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School success and failure

marzo 31, 2021

If we put more emphasis on analyzing school successes, that is, on what works, and dedicating changes of direction, budgets and media attention to achievements, it will create a favorable dynamic to drive changes to reduce failure .

School success and failure is the double reading of a key indicator of the health of the education system. This monograph describes synthetically that this indicator includes but, in general, we already know that the Spanish reality is not very promising.

Although, for the most part, the universal educational system prepares the country’s young people, sometimes in difficult conditions, there is an excessively high percentage of boys and girls who, once they have finished their stay in school – compulsory, by the way -, have not obtained completely a minimum preparation that allows them to live autonomously in society, find a job, organize independently and behave in a civic, responsible and tolerant way.

School failure therefore goes beyond school performance – grades – and suggests something more worrying: A part of the young population enters the adult world with inferior conditions and with a high probability of having other failures in the workplace and civic.

The responses to the magnitude of the tragedy are multidimensional. In this same monograph, improvement strategies are provided in the pedagogical field and learning techniques, in the organizational field of the centers and governments, in the information available for evaluation. And I add, the social dimension.

By social dimension of the fight against school failure, I understand public awareness of the problem. Of the young people in the first place and of their families. It is a cultural question that has to do with the meaning of life and attitudes towards things that have to do with constant effort and progression throughout life versus spurious success, the lottery or the ball.

When society stops underestimating the importance of this factor, politics will probably incorporate the issue of failure as a weapon but will take more concrete measures.
It is clear that the issue includes so many dimensions that it cannot be attacked from just one side. It is also clear that true determination is lacking, in the sense that some measures may require efforts in other ways, such as in the policy of selection and training of teachers or in the definition of the role that the school has to play in the integration of the immigration, to put two completely different situations.

My feeling is that if we put more emphasis on analyzing school successes, that is, on what works, and dedicate changes of direction, budgets and attention to achievement, it will create a favorable dynamic to drive changes for reduce failure.

I put just one example. We scientifically know that more and better professional training reduces the chances of unemployment and improves the professional career of a young worker without studies. Let’s value it and divulge it. Let us facilitate professional training for those who have not had or have known how to take advantage of the opportunities at the time.

Enric Renau