Accepted 27th October, 2015
Empowering the youth through education is exceptionally worthwhile as education is a strategic investment in human resource with high social returns and acts as a facilitator in almost every aspect of development. Education has become one of the key development objectives in recent times. School dropout is a social canker that many governments seek to redeem. Most government policies including free and compulsory primary education, capitation grants, the school feeding programme and other policies were instituted into the country for nationwide benefits. Despite all these measures, the foundation of school dropout is enlarging. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of school dropout on the lives of the youth in Akim Tafo community in the East Akim Municipal in the Eastern Region. To achieve this, a quantitative cross-sectional design was conducted. The study adopted the mixed method sampling technique approach. That is, both probability and non-probability sampling techniques were employed. The simple random sampling and convenient techniques which are probability and non-probability sampling methods respectively were employed to select the sample. Questionnaires were administered to 80 teachers and students of some selected Basic and Senior High Schools as well as other residents (people) of Akim Tafo. The data used for this study included both primary and secondary sources. Data obtained from the field survey was later analyzed and discussed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 16v) and Microsoft Word (2010v). The study revealed that indeed the quantity of resources that the society and parents are endowed with might have an effect on academic environment and also poverty is the largest factor which causes school dropout. Again, the study found that, school dropouts have problems securing employment and also dropouts engage in crime and other social vices such as armed robbery, prostitution and many others. The study therefore concluded that, as a basic necessity in the lives of the youth in Ghana, education should be seen as a key factor for development. The researcher recommends that parents are given soft loans and grants in order to help reduce school dropout and again, government is urged to put in place the necessary measures for the realization of free and compulsory education at all levels of education.
Keywords: School dropout, youth, Akim Tafo community, Ghana