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School Dropouts

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Pretirose
Words 4310
Pages 18
BACKGROUND INFORMATION This case study is based on a former student of Nadi Muslim College.Due to confidentiality his real name will not be used in this project.Zoheb Ali, 16, has ditched school to work full time to assist his financially struggling family. He sells pineapples, watermelons and other local seasonal fruits by the roadside six days a week. Chatting away while expertly skinning and slicing succulent pineapples with a dangerously sharp-looking knife, Ali said he has been doing this work since he was 14.
Before he quit school, he was working only on weekends. Last year his parents gave him permission to start working full-time. “I did not like school and I wanted to make money to help my family,” he said, smiling. Ali’s father, who is a taxi driver, and his mother, a tailor at agarment factory, did not protest too hard when their son said he wanted to leave school and work. The family was struggling to make ends meet, and the extra income was much needed.

Observers believe that the situation of tens of thousands of poor families like Ali’s has become even more desperate since the global economic crisis struck in 2007. Such families are now forced to prematurely pull their children out of school and send them to work. Several other boys with similar stories to Ali are employed by the latter’s boss. Some, like 16-year-old Anzar Khan, along with his younger brother and sister, are still in school. But further hardships could force him and his siblings to follow in Zoheb’s footsteps.

Biman Prasad, an economics professor at the University of the South Pacific, said that despite having more than 95 percent of children in school, there are more children living in poverty and more of them engaged in child labour than before.

“The main reason why we see more students not being able to complete primary education is financial difficulties,” said Prasad.…...

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