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UNRWA school dropout: an agency wide study

Hampden-Thompson, Gillian



This report presents the findings of an agency wide study of drop out of students in UNRWA schools, both at elementary and preparatory levels. The study was undertaken by UNRWA educationalists in the five Fields of its operation, led by the Education Department, HQ, in 2011/2012. The sample relates to 170 schools across the five Fields. Analysis of the data was carried out by the University of York, UK and the American Institutes for Research in Washington, with the active engagement of the UNRWA team. The study explores the reasons behind UNRWA student drop out from the perspective of students themselves, their parents and the teachers. The purpose of the research was to better understand what causes children to drop out, or as it is referred to in the report, fade out (Hampden, G, 2013). Such understanding will better enable schools and teachers to identify 'warning signs' and 'risk factors' so that preventative and support mechanisms can be put in place. Key findings of the study point to the need to address students? perception of their own academic underachievement, a stated lack of interest in school and fear of exams. It also highlights the importance of engagement of parents (or carers) in their child's learning and ensuring their completion of schooling. For the UNRWA education system as a whole, the findings suggest the need to consider the role of student grade repetition, as the study shows that a child who has repeated a grade is ten times more likely to drop out of schooling than a child who has not. Overall this research, and its findings, make a valuable contribution to UNRWAs ongoing strive for quality, evidenced based education for all children in all schools. It also contributes to the wider discourse and our understanding of what the report describes as an enduring world issue.


Hampden-Thompson, G. (2013). UNRWA school dropout: an agency wide study. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Report Type Technical Report
Publication Date 2013
Deposit Date Sep 11, 2023
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