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Informative Essay on the Impact of Truancy

0 August 11 2014, 15:15 in Truancy Essays

Informative Essay on the Impact of Truancy

Truancy is a regarded as the intentional and unauthorized absence from school. These absences do not include legitimate or "excused” absences wherein the child cannot attend a class because of reasons such as medical condition. Rather, these are absences that are intentional or a choice made by students out of their own free will. It is popularly referred to as "cutting classes”, "bunking”, "skipping”, "ditching” and "playing hookey” among many others. Although many parents may think that this is simply a part of growing up, truancy can in fact, affect the students in numerous ways.

According to statistics, hundreds of thousands of youths are absent from school every day. Most of these students skip their class without an excuse, and hence are deemed truant. Some of the causes of truancy include lack of parental guidance or supervision, economic reasons, and other variables such as climate issues, lack of understanding of attendance laws, and health difficulties among many others. Nonetheless, many scholars suggest that students who are truant or who often skip class are more likely to be alienated from the education system. This is largely because sustained truancy affected the educational achievement of the student. As a result, the individual will encounter a significantly diminished opportunities later in life. A study conducted by Hughes (1999) show that student attendance is one of the most important variables which affects the pupil’s attainment. The study which involved senior secondary students, show that truants displayed a lower achievement in reading. These students in particular had the highest risk for adverse outcomes in their adult years (24). A different study indicates the truancy is a phenomenon that has a strong association between poor performance in school exams and tests. Majority of this evidence comes from the educational performance of university level students. Findings show that students who frequently skip their classes show poor class performance as evident in their test results and overall class average (Durden & Ellis 343).

Apart from poor educational achievement, a growing number of researches also suggest that truancy is a predictor of delinquency. Many experts identify truancy as a warning sign that the youth is gearing towards potential delinquent activities and social isolation. Various studies established lack of commitment to attend school is a risk factor for teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy among many others. According to studies, students who regularly skip classes are more likely to be involved in serious violent and non-violent offenses in the future. Apart from this, truancy in younger years such as elementary schools is associated to serious delinquent behavior among children at the age of twelve and under.

Aside from delinquency, many experts believe that truancy has a social and financial impact on the individual. Studies show that students with the highest rates of truancy have the lowest academic achievement rates. In addition, youth truants are most likely to drop out of school. And the consequences of dropping out of school easily translate to fewer job opportunities. Alternately, truancy can relate to lower salaries and even unemployment (Baker, 2).

Based on the points provided, it can be argued that truancy has a number of adverse effects on the life of the students as well as in their future. For example, studies show that students who often skip their classes are more likely to have lower or poor school performance. This in turn can result to fewer employment opportunities in the future. In the same way, skipping class is closely associated with the higher risk of delinquent behavior and action among youths.


Works Cited

Baker, M.; Sigmond, J.; & Jane N. "Truancy Reduction: Keeping Students in School”. Juvenile Justice Bulletin, 23, p. 1-6

Durden, G. & Ellis, L. "The effects of attendance on student learning in principles of economics”. American Economic Review, 85, pp. 343-46

Hughes, D.; Lauder, H. Robinson, T. "Do Schools Make a Difference?” Ministry of Education, 1999

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