PRE­VENT­ING CHRONIC AB­SEN­TEEISM AMONG STU­DENTS

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

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.

— oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher III at Sala­pun­gan Ele­men­tary School, An­ge­les City, Pam­panga

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