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Students own up responsibility for irregularity in school

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Government school teacher Shashi Bala has devised a novel way of making students accountable for attending school on a regular basis

Illiterate parents, poor family background and no pressure of studies at home led to the students of Government
Model Senior Secondary School in Chandigarh adopt a very casual approach towards education and not attend school on a regular basis.

“Students used to remain absent from school even for small family functions at home or bad weather like rain.Things become worse when even the parents do not want to make an effort to send their children to school,” said Shashi Bala, teacher at the school.

The teacher, who teaches 7th class in her school, said that the rate of absenteeism was high in the school. On an average, the school witnessed 15-20 per cent absenteeism out of the 2,500 students in the school.

She was also concerned that this easy going attitude of parents as well as students was also directly impacting the individual as well as overall academic results of the school.

“This had to be tackled. Teachers work so hard on students by imparting not only academic knowledge but also moral values to them.We even visit children’s homes individually and ask parents to send their kids to school regularly,” Shashi said

Seeing these efforts were not giving any concrete results, Bala thought of coming up with a different method to address the issue.“I thought of making the children accountable for their absenteeism. Students had to record the date and reason of absence on the page assigned to them in the attendance record notebook,” she said.

Bala then evaluates the attendance record at the end of the month and appreciates the students who attended the school throughout the month or took minimal leaves.

“When a student has to repeatedly write in the attendance notebook about his/her absence regularly, he/she thinks of being a defaulter and automatically takes steps to improve it,” she said.

Bala said that she has been applying this method since April 2018 and has seen a considerable improvement not only in students’ regularity in school but also noticed enhanced learning abilities. She has been gradually trying to implement this method in all the classes in her school.“When a student comes to school regularly, he/she attends all the classes and never misses out on any part in the class which helps improve results. It is also helpful for us to counsel the students if they are not able to improve and try to find out the real reason for their absenteeism and its solution,” she said.

Bala became a ZIIEI innovator from Chandigarh after sharing her novel idea during the teachers’ orientation in May 2018. Her method of improving attendance in the school has been included in ZIIEI Chandigarh Innovations Handbook.

During the February-August training in Chandigarh, over 1,800 teachers were oriented out of which 1,683 submitted their innovative ideas in teaching.