It's become a tradition at our university of applied sciences by now to hold an annual symposium on approaches to dropout prevention.
Apart from a number of Dutch presenters, this year two Norwegian speakers from the south eastern Vestfold region outlined what steps they had taken to tackle the issues of dropout and talent development of all youngsters. A 10-year action programme that started in 2008 has already shown some progress, we were told. The coordinator of this action programme (Mr Eldar Dybvik) and a member of the steering committee (Mr Thorbjorn Nygaard) explained how many of the stakeholders had come together to cooperate for the benefit of the 20 % young people that still drop out of school, despite a variety of earlier measures.
"United we stand. Divided we fall" is the motto of the cooperation agreement between schools, the labour union, the police, the social security system, nurses, the world of enterprise, the parents and the young people themselves.
When young people drop out of school, they —and society at large— face multiple negative consequences, which makes it worthwhile working on all kinds of preventive approaches.
Have a look at the slides and compare the Norwegian methods with the ones Rotterdam has put into place.
Here's also a visual report of the symposium.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Interestingly, a DJ team called 'Freestyle Party Machine' had put together an appropriate music selection for this occasion: all 20 songs had a link to education and/or youngsters;)