4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries There is no […]
4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all The concept of effective learning environments is minimally captured by the proposed indicators – but even supposedly measurable aspects of the target present major challenges for global comparisons. […]
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development. […]
4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy While the indicator for measuring adult literacy and numeracy skills is effective, many countries have yet to adopt the necessary tools to make monitoring it possible. Target 4.6 is poorly formulated: it views literacy […]
4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations While there is progress toward monitoring education disparities, the new agenda calls for bolder steps to monitor different marginalized and vulnerable […]
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship Global monitoring of skills for decent work is likely to prove elusive because of the loose definitions of the target. However, by focussing on digital skills, we could help […]
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university Target 4.3 covers a very wide range of education opportunities. For monitoring progress, two issues stand out. First, we must begin collecting information on adults participating in education programmes. Second, we need a […]
4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education The SDG target on early childhood development, care and education is the only one where two global indicators have been proposed: the participation rate in pre-primary education, […]
4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes Progress towards target 4.1 will be seen as a key measure of government and international community commitment to the SDGs. Target 4.1 envisages quality education and universal primary and secondary […]
Improvement in attendance level has positive effects on Students’ Performance in School. The case of GGSS Anjuman – Islamia.
GGSS Anjuman e Islamia is a well reputed public school in District Central, Karachi, with a student roll of approximately 400 students. The students population is predominately local residents of Liaqutabad town from low income families. The school has its name and reputation for 50 years. Attendance levels in the school were low and stood at 55%. Unjustified absence, low achievement scores and low enrolment rate of students were ongoing problems for last few years.
In December 2012, two months after her appointment, the headmistress of GGSS Anjuman-e-Islamia noticed students’ low level of performance. Researchers, practitioners, teachers and parents all are agree on the fact that there is direct relationship between a student’s achievement scores and her attendance ratio. Gottfried, 2009, in his study evaluated the hypothesis that the number of days a student attends her school positively affect learning outcomes. Keeping the fact in view, Headmistress called meetings with teachers, students, School Management Committee members and parents to understand the issues. Through a comprehensive discussion in these meetings it was brought to notice that low performance of students is due irregularity and unpunctuality of students. Other factors were also indicated for low educational achievements, i.e., the unavailability of science laboratories, play ground, sports facilities, proper furniture, toilets and drinking water in the school. There were very limited co-curricular and/or recreational activities organized for students to participate.
Moreover, the school initiated an assessment of students to understand their place of residence, home environment and health issues. Result of this survey identified a number of issues that were not known to teachers such as poverty, family health, security issues, social and cultural linkages etc. Understanding these issues allowed the school administration to develop meaningful solutions for unjustified absenteeism of students. Reasons for absence included mostly out of school responsibilities viz., looking after younger siblings; pressure to help with interpretation need to contribute to religious activities; attending weddings or funeral; need to contribute financially to the family and/or lack of parental engagement or push to attend school (parents of these students tended to work late and were not physically around to motivate or push the child to go to school, sickness of parents or other family members, responsibility to take care of home chores in absence of mother etc.
Strategies Adopted For Improving Attendance & Students’ Performance
The strategies used by the school to promote attendance included:
- creating an exciting and engaging school environment where:
- Teachers developed positive relationship with each and every child in the school .
- Staff shared knowledge about the students and discussed how they could work together to shift attitudes and behaviours.
- Staff gathered information about parents and used this to inform when developing their strategies for each child.
- acknowledging good attendance publicly: rewarding and recognizing high attendance students with three consecutive terms of full attendance received a certificate
- establishing three-way communication between teachers, students and parents
- An undertaking was taken from all parents not to support students’ unjustified absence in school.
- Publicizing through pamphlets, banners, community awareness campaigns and meetings with parents.
- Warning letters, texting messages and calling parents via mobiles to inform about absent students
- The school introduced a point system linking attendance, behaviors and homework. The points scored by the students helped them in acquiring scholarships/financial aid and participation in different co-curricular activities.(setting 80% attendance target for students who wish to participate in school related competitions and events (so that the participation can be a reward)
- Head Girls, Deputy Head Girl, Prefects and monitors of school are chosen from students who attend school the most.
- provision of curricular and co-curricular activities in school.
- Parents-Teacher meetings were monthly scheduled to discuss all issues related to students’ education and making good linkages between parents and teachers.
- Co-curricular activities are timely organized with maximum students’ participation.
- Out of school learning activities are facilitated
- All missing facilities, i.e. drinking water, toilets, laboratories, play ground, sports equipments, Home Economics lab with cooking and sewing facilities, ICT lab, library, students’ social area, canteen. Space for students’ voice, First Aid box etc are provided in the school.
- The teacher stated that they have very good learning environment in their classes due to maximum attendance of students.
- There is a continuity of learning.
- Students do their home work regularly.
- They understand consecutive lessons properly.
- Teacher-student relations have been improved and now they are working more closely and in harmonious environment.
- Students’ behaviour has been improved a lot.
- Students’ self esteem has been raised.
- The achievement scores have been improved.
- Quality of students work in class and at home is improved.
Students stated that now they had a strong attachment to the school and believed the school encouraged success on all fronts – academic, cultural and sporting success. The school was described in the following way:
It is a social educator; academic education and sports and cultural educators.
It gives us positive role models. Students were asked to put together a collage using pictures, words and descriptions to convey their views and experiences of the college and their motivation for coming to school. This technique proved to be very insightful and provided a rich picture of how students perceived and viewed the school. In the context of GGSS Anjuman e Islamia, students described the school in the following way:
- encouraged success on all fronts – academic, cultural and sporting success
- enforced discipline but in a respectful way
- a place where memories were built and friendships were forged
- family orientated
- offered a new start for a new future for students.
When asked to identify factors that motivated students to attend school regularly, the following emerged as being important.
- Teachers with positive attitude towards teaching and their engagement with students motivated students to come at school.
- Teachers who understand the students’ psychology and their learning styles according to their age attracts students’ attention and affection.
- Support of parents and parental involvement in education of their children boost students interest in school.
- Students’ sense of belongingness attracted them to their school and they appreciate the facilities and efforts provided by the school for their learning experiences. From students’ perspective, uniforms, house activities, inter-school competitions and other school-focused events strengthened the sense of belonging and pride in the school.
Most of the parents noted that having staff that encouraged parental involvement and participation in the child’s learning were the source of satisfaction. Sharing and discussing students’ result with teachers provided a good insight in their children learning achievements or issues. Parents also commented on the lack of engagement from majority of parents more generally in the school. In their view the school tried quite hard to motivate parents to come to school events – through sports and cultural events or celebrating their child’s success. However there was a sense that some parents were not interested and this impacted negatively on the child’s success at school. It is also noted that sharing attendance data regularly and promptly was important as it would allow parents to respond proactively and support initiatives under consideration by the school.
As at the end of academic year 2014-15, the attendance level is improved to 70% after the above stated interventions. The performance of students in class VI-VIII are relatively better than previous years. An increase of 5% in SAT scores is also noted and highlighted by district. The enrolment is now exceeded from 250 to 400 students. The participation and success rate of students in out of school co-curricular and sports activities is noticeably increased.
The headmistress is not satisfied that she has adopted all relevant strategies to improve attendance and performance of students in her school. She sees her options as follows:
- Revision of students’ information
- Restating the annual attendance and achievement targets.
- Initiate research through survey and questioner to understand the underlying issues
- Reviewing teachers’ qualification and experience to attend the above stated problem and helping teachers to be professional developed to cope with the issues.
The Headmistress is concerned that she may have not practiced all strategies required to improve attendance rate of this school. She calls you in to help her by assessing the situation and recommending a realistic and effective course of action. The deliverable is a three-page report summarising the issues, analyzing the alternatives and making a recommendation.
Think over the situation and prepare an annotated plan of how you would approach advising the headmistress in improving the attendance level and status of education in her school. Outline and explain the rationale behind the steps you will take , the source of resources required for the actions you will be choosing to deliver and briefly summarise the key points you have decided to make in the three page report.
Evaluating the Relationship Between Student Attendance and Achievement in Urban Elementary and M 2010 47: 434-465, first published on November 17, 2009