The number of days a student attends school directly impinges on their performance. A school is home to all academic instruction. As a result, students who do not fully attend classes decline in their academic performance.
Research authenticates the hypothesis that low school attendance results in low academic achievement. Students who have a high attendance index in a given academic period demonstrate higher academic success than those who have low school attendance.
Many students miss school because of medical related problems. These are mostly beyond the control or influence of anyone. However, cases of students who feign sickness because they want to get out of school or miss a particular lesson should be checked.
I once came across a case of a seven-year-old girl who used to complain of stomach pains every morning, when she felt like not going to school. Initially, her parents honestly granted her wish but later, discovered that it was a delusion which forced them to change their approach.
How can I determine whether a child is telling the truth or not? Schools have nurses who can examine students to determine the extent of any illness. However, the health of students should not be taken for granted. No health complaint from a student should be blatantly ignored without due examination. There have been cases of death of students in schools due to negligence.
On the other hand, other health related problems can be averted with support of parents and other professionals like food nutritionists. Overweight children experience negative psychological ramifications such as peer rejection, bullying and other behavior problems. They are segregated and this, in turn, adversely affects their performance.
There are other factors that negatively affect performance. They include; negative attitude towards certain subjects, poor syllabus coverage and physical inactivity. Chemistry has the lion share of the negative attitude. Many students dread it, a reason why they perform poorly.
Incompletely covering a syllabus deprives students of good examination preparation. It is the prerogative of the schools’ administration to ensure that students are taught well and a syllabus is adequately covered.
Physical activity increases students’ mental capacity and performance. Students who are good at sports and are hard working in class are always the best. Physical education is compulsory in all Rwandan schools.
All students should participate to keep fit, prevent diseases and enhance their health so that they do not lose a lot of school days.
The author is the Director of Studies at Nu Vision High School, Kabuga