Absenteeism and low attendance are the major concerns of educational institutes. Due to multiple factors including the conventional teaching methods, students lose interest in classroom sessions. According to a national data released in 2018 by Attendance Works, as many as 8 million students were absent from school during the 2015-16 year, which rose up from 7.2 million from the year before. This data suggests that at least 1 in 7 students missed 15 or more days of school. Kindergarten and first grade students were chronically absent. This situation is more common among students with special needs. Thus, there is a stringent need to introduce technology to reduce absenteeism in schools.
Chronic absenteeism has become a major challenge for educational institutes to achieve their academic goals. This has led us to a question; why so many children remain chronically absent from school?
Recognizing the root cause of this problem is first step towards fighting it in first place. Just like diagnosis and establishing the cause of disease is the first step towards treating it medically. Chronic absenteeism has to be dealt in the same way. Introducing stringent measures against the chronically absent students will bring them to school but the academic results with remain same. Students tend to stay away from school when they are no longer interested in their lessons or the way their teachers teach. Thus, it’s high time to bring about reforms in our teaching practices.
Also Read: How digital technology changed education scenario worldwide
Technology to reduce absenteeism: How can it help?
To get a bigger picture of absenteeism in schools, one needs to be consistent and considerate for both students and parents. Although, schools maintain data of students who remain chronically absent, it does very little to establish a cause. Here are some methods that can help institutions curb absenteeism in students.
Real-time collection of data
The attendance educational institutes ideally maintain only provide a surface picture of the problem. A school having 90 per cent attendance can still have 30 per cent of their students being chronically absent. This is because at different point of time, different students make up for that 90 per cent of attendance.
Thus real-time data on individual student’s attendance should be made and assessed. It can help identify the students who are chronically absent or have the chances of being so.
Creating immersive classroom environment
The primary reason why students tend to skip classes is the mundane environment and traditional teaching methods. When students lack interest in the lessons, they are more likely to stay away from classrooms. Thus, it is important to create an engaging environment in schools. Technology has already made its way to the classrooms and reports have been suggestive that digital tools engage students a lot more than the traditional blackboard lessons. The more they will be engaged, the more they will be inspired to attend classes. Teachers can use digital tools like Digital Board, Interactive Board, Videos, Audiobooks, 3D Videos, AR and VR to make lessons more interactive and less boring. There are also other ways to use technology to reduce absenteeism