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Top Ways to Remove Absenteeism from Schools in Dubai

GIIS Author
Dec 23, 2020
Education Tips

Absenteeism from schools in Dubai has become a common predicament. While the importance of a school in a child’s life can not be stressed enough, parents and the children show little to no seriousness towards maintaining attendance.


A school is a place where a child’s analytical capabilities are enhanced. They get exposure to a plethora of skill development opportunities such as developing interpersonal skills through interaction with other students belonging to different cultures. Group activities like seminars, projects, trips, or lab experiments, contribute to developing organisational and leadership skills in the students that are imperative for their future endeavours.


These facts are a cause of alarm, and absenteeism is a problem which needs addressing. Absenteeism doesn’t include the sick leaves or the leaves due to a family occasion. It represents the unnecessary leaves taken by a student during their academic year. If students have less than 90% attendance, they will fall behind in the school compared to other students. Missing more than 10 per cent of the attendance is referred to as chronic absenteeism.


Parents often argue that if their child manages to get good grades despite having a good attendance record, they have the liberty to skip a few classes. But what they fail to understand is that a student is not just missing a few lessons. They miss the opportunity to bond with other students, develop emotional maturity, or participate in group activities to understand the importance of teamwork.


While chronic absenteeism is standard in every educational level, such as a college or a university, the school carries the utmost importance. Chronic absenteeism is not restricted to any particular grade of the k-12 section. Students in school are more likely to take frequent leaves. School is not just for learning, as home-schooled students are equally academically competent. Apart from academic performance, attending school helps children develop emotional, logical, and social characteristics. Educators have a crucial role to play in combating this dilemma. 

Top ways in which an educator can eradicate the possibility of absenteeism:


1. Informing the students and the parents

More than often, students and their parents are unaware of the perils of absenteeism. All they need to get back on track is the acknowledgement of the results of their choices. By communicating with the parents and the students, an educator can inform them about the various alarming possibilities that absenteeism carries.


Educators should convey their expectations regarding attendance of a student. For this, they can either talk face-to-face or mention such expectations in the student’s handbook. Suppose the attendance issue is beyond the classroom’s scope and the whole school is facing it. In that case, an educator should communicate with the authorities and create rules for maintaining the attendance records and promoting better attendance.


2. Create indicators

Keeping tabs on an individual student is not possible for the educator. In an alternative approach, the educator can set some indicators to identify potential absenteeism. Afterall - “Prevention is better than cure.” Before it’s too late, these indicators will help educators reach out to students who are more susceptible to fall behind the school.


For instance, if a student is absent for three consecutive days or four days in a month, the educator can reach out to the student’s parents and inquire about it. If the parents are aware of the leaves in this context, positively communicating the drawbacks of low attendance should be the next step.


3. Appreciation

Nothing works better than appreciation. If a student has maintained his attendance according to the expectations, the educator should provide appreciation. This will have two effects. One, the student will be encouraged to keep such a record in the future and two, other students will be motivated and will crave the same appreciation, which will lead them to have better attendance. Introducing a reward at the year-end for the student with the highest attendance is another way to eradicate absenteeism from schools in Dubai.


4. Engage the students

One of the leading causes of absenteeism is the deceased interest of the student in the classroom lectures. An educator can work on their engagement strategies to develop the interest of the students. By incorporating the latest technologies such as mobile applications, game-based learning, graphical explanations, and recorded sessions, the educator can pique the students’ interest of the students and connect to them. As a result, the students will become more interested in attending the lectures.


5. Engage the parents

Engagement of the parents is equally important as the engagement of the students. Parents usually assume that their child can study more efficiently at home and that schools have nothing more to offer than the lectures.


But, when the parents are kept in the loop and are aware of their child’s progress, apart from the academic one, they become inclined to maintain the best attendance record for their child. The educator needs to engage the parents in their child’s school life through test performance, extracurricular performance, and face-to-face parent-teacher meetings.


6. Understand the reasons

A multitude of factors can cause absenteeism. Sometimes, the students face problems in the school with their peers, such as bullying or feeling left out, so they choose to stay at home. Getting to the bottom of things will reduce absenteeism and help the educator create a positive environment in the school. Sometimes, the problems can be generic.


For example, the parents may have a lot of work on hand and cannot drop off the child at school in Dubai. An educator should reach out to the parents and ask them to go for school transportation by explaining how every single day at school holds tremendous significance over the student’s future.

Absenteeism may not be perceived as a serious situation for a student belonging to the k-12 segment, but what it promotes is the real concern in the long run. A child who gets accustomed to absenteeism is highly likely to pertain to this behavior throughout their life. This results in poor outcomes in life such as unethical approach, lack of moral values, lack of emotional stability, restricted development of mental abilities, increased dropout rates, and more.


Absenteeism is not a revelation, but its presence has been identified as early as the late 19th century. Even though educators and schools have made commendable efforts, the past few decades have shown no improvement in absenteeism rate. But, the advent of the latest technologies and the development of enhanced engagement strategies bring new hope.  Adhering to such practices can significantly reduce the possibility of absenteeism.


A low attendance rate does not just represent absenteeism but also creates a possibility of either inadequate interest of the students or an atmosphere of bullying both of which require the educator and the school’s immediate attention. Therefore, awareness among the parents sure holds a considerable position in this matter, but the educators and the school have to play a significant part.

GIIS Author

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