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            Success in every battle is sometimes defined by one’s
discipline. Fulfilment and satisfaction depends on how responsible a person is
to carry out tasks. It’s how works are finished at a scheduled time. In School,
for, example, students are trained to become responsible and competent enough
to carry out tasks and to meet deadlines. Students are always expected to
finish and pass the assigned work at the deadline set by the teacher. But it’s
not always about passing all the requirements. One’s presence and attendance in
school also matters. Students must attend classes unless announcements are
disseminated. But most of the time, student’s determination and responsibility
are tested. Regardless of how the school and home environment encourages the
individual to seek after bright future, temptations and negativities hinders.

            “When a student chooses to be absent
in school, especially at the college level, he/she suffers a loss of learning
and instructional time leading to poor social and academic achievements. This
is not to mention the financial loss if the student is enrolled in a private
school. As he/she continuously misses learning opportunities in school, he/she
may eventually drop out of school moving on to lives of delinquency, crime,
poverty, and unemployment. Hence, school absenteeism has far-reaching
consequences

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            In most countries, attendance to
primary and secondary schools is compulsory; thus, students who irregularly
attend their classes and demonstrate patterns of chronic absences violate the
compulsory attendance laws. These laws consider absences due to illness and
family crises as excused absences.”(Clores, 2009).

            Absences are monitored by professors
through students’ performance records. Missed activities, quizzes, assignments
and recitations means the student is absent. But conducting this study is not
that easy. We cannot just simply sort out the factors affecting the absenteeism
of college students without properly and correctly identify those qualified
samples.

            Absenteeism leads to many negative
effects. These include drop outs, low performance that leads to low grades,
incomplete remarks and unaccomplished requirements. But nevertheless, some
students are still prone to absenteeism.”It comes as no surprise that students
with high absence rates earn lower grades than students with better attendance
(Redick&Nicoll 1990).  Fleming and
Zafiraufound that over three-fourths of school failure rates were explained by
the attendance rate (Fleming &Zafirau 1982).”

 

            “An unjustifiable or unexplainable
absence or nonattendance from school with attempt by the student to conceal the
absenteeism is referred to as truancy.

Research done
on school absenteeism/ non-attendance/truancy at the primary and secondary
levels suggests that it is a phenomenon with no single cause-effect
relationship (Cameron, 2004). Understanding the phenomenon means considering
interrelated and multidirectional forces interacting among them, namely, the
student, the school, and the community.

In England,
Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Russia,
absenteeism is considered to be one of the standard problems of the school
systems. Researches done on absenteeism in these European countries  reveal that absenteeism is associated with
juvenile delinquency, social and individual factors, school problems, poor
language ability, difficult family situation, alcoholism, financial need and
illness. Demographic and ethnic factors are also mentioned in this connection.
In general, the frequency of absences in major cities is higher than the
frequency of absenteeism in rural areas. Absenteeism among students is also
attributed to an extremely cold and impersonal learning environment (Sokrates
Programme COMENIUS 2.1., 2003). ”

 

            “Absenteeism can be defined as
persistent, habitual, and unexplained absence from school (Brooks, 1997, as
cited in Bond, 2004). Bond noted that chronic absenteeism occurs when a student
is absent without reason 20% or more of school time; ?this nominal figure is
consistently identified regardless of the specific circumstances of the
absenteeism? (p. 8).  Bond identified
three dimensions of absenteeism: truancy, condoned absenteeism, and school
refusal, whereas the Auditor General Victoria (Australia, 2004) identified four
major dimensions of absenteeism: truancy, school refusal, school withdrawal,
and early leaving. It is important to identify the different dimensions of
absenteeism in tackling the problem because they may require different
interventions. Truancy: The Auditor General Victoria (Australia, 2004)
describes truancy as: the persistent, habitual and unexplained absence from
school of a child of compulsory school age, although it can occur with parental
knowledge and sometimes consent. However for the most part truant students tend
to spend their time away from Loraine D. Cook & Austin Ezenne 34 school and
home; time away from home is used to conceal absences from their parents ….
Truancy can take the form of fractional truancy, where students arrive late,
leave early or skip individual classes (p. 16). According to Cunningham (2005),
truancy is the absence of a student from school without the knowledge or
permission of parents. The truant leaves home under the pretense of going to
school but turns away and become involved in out-of-school activities. Truancy
is unauthorized non-attendance. Bond (2004) included fractional truancy, which
occurs when students arrive late or leave early, or spend entire days away from
school. School refusal: School refusal differs from truancy in that children
refuse to attend school even in the face of persuasion and punitive measures
from parents and school.

 These students stay at home with the knowledge
of their parents and school administrators (McShane, Walter, & Rey, 2001).
This form of absenteeism is widely associated with social and medical disorder
involving persistent non-attendance at school, excessive anxiety, and physical
complaints (Australia, 2004; Bond, 2004). This type of absenteeism can be
separated from the other types, given its psychological and/or medical
composition.   Several studies show that
school refusal is an important dimension in understanding students’ absenteeism
(Dube, 2009; Kearney, 2007; McShane, Walter, & Rey, 2001). For
example, Dube and Orpinasnoted three reasons for students’ refusal to attend
school: 17.2% of their participants refused to go to school to avoid fear- or
anxiety-producing situations, to escape from adverse social or evaluative
situations, or to gain positive tangible rewards; 60.6% missed school to gain
parental attention or receive tangible rewards (positive reinforcement); and
22.2% had no specific reason for not attending school. School withdrawal:
Children are absent from school because their parents keep them away from
school on a frequent basis because of the parents’ needs and priorities. For
the most part, these children’s parents do not enrol them at school (Australia,
2004). This, Cunningham (2005) referred to as ?parental agreed absence? (p.
29). Bond (2004) noted that this does necessarily equate to approved absence.
According to Bond, ?absence can only be approved by the school given a
reasonable excuse? (p. 8).  Early
leaving: This refers to children under 15 who drop out of school before
completing their schooling.” (Loraine D. Cook and Austin Ezenne)

 

            “A number of studies have attempted
to identify the various characteristics of

chronically
absent and truant students (FDOE, 2004a, 2005b ). Some studies have shown

that truant and
chronically absent students can be identified by physical factors such as

grade level,
racial/ethnic group, socioeconomic status, and enrolment in the exceptional

Education
program (FDOE, 2004a). Other studies have indicated that the type of

disciplinary
action used as a deterrent might have a negative effect on the level of chronic

absenteeism and
truancy (FDOE, 2005b). Depending on the research, each of these

factors is
considered a prime indicator of chronic absenteeism or truancy. With the

various
conflicting studies, it is difficult to determine which physical and
disciplinary

factors have
the highest association with public school absenteeism.

            Chronic absenteeism and truancy can
be symptoms of a greater problem (FDOE,

2004a; Hoffman,
et al., 2003; Ruebel, Ruebel, & O’Laughlin, 2001). This problem may

be a result of
various factors associated with the students. However, before we can find out
why the students are chronically absent, there is a need to identify the
students who are most likely to become persistently absent. Once those students
are identified, we can finally list down  the common factors that would define students
who are most likely to become

chronically
absent. Once the common factors have been identified, we can focus our efforts
on that population of students and their unique circumstances to better address

those students’
chronic absenteeism or truant behaviour.” (Antworth, 2008)

 

Many studies
have been conducted about factors affecting student’s absenteeism and each study’s
results vary. However, in here, let’s just focus on the three main points:

      First
is the Physical and Health Factors. Often times, students who are frequently
ill are the one who are prone to absenteeism. Students would just stay at home
because they cannot handle the pain when in school. Toothache, stomachache, headache, diarrhea, Fever/flu is the most common reason of students for being
absent. This is according to -The Problem of Student Absenteeism by
lorenmorcia

In addition according to
a study (Johnson 2016), “Health
Affects Attendance Children are chronically absent from school for a wide
variety of issues directly related to their physical, mental, and social
health. Physical Health. Asthma is one of the most common causes of school
absences, together with significant health concerns such as poor dental health,
vision impairment, diabetes, and obesity. Research suggests that U.S.
schoolchildren with this treatable and remediable condition miss a combined 14
million days of school each year. The same research suggests that dental pain,
often due to untreated decay, accounts for almost two million missed days of
school annually. Mental Health. Fear, depression, social anxiety, and other
mental health issues can make it difficult for children to feel comfortable
going to school. When children are exposed to significant stress, violence, or
trauma in their homes or communities, it can also trigger mental health issues
that cause them to be chronically absent from school. Safety  Issues. Students who fear or experience
violence or bullying are at risk for being chronically absent from school. This
is especially true among racial and ethnic minority students. A 2015 report
suggests that nearly 35 percent of black students and more than 28 percent of
Hispanic students were involved in a physical fight the previous year, compared
with about 20 percent of white students. The same report indicates 20 percent
of high school students said they had been bullied in the past year. Social
Factors. Food insecurity or hunger, unstable housing arrangements, unreliable
transportation, job loss within the family, and lack of health insurance also
contribute to chronic absenteeism. In spite of substantial progress in the area
of health insurance coverage for children, more than 15 percent of all U.S.
children under age 17 remain uninsured, and thus have more limited ability to
access health care and treatment.

 

Second, we have
Teacher-School Related Factors. Negative perception of the course and the
professor sometimes leads to students’ absenteeism. When a student is
discouraged or views the course in a negative way, there would be a lesser
possibility that the student will attend the class regularly. When the
professor rarely attends the class, the student might get used not going to
school at the time scheduled for the subject. But  most of the time, when the given grades are
not justifiable, the student will surely feel bad.

 

Lastly, we have
Personal and Financial Problems.

That the student does not wake
up early enough is the most common reason why he/she is absent. Peer influence/camaraderie .Another reason commonly cited is that they can’t concentrate on
their studies and that they were not able to study their lessons, feeling lazy
and playing computer games also keep them away from school. Unusual pursuit of
leisure. Students who
say their parents asked them to be absent, household chores come second ,not
having sufficient money to spend for snacks and other small expenses in school,
no breakfast/food, and that their parents quarrelled, peer Influence/Camaraderie, mode of transportation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1

Conceptual Paradigm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Clores, M.
(2009) “A qualitative Research Study on
School Absenteeism Among College Students”

 

Antworth, R.H.
(2008) Factors Associated With Public
School Chronic Absenteeism

 

Lorenmurcia (2015) “Action Research on Student and
Pupil Absenteeism in School”

 

file:///F:/CHAPTER1REV.PDF

 

Johnson, R.W. (2016) “The Relationship Between School Attendance
and Health” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

https://owlcation.com/academia/action-research-on-student-absenteeism

https://theses.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-3898-144557/unrestricted/CHAPTER1REV.PDF

http://rimmon-educationinthephilippines.blogspot.com/2012/04/action-research-on-tardiness.html

https://owlcation.com/academia/action-research-on-student-absenteeism

https://sites.google.com/site/bilocuraandguia/notes/chapteriireviewofrelatedliteratureandstudies

http://www.academia.edu/3307957/A_Qualitative_Research_Study_on_School_Absenteeism_Among_College_Students

http://www.academia.edu/10614063/Absenteeism

https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=osu1426846872&disposition=inline

 

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