4%, Malta’s rate of early school-leavers is well above the EU average of 11.2%, a report published today by the National Observatory for Living with Dignity, part of the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society.

Early school-leavers are aged 18-24 and are neither in education nor in training or apprenticeship and, in the case of Malta, someone who also fails to obtain five SEC exams at grades 1-7.

A 20.4% the rate presents serious social and economic implications, but an optimistic prediction informed by a deceleration in the reduction of early school-leavers is that it will drop to 10% by 2025 – five years after the target year.

“Early school-leaving is one of the social indicators of poverty and social exclusion which seriously threatens the fundamental human right of living with dignity, and subsequently presents a significant obstacle when it comes to one’s wellbeing,” President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said.

“This problem also limits people in their life choices, and increases their risk of suffering from economic deprivation and social marginalisation. All of this has devastating effects on personal, communal and social wellbeing.”

Coleiro Preca said despite having strong links with poverty, the study also shows that early school-leaving is tied to poor and subjective evaluations in personal lives, less efficient functioning in everyday life, and frequent experiences of negative emotions.

“It is evident in this analysis that, generally, early school-leavers are less happy and satisfied in their lives, feel less optimistic about their future, and frequently experience social exclusion.” 

“We have a responsibility for all our children and therefore we must identify these reasons and offer the right support so that these children remain in the education system. Together, we can ensure the wellbeing of each individual child,” Coleiro Preca said.