200 thousand students less enrolled in school for 2019, study finds

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 17, 2019 11:55

200 thousand students less enrolled in school for 2019, study finds

Story Highlights

  • The number of children in 2019 is 13,000 less than the year before, whereas compared to the beginning of transition (year 1992) there are about 200 thousand students less.

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TIRANA, Sept. 17 – The Albanian population’s mass migration is directly affecting the education sector in the country, as every passing year schools are facing the challenge of reduced number of pupils and, consequently,the closing of many classes. 

According to data from the Ministry of Education, 306,000 students are expected to attend elementary school this new school year. 

The number of children in 2019 is 13,000 less than the year before, whereas compared to the beginning of transition (year 1992) there are about 200 thousand students less.

Compared to 2011, when the last counting was implemented, 114,000 fewer students now sit in school benches. Over the course of eight years, the number of students in the 9-year cycle has been reduced by 27 percent. 

Falling rates are expected to remain high in the period ahead. The Ministry of Education expects that by 2022, the number of students in 9-year education will reach 273 thousand, or 9.7 percent less than in 2019.

In addition to the natural decline of the population, Albanian education is suffering from dropouts due to emigration. Thousands of young people under the age of 18, a contingent on secondary and primary education, choose to emigrate, mostly with their families.

Since 2010, an average of 15,000 juveniles have left for the European Union each year, according to Eurostat data on first-time residence permits issued by EU countries, broken down by age group, processed by local media. 

The year 2018 again marked an increase in the number of juveniles who were granted residence permits in one of the EU countries. During the year that followed, Albanians were granted residence permits for the first time, about 17,279 minors under 19, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. 

The figures are higher than that, given that Eurostat has no published data on first residence permits issued by Germany

Immigration is seen as one of the main causes of the drop in the number of students in schools. Education policy expert, Ndricim Mehmeti, says that from 2014 onwards there has been a drastic reduction in the number of students due to emigration and internal migration. 

According to him, MASR and the government have not analyzed this situation and as a result, they are not ready to provide solutions.

Abandoning compulsory education mostly happens for economic and social reasons, as well as for lack of hope that this country can change, he added.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 17, 2019 11:55