Truancy tops the list of misdemeanours by our students. Almost every day, students are caught playing truant. Although it is not a serious problem, it must be nipped in the bud.
Truancy means being absent from school without a valid reason. Students play truant for a number of reasons. Most of them play truant because of negative peer influence. They follow their friends who skip school. Financial problems can also cause a student to stay away from school and that explains why students who play truant are mainly from the lower income groups. Learning problems is another cause of truancy. Students who find academic subjects difficult or boring would prefer to play truant. Some students who are addicted to drugs or alcohol will frequently be absent. The fear of bullying or harassment may also cause timid students to play truant.
If left unchecked, truancy can lead to juvenile delinquency and numerous other negative outcomes. Youths who play truant have an increased risk of dropping out of school. School dropouts are more likely to he unemployed as prospective employers are concerned about attendance of their potential employees. Regular school attendance is also important for academic success. If a student often plays truant, he may fail in his examinations. Students who play truant also have low self-esteem and become social misfits.
To curb truancy, initiatives must be taken. Prevention is the key. Early intervention can tackle the problem. Students who often skip classes should be given counselling. Parents should check with teachers and school authorities periodically to monitor students' attendance. Police patrols will deter repeat offenders.