50% of Portuguese between 25 and 64 did not complete secondary school

in News · 27-03-2020 01:00:00 · 4 Comments

Half of Portuguese between 25 and 64 years of age have not completed secondary school and despite the fact that fewer and fewer young people drop out of school, the country continues to have one of the highest dropout rates in the European Union (EU).

According to data from 2018 revealed by Pordata, to mark the National Student Day, among the 27 countries that integrate the EU, Portugal has the highest value (50 percent) of the population of this age group without having completed the 12th year, following Malta, Spain, Italy and Greece.
Although, today, young people between 18 and 24 years old who drop out of school without completing secondary education are less and less - the figure dropped from 44 percent, in 2001, to 23 percent, in 2011, and to 10 percent, in 2019 - the rate of early abandonment is still among the highest in the EU.
However, more and more young people are choosing to pursue higher education: since the beginning of the 21st century, the percentage of people aged 30 to 34 with higher education has tripled from 11.6 percent in 2001 to 36.2 percent in 2019.
Even so, Portugal remains below the EU average (39 percent) in this indicator and in 2018 it was the third country to present the lowest value of graduates in this age group (33.5 percent), being above only Italy (27.8 percent) and Romania (24.6 percent).

At the top of the table, with more than half the population of this age group with university degrees are, in decreasing order, Lithuania, Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg and Sweden.
The data also indicate that one of the trends in the degree of higher education is the increase in the percentage of students enrolled in public universities: if in 1997 there were 36 percent of students in the private subsystem, today that figure is 18 percent.
Accompanying this trend is the decrease in the number of private higher education establishments: although private universities more than doubled between 1990 and 2001 (from 55 to 137), they have been decreasing and currently there are little more than a hundred (104).
The reverse trend is seen in the number of public schools at other levels of education, which has been decreasing in Portugal: in 2018 the country had 8,469 schools, half of which existed two decades ago.
However, while public schools went from almost 15,000 to less than 6,000, private schools maintained more or less constant values, varying between 2,500 and 3,000.
The study also concluded that the percentage of students who failed in 2018 decreased to at least half of the values of the late 1990s, at all levels of education.


My son hi is running 15 yr and studying at public school in lisboa . I am also graduate and his mother also double graduate , we are leaving in Portugal since 2010 .

Basic facility of school are very good . Almost teachings methods and orientation or contribution of teacher and school management also good . But % of a achievement is very low , why and how our student droup out school ? This is major question for us ( parenrents, school management , line department and ministry of Gov.Pt .

My opinion : our councling mechanizum is not working properly . Unexpected freedom for students . 80% more parenrents unable to pay attention for students . Other social life and activities influence our student .
Capacity and eficency mejor methods is not working properly

By Bishnu Prasad khanal from Lisbon on 31-03-2020 12:46

The article is "thin" but chalk that up to few people want to READ anymore. It should have mentioned that Secondary Education is compulsory ONLY since the school year of 2012/2013.

By Cheryl from USA on 30-03-2020 03:04

You are still including the generation what was born during the facist regime up until 1974 that were not allowed to have an education. The vast majority of the population that are 50 years and above are poorly educated or have no education because the Salazar regime did not let them. He wanted a country of workers with no education so he and his minions could still remain in power! Selfish man indeed! Not very patriotic I must say!

By Anna from Madeira on 30-03-2020 10:51

A convoluted article. School is mandatory until a certain age (16?), so no child can choose to drop out. It's a different case with higher education which is not compulsory. Unfortunately the article doesn't distinguish between these, so the message is unclear.

Also, it's the quality of higher education, not its quantity, that matters. If everyone does a degree in 14th century basket weaving, then society as a whole won't benefit. It's probably fair to say that the massive expansion in higher education in recent decades has diminished its worth by lowering the quality of its content.

By Jonny from Porto on 27-03-2020 10:43
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