This article goes through the main characteristics of school desertion in Chile. School abandonment is a situation verified mainly on middle and secondary levels, and particularly in the first three years of these levels.
The bibliographical revision on the subject helps to identify associated factors to a high desertion risk on this school level population. These factors are related to poverty and vulnerability of the familiar surroundings of the students. The discussion tends to minimize the intra-school incidence in the appearance of the problem. One of the main critical knots of the system is related to institutional weaknesses while facing the whole of transition changes that are seen on the ninth year of mandatory education (1st year of middle or secondary education.) For an important segment of the school population this situation contributes to the increment internal risk factors which may influence the desertion outcome.
The revisions of governmental programs addressing school desertion reinforce the impression of a weak assumption of the problem; and as a consequence evidence the need to face school desertion from an integral point of view.