To complete this task, I have chosen the theme topic of discipline problems among students. There are many issues that can be highlighted from this discipline problem. One of these is the issue of truancy among students.
1.1 Article 1
Title : Truancy Crackdown To Include Children Aged Four
Writer : Jeevan Vasagar
Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/apr/16/truancy-crackdown-
1.2 Article 2
Title : Truancy A Problem Among Pupils
Writer : Mazwin Nik Anis
Source : http://thestar.com.my/newa/atory.asp?file=/2009/10/1/
Both of these articles highlight some of the major findings regarding the problem of school discipline such as truancy. Educational attainment is an important determinant of diverse health outcomes. Truancy among adolescents jeopardizes chances of achieving their educational goals. Truant behaviours are also associated with various psychosocial problems.
2. Main Point
2.1 Article 1 - Truancy Crackdown To Include Children Aged Four
Children as young as four who miss nursery or the reception year of school will be the focus of a new crackdown on truancy – even though education is not compulsory until the age of five. The figures on attendance in reception will be published by the Department for Education so that the schools can judge their performance on pupil absence. According to the report largely accepted by ministers, the government's expert adviser on behaviour, Charlie Taylor, also calls for schools to offer support to parents who are failing to get their children into nursery. He also argued that missing out on nursery means that you're missing out on some of the early learning, some of the key social skills that develop into children's character and ability to function in the classroom. The report also recommends that academy chains, sponsors and individual academies and maintained schools – should be able to prosecute parents for truancy. Term-time holidays are disruptive not just for the pupils who are taken out of school, but for others in the class who lose out as teachers spend time helping returning pupils catch up. Term-time holidays should never be viewed by parents as an entitlement. However, all primary school children should be in class – that is non-negotiable. Docking unpaid fines from child benefit risks punishing the pupils as well as the parents by penalising already deprived families. The most effective way to improve children's attendance is to intervene early to deal with any underlying problems within the family.
2.2 Article 2 - Truancy A Problem Among Pupils
Truancy tops the list of disciplinary problems among primary school students followed by rude behaviour and the consumption of alcoholic drinks. The Education Ministry is looking at ways to tackle these problems as the numbers of errant students have increased. According to Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, the consumption of alcoholic drinks of some of the primary school pupils in Sabah and Sarawak must be checked immediately. The ministry have records that about 0.79% of the primary school pupils were involved in disciplinary problems between January and June this year, compared with 0.78% during the same period last year. The increase is almost negligible, but it needed to be checked as it involved young individuals who are already know how to skip school, be rude to their teachers and peers and drink alcohol. In additional, Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong also said the pupils are influenced by television programmes or movies and that why they learn foul language and violent acts. Apart from truancy, students were also found to have committed lewd acts and some were even involved in criminal activities such as fighting and causing hurt and injuries to others. The effective way is plans to appoint senior discipline teachers and to reduce the student-counsellor ratio to 1:300 from the current 1:500 so that the counsellors would not be over burdened.
Students are the future heir to the country. Their activities have been the hot topics of discussions and were given warm attention from the whole society. Mass media often broadcast many news and stories about the hoax of the students and various social problems that surround them. According to Bettelheim (1950), social problems and criminal acts involving students are coming to an alarming state. At student stage, an individual experiences a very rapid change, either physically, emotionally or socially.
Truancy is a problem sweeping not only Malaysia, but the entire world. Problems such as truancy are not only happen in town and urban school, but also take place in the rural schools. Every day millions of students play truant. In recent years, Malaysia has been experiencing a surge on social problems involving teenagers. They are involved in house break-ins, carjacking, smoking, drugs, prostitution, pre-martial sex, bully, playing truant from school etc. most alarming of them all are school truancy.
Before determining the most effective means of controlling unexcused absences, the causes of truant behaviour must be understood. Although many teachers may be empathetic and willing to help students, this difference in opinion may create a barrier of understanding between teacher and student. In one survey, students cited boredom and loss of interest in school, irrelevant courses, suspensions, and bad relationships with teachers as the major factors in their decision to skip school. On the other hand, most of the school staff believed truancy to be related primarily to student problems with family and peers. There are many reasons why a student chooses to play truant.
One of them is to escape bullying at school. Schools now have become a breeding ground for bullies. These bullies like to prey on students who are physically weak or mentally weak. They try to usurp power or authority over them through physical, mental or emotional abuse. The more common form of bully in Malaysian Schools is emotional and verbal abuse. Bullying is a prime component in the making of an unsafe school environment. If a chi does not feel safe at school, or on the way to or from school, they are much more likely to become truant. Bullying occurs for many reasons and it goes beyond the one isolated instance of harassment either because of teachers’ inability to control, or problems arising from the child’s own personality or learning abilities. A parent might say they’re keeping their child off school because they’re being bullied.
One of the common causes of truancy and disruptive behaviour in student is the influence of friends and peer. Many times these peers are seen encouraging truancy as a status-seeking activity or as a way of joining in or blending in. the child’s natural instinct to want to be part of a larger crowd or group dynamic will take over, even if they are taught better habits. Often times this same dynamic is prevalent in the face of any resistance the child may put forth, prompting teasing or goading the child into truanting.
For some reasons, boring classes and hard lessons gives them an excuse to play truant. Some lessons like Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, and Physics etc are hard for students who are weak to grasp or understand. They lost interest in their studies and school. This gives them a reason to play truant.
What is classed as truancy can depend largely on the school's attitude to the 'truant' or their problems. Relationships with teachers, seen as lacking respect or fairness, play a large factor in truancy rates among student. Often times this inability to get along with teachers and/or students will result in disciplinary problems which may lead to suspension, or expulsion. Of course, being away from the school either voluntarily or at the school's demand can have an adverse affect on the student's academic performance, resulting in not being able to keep up with school work, getting poor grades, or even failing. A school may also be remiss in not notifying parents or guardians of absences. Student’s bad relationship with their teachers. A teacher who is too strict or use harsh and insensitive words towards their students causes students to hate them and harbour bitterness in their hearts. Once they disliking a teacher, they also losing interest in the subject taught by the particular teacher. As a form of retaliation, students will skip class and play truant.
Therefore, truancy should be control within the school. Ant truancy programs that expose truants to other peer group and other methods of interaction may be effective in reducing truancy. After school sports or other programs at the school site give students a chance to make new friends, experience a positive atmosphere, and fee a sense of accomplishment, which, in turn, may reduce their likelihood of skipping school. According to Rohrman (1993), the learning environment is also important to student performance. Teacher must arrive on time, give students frequent praise, interact with the entire class, minimize verbal reprimands and other forms of punishment, and deemphasize competition in the class.
In conclusion, bad influences, bullies, boredom, and loss of interest in school, irrelevant courses, suspensions, and bad relationships with teachers only provide a stressfully and tormenting environment for students and become the major factors in their decision to skip school. Drastic steps should be taken if we are to produce a new and useful generation. Schools need to provide a conducive and safe environment for students to study in order to curb truancy among students.