Dropout Early Warning System Technical Paper

Poverty, violence, long travel distances, and a lack of supplies often negatively affect Tanzanian students’ ability to consistently attend school. For adolescent girls, these vulnerabilities are compounded by unwanted pregnancy, early marriage, and negative gender norms — which can lead to dropout and discontinuation of education.

To help break this cycle, the Bantwana Initiative of World Education has implemented its tested Dropout Early Warning System through the Waache Wasome (“Let them Learn”) project. This simple, structured process helps teachers proactively identify dropout risk and take preventive and supportive action. The DEWS model offers a framework to identify negative “ABC” patterns of Attendance, Behavior, and Class performance and provides training and mentoring that equip teachers to respond to warning signs with positive reinforcement and appropriate support.

In just three years of implementing DEWS under Waache Wasome, the project’s 108 partner schools identified and supported nearly 6,500 at-risk students with individual and family counseling, linkages to materials and financial support, and referrals to social and protective services. In mid-2021, our DEWS identification and case-management tools were adapted for integration into the Tanzanian government’s national online School Information System, to be made available to schools across the country.

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