PREVENTING CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM AMONG STUDENTS
ROSARIO A. LOZANO
Chronic absenteeism among students isn’t new issue in education. In fact, many researchers had already studied the reasons behind students’habitual absences. Various reasons resulted from the studies like serious family problem, health problem, laziness, bullying, emotional problem, difficulties with housing or food and bad grades. Even technology can make students lousy in attending classes, since many students now a days go with their friends, spend/waste time for video games in computer shop or through gadgets. Absenteeism will surely result to poor performance/ grades which contribute to higher percentage of failed and dropped-out students in the school, thus it will affect the entire performance of the school, since attendance is one of the strongest factor in predicting student outcomes. What then should teacher do in order to prevent chronic absenteeism among students? How will students learn to love their studies? What should teacher do in order to keep them eager and excited to attend the class? In order to provide appropriate intervention, it’s important for teachers to identify the root cause of the student’s absence. The first thing that a teacher should do is to religiously check/ monitor the attendance, once a student had already incurred 3 consecutive absences without excuse letter, teacher may contact/ call the parents and get information from them, if it doesn’t work, teacher may visit the parents and the child (home visitation) for interview. With these, teacher can help/ save students who are at risk of missing too much school.
Experts in education had suggested ways on how to prevent or reduce absences, while making the school a place that students want to be.
First, communicate attendance expectations. This can be done during the first meeting with parents. Inform them about the school’s rules regarding students’attendance. Explain the importance of attendance to the parents and to students.
Second, catch problems early. Use data to identify who among the students are at risk, so you can intervene before isolated absences become chronic absences.
Third, create more positive school culture like engaging students/ motivating students to participate to the different school activities to help them achieve positive social and emotional character development. Teachers’teaching strategies make sense in motivating students to regularly attend the class, thus teachers should break boredom during discussion and keep in mind that k to 12 is student-centered education.
Fourth, celebrate successes like giving perfect attendance award. “Together, we can give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly”. Remember that teachers and parents should work together for the success of the education. Let’s start it out by motivating our children to attend the class regularly and explaining to them the benefits they can get from education so they’ll learn to love schooling.
The author is Teacher III at Salapungan Elementary School, Angeles City, Pampanga