Community Violence and Academic Performance

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The impact of violence in three volatile communities on students’ attendance in a selected high school in Kingston, Jamaica

The University of the West Indies, Mona.

Table of Contents

Chapter One – Introduction and background to the study….……………………….1-2 Statement of the Problem ……………….………………………......3 The purpose of the research….……………………………………...3 Significance of the Study……………………………………………4 Research questions………………………………………………….5

Definitions of terms/variables…………….………………………...5 Chapter two – Review of related Literature……………………………………..….6-13 Chapter three - Research design……………………………………………………..14 Methodology

Samples……………………………………………………………..14 Instrument …………………………………………………………..15-16 Data collection Procedures …………………………………………16 Method of data analysis……………………………………………..16

Limitations of the study……………………………………………..17
Timetable ……………………………………………………………18 References
Appendix
* Sample questionnaires

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction and Background to the Study

Stakeholders in education are continuously searching for a solution that will change our public education system and establish a system of education for our youth, by providing them with a quality of education on par with any first world country. I believe that the success of any school in carrying out its core function of educating and socializing students is dependent on the ability of the students to attend school regularly. In order to benefit from the academic and social programs offered by schools, students need to be present on a continuous basis. Student non-attendance is a problem that extends beyond the school. It affects the student, their families, and the community at large as a result nation growth and building is impacted when students are absent from school as a result of community violence. The study will investigate the impact of violence in three volatile communities on students’ attendance in a selected high school in Kingston, Jamaica. The researcher is aware that the attendance of students to school is impacted by several variables not all of which will be examined in this research. Students who are absent from school will not grasp what was taught even if they gather the notes from their friends or other sources. The regular commute for some students to and from school takes some of them through volatile communities that are susceptible to spontaneous acts of violence which can take many forms. Passage through these neighboring communities pose great danger and threaten students’ lives not because they are affiliated with any of the gangs but their geographical residence. Gang rivalry dominates, threatens and taints adjoining districts thereby driving fear and intimidates all who have to use these thoroughfares. The Ministry of Education, the local governing body of schools in Jamaica place major emphasis on students and teacher performance but most teachers when queried posits that the students performance are affected by the students themselves and the parental involvement. Teaching in an inner-city school I have observed that there are some students who are frequently absent from school which in my opinion has affected their performance negatively. Their tendency to become truants is increased since the stress associated with absenteeism due to community violence makes the act of learning difficult and unappealing to them. The task of reaching these students in the classroom is difficult for the teacher as their focus is most times not centered in the classroom. The social interaction of some students appear to be more confrontational than others, some students ability to manage conflicts appear to be impacted by their community or home...
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