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Algarve wants fewer students dropping out of school

CCDR Algarve boss wants to reduce secondary school drop out rate from 20% to 5% by 2030

It is vital to reduce the secondary school dropout rate in the Algarve from 20% to 5% by 2030, said the president of the Algarve’s regional development and coordination commission (CCDR Algarve) on Wednesday.

It is a huge challenge, but it is a challenge for which we have to mobilise everyone,” José Apolinário said at a meeting entitled ‘Algarve: Education Challenges on the Horizon 2030’ held in Albufeira.

The event brought together politicians and representatives from the education sector for a brainstorming session about the biggest challenges that the sector faces.

In the Algarve, around 20% of people aged between 18 and 24 do not complete secondary education – a considerable difference compared to the national rate of 5%.

“We want to reduce the rate to less than 5% and also reinforce our offer in terms of technical higher education courses,” the CCDR Algarve boss told reporters.

But there is some good news. The Algarve has already seen its dropout rate decrease in the last three years, according to Nuno Rodrigues, general director of Education and Science Statistics, who also attended the meeting.

As Apolinário explained, Portugal and the Algarve will be rated every year until 2029 in order to determine whether the money from the European Commission’s Cohesion Fund is being used successfully to reduce school dropout rates.

Lusa news agency reports that the southern region of Portugal has €780 million of community funding in the pipeline until 2030, which includes around €78 million to be spent on incentives/measures to reduce the school dropout rate.

Another goal is to increase the region’s tertiary education rate (the number of people aged from 25 to 64 who have completed tertiary education, also known as higher education), which is currently at 24.5% all the way up to 40% by 2030.

According to the latest data, around 44.5% of people aged 30 to 34 had a higher education degree in Portugal in the second half of 2022.

By Michael Bruxo

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