A total of 5,639 elementary and junior-high school students in the country dropped out of school last year for various lengths of time, 500 more than in 2009, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Education.
Of those dropping out of the nation’s nine-year compulsory education system, 87.52 percent, or 4,935, were junior-high school students, while 12.48 percent, or 704, were elementary school students, the ministry said.
According to ministry figures, 3,124 of the dropouts were boys and 2,515 were girls. A total of 4,767 of the dropouts eventually returned to school.
New Taipei City (新北市) had the most students who dropped out, followed by Taoyuan County, Greater Kaohsiung, Greater Taichung and Taipei City.
Taitung County had the highest percentage of dropouts, followed by Hualien County, New Taipei City, Keelung City and Hsinchu County.
The ministry found that 2,602 students dropped out because of “personal reasons,” 1,370 did so because of “family reasons,” and 686 did so because of “things that happened at school.”
The ministry said that students who attend class irregularly belong to a group deserving a “high degree of attention.”
If students are absent from school for three consecutive days, the school should post the case online, the ministry said.
When a school is unable to bring the student back, it should seek help from police authorities, but if a student cannot go to class because of family reasons, the school should request assistance from the social affairs department of the local government, the ministry said.