EVERY YEAR around 18,000 to 20,000 Portuguese school children leave school aged 16 having failed to complete their secondary education with certificates.
Those that leave aged 17 and 18 without going on to further education number 20,000 to 25,000.
“The decisive moment in deciding to leave school happens around Easter when the students get their marks” said Education Minister Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues who, together with Prime Minister José Sócrates launched the qualification promotion programme Programa Novas Oportunidades.
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