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How Teachers Attitude Can Influence Truancy Among Students - Education - Nairaland

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How Teachers Attitude Can Influence Truancy Among Students by projectregards7: 9:03am On Sep 27, 2021
Education is the process which a society consciously transmits its knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. The school as one of the agents of socialization was established to mould, build and shape the youths to become useful to themselves and the society. Such conscious and intentional efforts usually focus in part on character development, behavior modification and values, orientation, especially among youths of the nation. School as centre of knowledge and it possesses the power to mould and shape the character of individuals in the society. However, distortion and aberrations in the character of students are being reflected in the pattern of students‟ classroom behavior. If not checked such behavior may constitute impediments to meaningful classroom learning, school growth and development. Prominent among such undesirable behavior is truancy among students.

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The objectives of school education in Nigeria are to provide students with academic and vocational skills as well as moral ethics. Notwithstanding, maintaining school attendance has become a major concern of parents, teachers, counselors, school administrators, and Ministry of Education, this is because truancy has become more common over the years and has created serious problems in the educational system today in Nigeria.
Teachers undertake an important mission in raising qualified manpower by realizing the objectives of the education system in the classroom environment. The main duty of the teachers is to create behavior change in the students in line with the learning process and objectives. The ability of teachers’ expertise and knowledge on pedagogical formation to have the expected effect on the student depends on the teacher-student relationship. The relationship of the teacher with the student may depend on a number of factors such as the environment in which the school is located, school culture and climate, educational program and equipment besides the characteristics of the teacher. However, for the students, the attitudes of the teacher in the classroom, that is, their thoughts, feelings and behaviors towards the students, are more important.
In other words, it is the ability of the teacher to employ the behavioral patterns necessary for the student to manage his or her own learning. In addition, the teacher is the authority figure that will enable the student to perceive himself/herself as valuable and sufficient. In a sense, the student proves his/her competence and value to the group to which he/she belongs, that is, to his/her classmates, through the teacher who is the leader of the class. The teacher, who settles in the position of expert of the family in childhood with the knowledge he/she has, gives the information that he/she is capable of performing the roles and requirements of an adult world during adolescence. Therefore, he/she plays a facilitating role for meeting the student’s needs of acceptance and being valued among his/her peers and recognition as an individual.
Truancy is running away from school or classes without the consent of parents or school authorities. That is habitual staying of student from school or classes without permission to avoid responsibilities such as assignments, test, examinations and other extra-curricular activities). Truancy is also keeping away from school during school hours with neither the permission of the parents or the school authorities’ view to avoiding punishment, dogging specific functions and neglecting certain lawful school duties.
However, illness, age, financial crises, social class, geographical area and institutional factors like teachers‟ attitude, ineffective administration, and high cost of education are responsible for truancy. Sometimes most of the students go to school without taking food due to scarcity of food at home as they belong to poor families. Consequently, they miss classes as they need an opportunity to take care for themselves.
Attitude is important to understand human behavior. It is defined as a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings. It is also the tendency to react in a certain way towards a designed class of stimuli. The attitude of teachers comes to the fore as they reflect upon the language that they use in teaching. Consciously or unconsciously, their attitudes play a crucial role in language’s “growth or decay, restoration or destruction”. Their attitudes, too, as part of their cultural orientation, influence heavily their younger students. The attitude of teachers towards teaching is significantly correlated with teaching success. In general, it may be concluded that there are indications that teacher’s attitudes have a positive relation with success in teaching.
Therefore, teachers’ attitudes and actions include: a genuine caring and kind teacher; willingness to share the responsibility involved in the classroom; a sincere sensitivity to the students' diversity, a motivation to provide meaningful learning experiences for all students; and an enthusiasm.
Attitude is very important when you are a teacher. It affects your students in many ways and can shape their learning experience.
Truancy is defined as an action by a student being absent from school for no legitimate reason. Also, truancy is when a child missed school or class without an excuse from his/her parents or guardians. It also means a child leaving school or class without the permission from the teacher or principal. When a child is consistently late for school, he or she is considered to be a truant.
A truant therefore is a student who stays away from school without proper leave permission from school authority or the parents. Also, the students who always tend to keep themselves from studies and avoid attending classes are called truants. In short, truancy is a child who is absent from school on his own initiative without his or her parents‟ permission.
Truancy has caused a lot of harm to the educational system and has an ill-attitude on students academic performance, and moral lives which has caused most youths to exhibit negative attitude such as armed robber, prostitution, substance abuse, substance trafficking, and other social crime ranging from pick-pocketing to secret cult.
There are three types of truancy which include: Habitual truancy, occasional truancy and casual truancy.
1. Habitual Truancy: This is type of truancy that occurs when a student (truant) constantly absent from school without the due knowledge or consent of his/her parents or the school authorities. Habitual truants are mainly those students who miss numerous full days of school academic activities. Their frequencies of absenteeism have become regular behavior or habit. It is important to note that students who are habitual truants have high chances of falling behind in school work, decline in their academic performance and even lose their attachment or positive attitudes towards school.
2. Occasional Truancy: This type of truancy occurs when a student does not constantly and continually absent himself from school. In this type of truancy, the student levels of absenteeism from school without the permission of parents or school authority is irregular. For example, a child whom the mother refuse going to school and was kept at home to help care for sibling and the child taken out of school for an out-of-season family holiday and so on are all instance of occasional truant.
3. Casual Truancy: This is the type of truancy which occurs when the students absence from school by chance. This type of truancy is not regular and constant but happens by chance. For example, students who remained lurking within sound of the school bell so that they could attend those lessons which interested them. A casual truant is student who keeps away from school and cuts up to 10 percent of the total number of working days during one academic session. A casual truant is an escapist to avoid unpleasant situation in the school, during school hours. He is amenable to suggestion and persuasion and hence most responsive. He is the marginal person to lapse into truancy if left alone and amenable to correction if properly handle.
4. Peer Group and Truancy: peer group means a small group of friends which have close relations with each other and they have regular interactions. They share views and exchange ideas with each other and do activities in groups. When children take steps into the stage of adolescence, they spend a large amount of time with their friends as compared to their parents. Those in a peer group have the same status and are about the same age, background, social and political affiliation.
Peer pressure is used to describe the demands for compliance to customs of the group and exhibiting dedication and loyalty to the members of the group. As members of a peer group, the group has more influence on the adolescents than they would have as on their own and they begin to recognize the value of united enterprise. Peer group is another factor that influences truancy. Peer groups are persons of the same age group, equals or friends with whom the child shares certain social characteristics. This social world to which they share same language, values, norms and mode of interaction may not be understood by the adults. However, it is through peer pressure that students are most likely to be introduced and involved in truant behaviors such as drinking, smoking, indecent act and drop out of school.
The peer group has effects on the student truant behaviors. As the child frees himself from dependency and control of the parents and other adults, he falls back on peer group for direction and control.
Several possible causes of truancy among students include student factors, family factors, school factors, and community factors. Also different teaching and learning styles, teachers‟ absenteeism, low teacher expectations, poor discipline and poor communication between teachers and students have an important relationship with truancy.
Furthermore, lack of parental supervision, poverty, misuse of substance and alcohol, lack of family support, household problems, broken homes, and households care duties are the contributory factors of truancy. Also, students‟ homework or assessment tasks, ailments, social incompetence, abnormal physical and mental health, lack of self-esteem, poor peer relationships, poor academic performance are some of the factors that contribute to truancy. However, school and family environment are the most influential factors in generating truancy among students. Truancy obstructs effective learning and causes poor academic performance of truant students‟ continuous keeping away from school lead to serious unwanted consequences for both the truant and the communities which caused deformation in the society.
School is considered as the extended home for individuals as a lot of time is spend in school. Thus, the members in the school setting especially the teachers have a vital role to play in many aspects of students‟ attitude and motivation. Teacher who show lack of respect for students and disregard the different needs among the students can make students attempt truant. Truants like to use “dislike teachers teaching methods and attitude” as the most common excuse for playing truant. Truants favor interaction with teachers and students besides being granted autonomy in the learning process.
However, positive teacher student interaction can encourage students‟ attendance in class. Teachers‟ characteristics such as rude, sarcastic, unfair, insult and embarrass students can influence truanting behavior though the impacts is rather small. Teachers‟ unpleasant and hatred toward certain students can contribute to students‟ truanting behavior. Also students are inclined to skip school when they feel that teachers and schools do not care for them or teachers apply authoritarian teaching methods. Teachers, who like to assign a lot of home-work to students, are always late to class and fail to perform effective teaching will discourage students from staying in school. the attitude of teachers has a lot to do in influencing students to become truant. Teacher’s attitude can cause students unexcused absence from schools.
In conclusion, teachers with friendly and caring personality can prompt students to attend school as all students like to be taught by teachers who are very approachable and concerned about their students. It is of upmost importance for teachers to convey the message that they do care and understand how students feel. Teachers need to be aware that their characters can produce different influences on truancy based on the students’ gender and the school type.
Factors such as peer group factors, family background factors, school environment factors, teachers‟ factors and students‟ factors influence truancy among students. All hands should must be on deck and everyone playing their expected roles towards the education of the students both parents and teachers this is because society truancy is a threat to the achievement of functional education for values, knowledge, skill and national development

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