Tactics to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism among Students
school-attendance | The Knowledge Review

For any educational institution, getting students back in the building is just the first step. Eventually, they have to focus on creating an environment, which fosters creativity and develops interest among students, while encouraging them to stay and participate in educational activities. Many schools and colleges face the issue of excessive absence of students, which hinders the flow of curricular and co-curricular activities. Chronic absenteeism is defined as students missing 10% or more of school days. This is a target area, which every institution pays close attention to in order to enhance student achievement. It is quite natural that students who are chronically absent will lack reading and comprehension skill, have lower test scores, will find difficulty in coping with the vast course, which will eventually put them in the jeopardy of not graduating. It is a major problem, as it creates major hindrances in smooth workflow and educational activities.

Accordingly, concerned authorities have to identify the chronically absent students and determine if there are any other subgroups of students affected, for example, recent immigrants, households with single parents, and so on. Sometimes students also remain absent because of family circumstances rather than student motivation. This information is valuable for school staff, as it helps them to prepare necessary supports for an individual student.

However, it is easier said than done to bring back a student to track, when it comes to school attendance. Teachers, staff, and the concerned authorities need to work accordingly to make the students feel welcomed at school. They should work accordingly to make students feel that they are a part of a larger family, where they will be treated with utmost care and dedication. Schools should not only focus on filling classroom seats, but also encourage students and boost them mentally, socially, and emotionally for their academic and overall development.

The Initial Steps

Research states that it is essential to create a positive environment to ensure academic success, social–emotional and character development, and to prevent harassment, bullying, and other problem behaviors. There is also a relationship between school climate and attendance, which calls for making the students feel engaged in school, so that they want to remain present and carry out their studies.

In an attempt towards reducing students’ frequent absences, the concerned authorities should make sure that the students feel as if they are in their own oasis and not in a holding cell. This will give them the opportunity to explore their potential and encourage them to be more active and participative in the classroom. Additionally, promoting a culture and climate that embraces all students and families can bear better outcomes. Moreover, if students are treated with fairness and respect, they will feel motivated and develop a positive attitude towards school and classes.

Creating a Welcome Environment conducive to Learning

Schools can follow various strategies to create and promote an environment, which is supportive of education, learning, and innovation. The following techniques can be effective:

Constant Inspiration: It is important to connect with the students, know about their dreams and aspirations, and to encourage them to achieve the best. Teachers can ask students to set specific goals for each subject, school period, and year. This practice should be implemented school-wide for better outcomes.

Supportive Environment: Schools should make sure that an efficient environment is created where students are encouraged to work together and help one another. Concerned authorities can make sure that elementary students are encouraged to set individual, character improvement, and study skill goals. They can also team up with classmates and work towards each other’s development.

Safe and Healthy Environment: A safe and healthy environment, which promotes learning, needs to be developed in the school. Students should be taught to support each other and work for their curricular and co-curricular development. Authorities should instruct them to support each other in learning and how best to respect themselves.

Respect and Honor: Developing a sense of respect for others is an important concept, which should be upheld in any educational institution. It should be modeled student-to-student, student-to-adult, and adult-to-adult. Even parents and caregivers should be motivated to participate in the development of the students.

The above-mentioned strategies can play an effective role in motivating the students and supporting them to attend classes and participate in academic development activities regularly.

-Ananda Kamal Das

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