Causes and Consequences of School Dropout in Kinshasa: Students’ Perspectives before and after Dropping out

Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba, Laddy Sedzo Lombo, Gloria LOMBO, Nancy EKIRA VIVIAR

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The question of students dropping out of school is one of the barriers to improving educational outcomes in low-income countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So far, fewer studies have looked at students' viewpoints to understand their motivation when it comes to school dropouts. Aims: This study is the first to explore the causes and consequences of school dropout in Kinshasa. Methods: Primary data was collected amongst people who dropped out of school before they had completed their secondary education in Kinshasa in the DRC. One hundred fifty participants were recruited from local communities by using a convenience sample. A descriptive data analysis was conducted to understand the main reasons behind and the impact of school dropout in Kinshasa. Results: Most participants (both genders: 32,6 %, males: 29.4%, and females: 35,4 %) said that they were responsible for dropping out of school. For both genders, several reasons for dropping out were reported: Peer influence (11.3%), Death of parent (10%), Academic failure (10%), Teacher's or other students' behaviours (10%), Economic reasons (9.3%), Health reasons (8.6%). For females, unwanted pregnancy, rape, or early marriage (8%), and males, being involved in sport and music (17.6%). Conclusions and recommendations: The DRC government should encourage vocational education and training to reduce school dropout rates. Vocational education and training may give chance to some students who are not willing or having enough income to pursue academic education and may help those who like to learn practical skills for a quick entry into employment. More needs to be done to reduce school dropout in DR Congo and further research should focus on how to support those who are vulnerable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of African Education
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2021


  • School Dropout, Anti-Social Behaviour, Education in Low-Income Countries

Cite this