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Poland has one of the lowest rates of early school leavers in the European Union. Since 2006 the percentage of early school leavers did not exceed 5.7% and since 2012 a steady decline in the number of early school leavers can be observed (5% in 2017). The National target for Poland to be reached in 2020 is 4.5%.
In Polish legislation there is no separate strategic document devoted exclusively to the problem of early school leaving, however this issue is tackled in the Strategy of Human Capital Development 2020 (Strategia Rozwoju Kapitału Ludzkiego 2020) as well as in the Lifelong Learning Strategy (Perspektywa uczenia się przez całe życie) as preventing early school leaving needs coordinated actions of several areas: education, social policy, economy and health.
As far as early school leaving is concerned, the Strategy of Human Capital Development lists three main goals:
- preventing early school leaving from early childhood
- early stage identification of young people at risk of early school leaving
- compensating early school leavers and providing them with appropriate assistance
The strategy also lists the main threats that may contribute to early school leaving, such as for example:
- insufficient support for young people at early stages of education combined with lack of cooperation between the school and the parents
- difficult situation of multi-children families
- education and training insufficiently supporting the development of key competences necessary in social and professional life
- employers insufficiently involved in the process of formal learning
- low esteem and popularity of vocational education and training
- lost potential of the young generation (especially in the field of youth entrepreneurship)
- insufficient level of employment of disabled young people (caused by obstacles in accessing to education, training and support measures)
Strategy of Human Capital Development 2020 (Strategia Rozwoju Kapitału Ludzkiego 2020) proposes the following measures with regards to formal education system:
- putting more stress on key competences acquisition in the formal education system;
- supporting the development of digital competences and skills;
- modersnisation of external examination system in order to adjust them to the new curriculum;
- providing more individual approach in teaching, especially in teaching extraordinarily gifted pupils and students;
- developing and promotion of vocational education and training;
- creating the new model of teachers’ training;
- increasing the prestige of teaching professions, enhancing teachers’ efficiency and providing measures to keep the best teachers;
- introducing new system of schools’ support and teaching quality system.
Strategy of Human Capital Development 2020 (Strategia Rozwoju Kapitału Ludzkiego 2020) proposes the following measures with regards to non-formal education:
- enhanced cooperation between schools, parents and social partners
- extra-curricular classes development
- better adjustment of vocational education and training to the needs of the labour market
- better training of teachers
- promotion of adult learning and on the job learning
- development of national system for qualification and competence validation (coherent with ECVET and ECTS)
- supporting the use of digital tools in education and training
- support for evidence-based educational policy
- promoting entrepreneurship among young people
Strategy of Human Capital Development 2020 (Strategia Rozwoju Kapitału Ludzkiego 2020) is implemented at the national level. With respect to young people, the ministries involved are the following: Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Science and Higher Education. It also involves actively schools at all levels and Voluntary Labour Corps.
The regional strategies are developed by the local authorities.
The main tool of monitoring the phenomenon of early school leaving in Poland is the Education information system (System Informacji Oświatowej).