Truancy: High School and Socioeconomic Status

Topics: High school, Qualitative research, Secondary school Pages: 11 (3542 words) Published: October 7, 2010
A study to explore the factors contributing to
truancy among a group of Grade 9 boys at the
Rosemount Primary and Junior High School in
Linstead St. Catherine.
Submitted by:Angene Clarke
Course Title: Action Research

Date: August 10, 2010.

Truancy is an important issue in today’s society, as it is a clear warning sign for other problems a student may be facing, and also has strong links to delinquency and substance use. Truancy is rated among the major problems facing schools today (Garry, 1996Truancy is a deviant behaviour practice by many students in most of our schools. However, the level of truancy varies with schools. It is an unacceptable behaviour which can cause many social problems in our schools and society. In general Truancy is not an inherited behaviour but one that has resulted from many external factors in a child’s life. These can either be personal, parental, community, school or culture. The boys in this study were often absent from school and when they are present at school they are absent from the various classes. These boys would be seen in the town of Linstead in their school uniform long after school dismisses The high level of truancy practice among a group of Grade 9 boys at the Rosemount Primary and Junior High School has cause for grave concern. Truants often perceive the world around them as unstable and confusing. Many come from dysfunctional families with weak internal structures, high conflict and emotional insecurity. In the school setting, truants question their academic prowess, exhibit low self-esteem and have difficulty establishing positive relations with peers and school staff. Confrontation is often the hallmark of their school experience. Rosemount Primary and Junior High School is situated in the outskirt of Linstead in the Rosemount community. The school’s population is about 750 most of whom are boys. The academic staff comprises of 39 teachers, 30 females and 9 males which includes 2 guidance councillors. The teaching staff is a highly qualified one. The school is not considered under staff and so the teachers are not overburden with heavy work load. The school operates on a shift system with a change of shift occurring in February of each year so as to allow persons to experience both shifts Problem Statement

The problem is the high number of truancy displayed by a group of grade 9 boys at the Rosemount Primary and Junior High School in Linstead St. Catherine. There is agreement that truancy is an important issue because of the negative impact of loss of human capital when students do not complete school (Lee & Burkam).The boys are losing valuable class time which has impacted on their overall performances. If this problem is not addressed their performance in the GNAT examination will be affected. Research has shown that there is a link between student attendance and student performance. For school to carry out its function of educating and socializing students, regular attendance is essential, When schools fail to perform these functions it will give rise to anti-social behaviour in our society. Purpose of the study

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore to find reasons and possible solution for the high level of truancy among a group of grade 9 boys at the Rosemount Primary and Junior High School. The population in this study is 550 students of which 30 will be used in the sample. The techniques used to collect data were interview and in-depth interview. Significance of the study

The issue of truancy compromises schools' primary function and places our young people at risk. The benefits that can be derived from this study are schools, Rosemount Primary and Junior High in particular will be able to carry out its functions. Student will develop high self-esteem and self efficacy allowing them to be more sociable. As truancy also affects the wider society, truant students have the potential to lead a lifetime of...
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