The skills young people develop in school provide an essential foundation that can either be reinforced or deteriorate depending on the strength of the foundation and opportunities after leaving school. This brief describes findings from an analysis of a longitudinal data set of Malawian adolescents aged 14–17 attending school when first interviewed in 2007. The study investigated whether literacy and numeracy skills at school-leaving—among those who dropped out before completing secondary school—were retained several years after. Results show a significant gender difference in skill level after school-leaving for English skills, even after controlling for initial skill level and grade attainment, with females scoring lower than males. Although the gender difference in numeracy is not significant, females score lower than males after school-leaving. These findings have important implications for education policy and programs.
Soler-Hampejsek, Erica, Barbara Mensch, Stephanie Psaki, Monica J. Grant, Christine A. Kelly, and Paul C. Hewett. 2018. "Skill retention after school-leaving: Analysis of data from the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study," research brief. New York: Population Council.
Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study