Published on 16/03/2022 9:40 am

Local Matters is about youth this week, those young people who struggle in school to the point that they decide to leave the education system without a diploma and without perspective.  

The Jugendhaus in Bonnevoie, the youth centre led by the organization Inter Actions, tries to integrate these kids, to teach them responsibility and making the right choices. The social workers speak to the kids about their problems, offer numerous activities and are there in case there’s trouble. We dropped by with our microphone to have a look how this preventive and integrative work goes.

The Ministry of Education wants to tackle the issue of unemployed youth by making school attendance compulsory for everyone under 18. The study on which the Ministry bases their decision In October last year, the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). For the study, Laetitia Hauret, Roland Maas and their colleagues talked to 22 young people who had dropped out of school in the age of 16 or 17. The reasons are various; often, the family environment is an important factor, there is a certain fatigue of school. “We identified one group who said, it was a relief finally leaving school. A second group however felt ashamed, they felt like they didn’t make it, whereas all the others get their diploma, they feel excluded and isolated.”

Roland Mass adds: “Many of them don’t really consider themselves as school dropouts. That’s why many refused to talk with us. They say, they are on a break. Most plan to continue school afterwards, many already have started again.” The education system however makes it difficult to continue regular school once you are 18. Adolescents of age are not accepted in a regular Lycée anymore. The Ecole Nationale pour Adultes is their only option. Even for youngers, it is often not possible to continue school. “If your grades are not good enough, you don’t pass the year and when you are 15 years old, they can’t go back to a 5ème class with the 14-year-olds even if that would fit their level of education. Some kids told us it was not possible for them to continue school. They had to go work even if they did not feel ready yet, and then they see that there are not a lot of opportunities on the job market if you haven’t finished school.”

In order to give these young people a chance to obtain a diploma at one point of their school career, the education system needs to be more inclusive. “We support the decision of the Ministry”, Laetitia Hauret says, and Roland Maas adds that there will be more alternative education facilities.


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Local Matters: The Jugendhaus in Bonnevoie