Dropout in post-socialist countries of Central Europe (the Visegrad Group)


  • Petr Gal Institute for Research and Development of Education




early school leaving, dropout, upper secondary education, secondary school, Visegrad Group, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia


Early school leaving (dropout) is a problem in all education systems. In 2010 the European Commission launched the Europe 2020 strategy which included a list of measures to reduce school dropout rates in the EU countries. The aim of this paper is to analyze the issue of dropout in upper secondary education (ISCED 3) in the education systems of 4 post-socialist Central European states (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). Firstly, the paper describes and compares the education systems of these countries and the important changes of their education policies made after entering the EU. The analysis of Eurostat data shows that despite the decline of the average early school leaving rate in the EU countries from 13.8% to 10.2% between 2010 and 2019, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia are among the four member states whose dropout rates are rising. Through an overview of research studies, this paper then identifies the dominant topics and “weak spots” related to early school leaving in these countries.