There have been previous concerns from child protection groups about the rising number of children working illegally in Greece. At the same time, Eurostat was reporting that 11.4 percent of the student population had dropped out of school in 2010.
As the crisis in Greece has continued unabated since then, it would not be hard to imagine that things have gotten worse both on the illegal child labor front and in regard to school dropout rates among Greek kids.
Indeed, according to some recent data, it seems that approximately 30,000 students drop out of school in Greece each year. The majority are junior high school students who never go on to finish high school.
The highest high school dropout rates are taking places in the Dodecanese islands of Greece and in Rhodope, part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Dropout rates in those two parts of the country are over 8%.
In Greece’s two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, the high school dropout rates are 4.85% and 4.25% respectively.
While these school dropout rates may not seem particularly high in comparison to high school dropout in other advanced countries around the world, including the United States where the dropout rate was 7% in 2013, they are quite high for Greece as Greek parents have high educational goals for their children.
The recent increase in high school dropout rates among Greek children between the ages of 15-17 is associated with the ongoing economic crisis in Greece. Most of the kids forced to drop out of high school come from extremely poor families, and the choice to leave school in order to seek work is one based on pure survival needs.
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