Low student attendance

The devastatingly low attendance in school/college requires the attention of the Sindh government.

Editorial August 16, 2014

We have long cried that checks and balances is the way to battle the corruption and abuse of power so prevalent in our systems. No different is the Sindh public education sector, where attendance by pupils in public colleges is only 10 to 15 per cent — a pathetic turnout for a populous province that is in dire need of educational advancement.

With teachers regularly being absent from their jobs, their students are left with little motivation to attend classes. Teachers are mainly to blame for this sorry state of affairs. If they are not present, the students have no one to teach them and thus, they waste time attending college/school for no-show teachers. This calls for the attention of the Sindh education department to reevaluate the salaries and benefits of teachers and do what is required in order to ensure that they remain motivated and do their jobs honestly. It is important that teachers are provided adequate salaries to support their families, as this will encourage them to appear for work daily.

When teachers are supported well financially, they will not turn to other sources for income while stealing money from the public education sector. The daily participation of teachers as stakeholders in students’ education will in turn encourage them to attend school/college. This is the only way to begin achieving better education in Sindh — the full and regular participation of all stakeholders. To achieve this, the education department must keep track of which teachers attend and reward them with higher pay. Likewise, those who engage in absenteeism must be dealt with accordingly. For the students, there must be set a legal minimum number of days that they must attend in order to graduate to the next class. Research has shown that class attendance is highly correlated to academic success. While students may be capable of studying on their own for exams, class instruction plays a significant role. The devastatingly low attendance in school/college requires the attention of the Sindh government.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.

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