Strategies are needed to keep kids in school and parents aware of what is going on. Truancy, or skipping school, is a significant problem in schools. Truancy tops the list of misdemeanors by our students. Almost every day, students are caught playing truant. Although it is not a serious problem, it must be nipped in the bud. It’s really important for teachers, parents, and administrators to identify these students and put in place strategies to help minimize truancy levels. Because of technology and with the help of computers, truant students are easier to keep track of and follow now than ever before.
Truancy means being absent from school without a valid reason. Truancy occurs most in students aged between twelve and eighteen. Students play truant for a number of reasons. Most of them play truant because of negative peer influence. They follow their friends who skip school. Financial problems can also cause a student to stay away from school. Perhaps the biggest reason for a student failing to attend school is disengagement. This explains why students who play truant are mainly from lower-income groups. Learning problems are another cause of truancy. Disengagement of a student from education occurs for numerous reasons and each student must be managed individually. Students who find academic subjects difficult or boring would prefer to play truant. Some students who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will frequently be absent. The fear of bullying or harassment may also cause timid students to play truant. Early intervention is very important. Schools must work to solve the issue in partnership with parents.
How to Minimize Truancy –
- Create a positive classroom environment,
- Build positive relationships with students and parents,
- Discuss truancies with parents or guardians,
- Implement incentives for attendance,
- Identify students who are struggling early and respond positively to help them,
- Identify socialization issues,
- Maintain and communicate high expectations of all students.
A counseling group for truant students that stresses values and understanding of their issues is beneficial. If left unchecked, truancy can lead to juvenile delinquency and numerous other negative outcomes. For teachers, the engagement of students is crucial for preventing truancy. Youths who play truant have an increased risk of dropping out of school. School dropouts are more likely to be unemployed as prospective employers are concerned about the attendance of their potential employees. Negative perceptions of school need to be identified and reformed. Regular school attendance is also important for academic success. If a student often plays truant, he may fail in his examinations. Students who play truant also have low self-esteem and become social misfits.
To curb truancy, initiatives must be taken. Truancy is a problem that is seriously affecting the overall success of the large urban school district. Prevention is the key. Early intervention can tackle the problem. Students who often skip classes should be given counseling. Parents should check with teachers and school authorities periodically to monitor students’ attendance. Police patrols will also deter repeat offenders.