The Education Issue is Important at the All Levels


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Education at all levels
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The Education Issue is Important at the Individual and Community Levels

“How do school staffs support children who take extended absence from education, and what are their perceptions on the impact of such absences on the children’s attainment and overall development?”


The economic, social and cultural development of any society is the combination of several factors such as the awakening of consciousness, the acquisition of knowledge, and, generally, education (Atkinson et al., 2000). Therefore, the development of humanity inevitably passes through education which is the means for any society to ensure its sustainability. As old as human societies, education is a field that requires patience, attention, regularity, and continuity. Economic growth, the reduction of poverty, the improvement of living and working conditions as well as the good health of the population are objectives linked to education (Burgess et al., 2001).

Therefore, The education issue is vital at the individual and community levels. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948, states that “everyone has the right to education (p.14)”. We must therefore give everyone the opportunity to access education, which is a cardinal value. In other words, the child has the right to an education that must be free and compulsory, at least at the elementary level. He must benefit from an education that contributes to his general culture and allows him, under conditions of equal opportunity, to develop his faculties, personal judgment, and sense of moral and social responsibilities (Gorby et al., 2005).

Thus, all of humanity is committed towards focusing all its energies and efforts on education. The conclusions of the conference of education ministers from around the world held in Jomtien (THAILAND) in 1990 under the aegis of UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank states that education is the crucible of all development and the magic remedy for the prevention of all the ills of mankind. Therefore, education must be provided to every inhabitant of the earth, in order to eradicate illiteracy. Hence the slogan “Education For All (EFA)”. The one thousand five hundred (1500) participants felt that basic education appeared to be an attainable goal. To this end, they proclaimed the World Declaration on EFA and pledged to promote free and compulsory basic education, to take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and to reduce the drop-out from school (Department For Education and Skills, 2001).
Truancy can be presented as a characteristic of building autonomy in adolescence, as can the assertion of tastes and the desire to earn money. Young people therefore become in a position to criticize the school offer and thus decide what is important to them and what is not. This is when they decide whether or not to go to a class (Gorby et al., 2003). Truancy is explained as the habit of being absent from school without seeking prior permission and is a major issue which impacts the overall success of the student’s academic success (Wilson et al, 2008).
Possible Causes of Longer Absenteeism from Education
Education/School-related Causes
Absenteeism can be explained by a refusal of the attendance constraint (). According to Galand (2004), alienation from school is the only significant predictor of the number of absences. This feeling is associated with motivational orientations, the feeling of belonging and the perception of the quality of the teacher-student relationship. The absences of young people are the consequences of a process of demotivation, disaffiliation and alienation. The variables related to school experience are the most important predictors when it comes to school disengagement. When these variables are taken into account, socio-demographic characteristics add little to the prediction (Galland 2004). It should not be denied, however, that the family context plays a role in school engagement. Indeed, family support and the feeling of alienation are correlated with each other (Galland, 2004).
Many students are not convinced by the usefulness of studying. This can be because the goal is too far away or because the diploma does not lead to a job. In addition, the student may find that studying does not provide him with much intellectual value and that it can humiliate him and cause him to fail. For these adolescents, studies do not represent "real life" and they find that school keeps them in the status of children, even though they are almost adults (Leroy and Huerre, 2006).
The more inclusive the family environment, the lower the level of absenteeism. In fact, students absent from class are often those who are alone when they have to go to school and alone when they come home (Leroy and Huerre, 2006).
Students who drop out of school are more dissatisfied, skip school and are dissatisfied with school regulations. When a student misses school for no good reason, has been suspended from school or intends to drop out, his or her chances of having very low scores are multiplied by 8.4 and low scores by 5, 3. (Halsey et al., 2004).

Background Related Education Causes 
O'Briain (2006) is interested in the problems and needs of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He states that a considerable effort has been made to democratize education. Far from being a failure, the operation made it possible, on the contrary, to make elementary and secondary school accessible to almost all children. However, a serious problem remains unresolved. If equal access is ensured, equal opportunities appear far from being achieved (O'Briain, 2006). Here, equality means, for each child, having the same chances as others to succeed in school and to benefit from school.
In recent years, several secondary schools have been built across the country. This does not reflect the equality of chance of success, because there are CEGs in rural areas which are sorely lacking in teachers. This situation favors student absenteeism (Rothman, 2004). The learner will find that it is not necessary to come to school for 1 to 2 hours of lessons only. In the same vein, the author adds that the underprivileged community is at the top of the list with regard to absenteeism. According to him, a large number of children from this environment come to school without sufficient preparation for school life. What could push them to be absent, and those who manage to their first years of attendance show a significant drop in performance and an almost total loss of motivation. Parents can hardly be counted on to help children integrate and progress in school. Families have multiple issues to deal with, so they never realize that their children are irregular in class (Rothman, 2004).
In addition, this author indexes the school institution: he affirms that the school difficulties, in particular the drop-outs, the delays and the absenteeism must be recognized as an institutional problem, a problem for which the school is largely responsible (Schagen et al., 2004). For this author, the school is not a priori concerned with the needs of young people. The crucial problem of school demotivation of young people relates to the inadequacy of the programs in relation to their real life. It is neither the difficulties of the task of learning, nor the effort required. They do not understand that they are being forced to learn things which mean nothing to them and which will only serve a minority of them (Railsback, 2004). The inadequacy of programs has long been criticized within countries. When the pupil does not find meaning in what he is taught, he is demotivated.
The author suggests the alternative school as a solution. This alternative school is an educational environment whose exclusive mandate is to meet the real needs of the learner, rather than a place of selection-elimination. It is about being consistent with the values, beliefs, lifestyles and conceptions of society (Demir and Karabeyoglu, 2015).
It has also been noticed that the failure rate of the Baccalaureate of CEGs set up in departmental high schools is high. There are certain high schools in rural areas in the UK that have 0% success in the BAC. In these localities, there are no libraries where the pupils could enrich their knowledge unlike their classmates from the privileged environment. This constitutes among other things a real source of demotivation which generates absenteeism (Wagner et al., 2004). Moreover, when the programs taught do not meet the needs of the learner, he no longer considers it necessary to go to school. () writing sheds light on the role of the institution in demotivating students from poor backgrounds. It reveals avenues of investigation within different realities in the search for a new way of managing absences.
Withers (2014) provide a sociological explanation of school difficulties that can lead to wastage, failure, and school absenteeism. The main explanations put forward are: socio-economic handicap and socio-cultural handicap.
At the level of socio-economic handicap, the authors explain failure, dropping out and absenteeism by the fact that the financial disparities of families could have an effect on school success. They put forward the hypothesis that the unfavorable living conditions in terms of housing and food, health, the obligation to work to contribute to the maintenance of the family unit, or even poverty does not allow poor families to meet the minimum material required for their children's school attendance. This situation is greatly also evident in most rural regions where nearly 80% of the population lives in poverty (Aos, 2002).
Regarding socio-cultural handicap, the authors maintain that the school environment favors certain ways of being that correspond to the culture of the privileged class to the detriment of the culture of the disadvantaged classes which can lead to school absenteeism. Yet each social class has its attitudes, habits and way of life in this environment which is more favorable to the well-to-do and bourgeois classes. According to these authors, children from underprivileged classes are therefore at a disadvantage and have more difficulty coming to school regularly or staying in school. Parents' level of education, their expectations of school are among other factors that influence children's school careers. Cotton (2000) also accuse the language used at school which would be much closer to that of the favored layers and which would play against the children of the deprived classes (Cotton, 2000).
Research on socio-cultural disability tends to demonstrate the existence of cultural differences between social classes as well as the existence of specific cultural values ​​that would be transmitted by the educational institution. Socio-economic and socio-cultural factors are not the only causes of the inequalities that reign in society in general. The educational institution is also the transmission belt of inequalities (DuBois et al., 2002).
JANOZ (2000) evokes the factors contributing to poor school attendance which later leads to dropping out of school. The reason of focusing is because absenteeism is a manifestation of poor attendance. These are: institutional factors, family factors and interpersonal factors (Janoz, 2000).
Institutional factors are linked to the school's structures, its course organization or its climate, which influence the school experience of adolescents. Smaller schools tend to encourage student participation in extracurricular activities and allow more flexible and closer supervision by adults. In contrast, schools which incorporate a wide variety of secondary education pathways and which cater to a highly diverse population culturally, ethnically and intellectually are less effective. In addition, the stress that accompanies the transition from primary to secondary can have deleterious effects on academic success (Sheldon, 2007).
With regard to family factors, children who come from broken up or reconstituted families, or from families where there are several children and whose parents have little education, are more likely to be absent and school drop-out. Parents who value school little and get little involved in the school supervision of their children favor the phenomenon, as do families who have a permissive family style, in which there is a lack of communication and warmth in child / parent relationships (Lee and Burkam, 2003).
BAUMRIND, (1971) cited by MARCOTTE, D. et al, (2001) “the permissive parenting style is linked to behavioral problems at school and drug use, to problems of impulsivity, aggression, absenteeism as well as a lack of capability to take on responsibilities”.
In most underdeveloped countries, the disengagement of families with little education is observable. Parents do not get involved in the supervision of their children. They don't go looking for newsletters that might tell them about their children's conduct and work. Also, in polygamous families with a large number of siblings, the children do not have direct communication with their dad who does not, moreover, try to find out whether his children regularly attend school. In addition, in high schools and colleges, certain absences of girls are linked to the absence of their mother in the home (Marcotte, D. et al, 2001).
Interpersonal factors are linked to peer relations, social isolation and rejection which increase academic misconduct. Conflicting and unsatisfactory relationships with teachers or administrative staff also appear to be risk factors. Indeed, in second cycle classes some students are permanently in opposition to their teachers who expel them from the course. There are also the difficult relations with the supervisors who only seek to punish the slightest fault.
The author also notes individual factors, the most important of which are intellectual and verbal ability, academic failure and delay, demotivation, the feeling of weakened competence, low educational aspirations, additive behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs.
How to Manage School Education Absenteeism?
Sanctions, an ineffective remedy
In the shorter term, exclusion from school is associated with the feelings of stigmatization, rejection as well as shame (Harris, Vincent, Thomson & Toalster, 2006) whereas in the longer term with ‘going missing from education’ (Gazeley, 2010), criminal involvement (Vulliamy & Webb, 2000), risk of future unemployment (Kaplan & McArdle, 2004) as well as social exclusion  from the society (Daniels, 2011).
Salaried work is one of the reasons that can lead a student to “skip” classes. In some migrant families, girls may take over from parents to care for their brothers and sisters. Over-empowered, they must juggle domestic work and school. In this case, the teacher should contact the parents. This is of course to avoid guilty speeches and rather to ensure that the notion of compulsory education is well integrated by parents. It is important to explain the stake that school represents for the child (Schargel and Smith, 2001).
In any case, whatever the situation, for many educators, dialogue should be favored, rather than sanction. Whether it's an hour of glue, community service, or punishment, this one should be used sparingly. Effective on a student who is not used to being absent, it is often useless with repeated offenders. In any case, this is the opinion of Djafer Bellal, CPE at Jacques Brel high school: "How do you expect glue hours to be an appropriate response? The students can't manage 30 hours of class and you want to ask them to do 35? Without the support of teachers, parents and the administration, we are completely helpless in the face of this type of absenteeism. The only recourse is dialogue, but it is random. "

A Real Policy for Managing Absences In Education
For their part, certain heads of establishments decided to initiate a real policy of managing absences. This is the case of Georges Turin, principal of the Saint-Exupéry high school, located in the northern districts of Marseille and classified as a ZEP. At the start of the 2002 school year, with the agreement of his superiors, they installed software to manage absences.
According to Hallam and Rogers (2008) GDEP (management of presence faults), its operating mode is simple. Teachers have a call book, in which each student is identified by a bar code. With an optical reading pencil connected to a modem, they note the absences of the pupils. The information is then transmitted to a central unit installed at the school life office. "The advantage," explains Georges Turin, "is that you can map student absences. We know their frequency, the least frequented schedules. But all this is only of interest if we put in place a real policy to manage absenteeism ".
They therefore decided to use this data to optimize schedules and find solutions to the absenteeism of a particular student. "When they visualize their absences in the form of a curve or a diagram, the pupils become aware of their attitude. It is not a question of making them feel guilty but above all of re-involving them more in the School. Therefore, we can consider solutions. I prefer the logic of the contract rather than that of the sanction. I prefer to tell them "Show me that you are able to not be absent for 15 days and we will advise". And suddenly, when they rise to the challenge, it's a real victory for the student and for the school, "said the principal. In Saint-Exupéry, since the implementation of the software, the absenteeism rate has not exceeded 2% per class on average across the establishment.
Intervention strategies In Education
Foyer program (Chomedey Quebec school)
This program affects junior high school students at Chomedey School for prolonged absenteeism from school. This program aims to prevent absenteeism by keeping students at risk of dropping out in school and if possible in regular classes. The second objective is to enable teachers in regular classes to increase the quality of their teaching. Preventive support, accommodation for students at risk of long absences, accommodation for dropouts, for students exhibiting disruptive behavior, for expelled students as well as accommodation for students from a disturbed group are measures taken by the program to counter absences (Bouchard, 1999).
Failures, crises, conflicts, etc., can cause some students to remain absent from school or run away from it. In order to avoid further damage to the struggling student, decisions will be made with him, his parents and the teachers concerned so that he is removed from one or more of his classes to be taken to the Foyer program. This placement takes place after an examination and after using other means that would have allowed the young person to remain in regular classes. Placement can help prevent the student's difficulties in one class from recurring in other groups. In addition, the work that the student does in the Foyer program allows him to strengthen his position in regular classes. During the school year, the young person can return to regular classes, otherwise the following year, the young person begins the year in regular class. Finally, this program is for some the only way to return to school or to access regular classes (Ryan and Patrick, 2001).

Check & Connect Education Program (American) 
This program aims to reduce truancy and the rate of dismissal. It is offered for students from kindergarten to the end of high school. It also aims to increase student learning and increase student achievement. Several strategies have been put in place to carry out the project, namely:
·         relationship building (mutual trust and open communication),
·         monitoring the young person's personal indicators such as his academic performance and behavior,
·         individual intervention according to the needs of the young person,
·         the long-term program commitment, i.e. a commitment of at least two years with young people and their families,
·         have continuity and consistency,
·         improve problem solving,
·         facilitate students' access to activities and events.
The role of educators is to facilitate the student-school link. The educator helps expand the school's services and offer them to students and their families. Individualized intervention with students to help them develop their learning skills and facilitate their commitment to success. The educator is informed of the young person's behavior at school, his school results, etc (Wilson and Pirrie, 2000).
Two types of intervention are set up: the basic intervention (offered to all targeted students) and the intensive intervention (which is done according to individual needs). The basic intervention offers preventive measures to all targeted students. The educator explains his role to the students and their families, meets the students regularly, etc. The topics discussed during the meetings could be, the importance of staying in school, problem solving, etc. The intensive intervention, on the other hand, targets students at greater risk of dropping out of school. Services are therefore used to intervene as early as possible with young people.

Student Attendance and Learning In Education
The goal of Education Action Plan is to help improve student outcomes, particularly in math and literacy, and to better prepare them to lead productive lives in a changing world. In order to achieve these goals, it is important that students attend school consistently. Research shows that the main factor influencing student learning in the best performing schools in the world is the quality of teaching (OFSTED, 2001a). It is impossible for pupils to benefit from the teaching of their teacher if they do not come to class Regular attendance of pupils at school also prepares young people for the expectations in the world of work. arrive at work on time every day, except when you have a justified and excused absence In school, students learn teamwork skills, develop relationships and learn to problem-solve collaboratively. , students form friendships and participate in activities that help them develop socially (OFSTED, 2001a).
Despite all these advantages, 28% 100 of students missed 16 or more days of school last year. In terms of different grade levels, the proportion of students who missed 16 or more school days is 20%. Elementary 100, from 37%, 100 in lower secondary and 32 in upper secondary
The Education Action Plan, providing their ideas and comments on all kinds of issues, including attendance and responsibility: It is essential to emphasize to students and families the importance of good attendance, from elementary school onwards, when we are not trying to solve the problems attendance, the pupil ends up falling behind and suffers from a decrease in his interest and motivation in learning and school’s responsibility for their learning, especially in terms of attendance. If the student does not understand how important it is to have good attendance at school, he risks the same behavior at work (Hinojosa, 2008). 
One of the priorities of the Education Action Plan is to keep students interested and motivated in learning in school. Two of the plan’s four pillars focus on curriculum innovation and school integration, and these two pillars have direct links to student participation. The measures taken in this area are as follows: prevention and preventive intervention programs to help students with behavioral problems, increase in the number of school sites where work is carried out in a collaborative manner with families. 
The work on student motivation must continue. Research indicates that, even when faced with individual, family or community factors that contribute to poor attendance, students will be well attended as long as school is a welcoming environment in which they feel supported and which stimulates them academically. This will help improve student attendance and achieve better results (Brady, 2006). 

Absenteeism and Classroom Climate Working Committee 
The 2009 Absenteeism and Classroom Climate Working Committee recommended a pilot project for high schools in five school boards, starting in 2011. In this pilot project, school administrators and teachers were provided with a whole panoply of measures to be taken in response to absenteeism problems, these measures being of increasing intensity according to the number of absences. The increase in the number of absences led to an increase in the number of communications with the parent / guardian. If the proportion of absences from class reached 20% and if all the other measures had been tried, then the student might lose credit for the course.
The results of this pilot project show that strengthening direct communication between school and families has contributed to an overall improvement in attendance. The methods used to collect the data have failed to make a reliable assessment of the impact of the threat of credit loss on improved attendance (Garin, 2012).

Research and Experience 
Recent research in the United States, with support from the Attendance Works network, highlights a range of strategies for reducing chronic absenteeism problems: recognition for students with good attendance or improved attendance, involving students and parents, personalized liaison services from the early stages, monitoring attendance data and practices, developing programs and services in response to problems of attendance etc. (Balagna et al., 2013). Studies show, for example, that schools that are successful in improving attendance problems are schools that have well-established relationships with parents / guardians, social workers and other members of the community (Humphrey, 2013). 
The Education Act requires all students between the ages of five and 16 to be in school. Improving attendance is a shared responsibility for all. It is important to put effort into it from elementary school; otherwise, absenteeism problems are likely to continue (Balfanz and Byrnes, 2012). 
The attitude of parents and family towards school attendance and school in general can have an important role to play in a child's attendance. If parents and students are facing difficulties, they should be offered support structures.
Members of the ministerial advisory committee on student issues indicate that students can also get help from their peers, through student councils or clubs. Students also say parents / guardians have real-time access to attendance data through PowerSchool, the student information system now used in all schools across the UK. This allows them to provide them with more information to fulfill their responsibility for their child's attendance at school. Teachers, principals, school staff is often expected to help absent students catch up. If it does not help them, they risk falling even further behind, which could lead to more absences and a drop in their academic performance (Cetin and Cok, 2011). At the same time, when the teacher helps students who are absent without an acceptable reason, it prevents them from spending that time on other responsibilities in the classroom and with other students.
The reasons why students miss lessons are varied and sometimes complex and can change as the student progresses in his education. When the school has a range of tools to deal with attendance issues, including support structures, incentives and sanctions, it can tailor its response to achieve the best possible results in the particular circumstances. The main purpose of the attendance policy is to promote academic success and the achievement of good results by the students. The second principle is that the policy should be applied in such a way that the students who need support do not fall further behind (Lauchlan, 2003).
In the early grades, children rely on their parents to make sure they get to school on time. If the family is struggling, providing support to the family will have the biggest impact on a student's attendance at school. These could include arrangements for driving the student to school, parenting groups, breakfast programs, etc. In some cases, other community groups can help. At more advanced grade levels, some students do not come to school because the class is too difficult or not motivating enough. Student can be helped by organizing tutoring sessions or by finding different ways to motivate them.
Some schools use incentives to improve attendance: recognition for students, classroom rewards, exam waivers when grades and attendance are high, etc. 
The school administration could ultimately decide not to give a student credit for a course if they had missed 20% in their attendance. On the other hand, some say that losing a credit is not an appropriate sanction if the student is able to pass tests and complete homework without having to attend the Classes. However, in such a situation, the student will lose the other advantages associated with attending school (teamwork, social relations, etc.). Some schools use other sanctions (school suspensions, loss of privileges - such as participation in a sports team - etc.

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