Truancy is on the rise, and is a precursor to anti-social behavior. It can result from bullying, disaffection and ensuing alienation. Not every student can be academically minded, and though academic qualifications are one of the poorest indicators of potential, yet the imperative need of school education cannot be ignored. And staying in school is the first step to a good education. Truancy results in students losing the benefits of instruction, and the community ultimately suffers from an increase in juvenile crime.
The problem can be resolved by a concerted combined effort. The first responsibility is of the concerned school. There has to be a combination of carrot and stick policy. While the counselors and peer groups would motivate, the fear of juvenile courts can be an effective deterrent. Peers have an affirmative influence on students' decision to play truant. One study reported that 84 percent of the interviewed truants said their friends skipped school. Anti truancy programs that expose truants to other peer groups and other methods of interaction may be effective in reducing truancy. The most successful way of countering the truancy can be a structured approach which:
Involves parents in all truancy prevention activities. Parents play the fundamental role in the education of their children. It is critical that parents of truant children assume responsibility for truant behavior.
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Ensure that students face firm sanctions for truancy. Schools should communicate to their students that they have zero tolerance for truancy.
Establish ongoing truancy prevention programs in school. Truancy can be caused by factors like drug use, violence at or near schools, association with truant friends, lack of family support for regular attendance, etc.
Involve local law enforcement in truancy reduction efforts. The school officials should establish close linkages with local police, probation officers, and juvenile and family court officials
This integrated concerted approach can counter and solve the problem of truancy that is symptomatic of a social malaise.
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