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Should Good Attendance Be Rewarded in Singaporean Schools?

Schools adopted attendance records to discourage truancy, account for the students’ whereabouts, and monitor student attendance throughout the school period. The attendance records motivate students to attend class to avoid failing a class or repeating a school year. In turn, the enthusiastic students earn a decent education and former truants avoid detention and get to pass particular classes thus graduate. Furthermore, some schools have adopted a rewarding policy where they award students with perfect attendance records. These rewards motivate students to attend class. A majority of learners attend class to achieve different objectives namely learn new things, avoid penalties for missing class, and earn the attendance award. But should schools award good attendance? Learning benefits the students. Do they need external forces pushing them to attend class even though missing it affects their grades and their learning process?

Rewards are good because they act as motivators. A student getting an attendance award in addition to acquiring an education is motivated to attend more classes. More so, the award shines teaching in a positive light. The student will, therefore, aim at succeeding in class while attending all lectures. Such a scenario benefits a student who enjoys learning and who does not mind staying through an entire lecture to learn.

The rewards also push the students who do not enjoy learning, to attend class. Students who do not love learning may want to go to class to get perfect records and be acknowledged for such records. With time, such students may come across classes they enjoy, which will depict learning in a different perspective. The rewards will assist in giving students the incentive to learn new things and attend classes. Eventually, such students will not only enjoy learning but will also improve their grades.

Rewarding good attendance will promote class attendance; but will it emphasize the importance of education? As mentioned, students attend class to achieve different objectives. Only a small percentage attends class to learn. Were it possible for students to sit for the examination and pass without attending class; they would. Does this mean that such rewards will negate the importance of learning? Yes and no. Some students only attend class to confirm attendance. They are physically in class, but their minds are not in it. Additionally, the rewards show students that the only benefit of going to class is to get the awards. Such a mentality makes students’ miss class since the only thing they will lose, according to them, is the award. The awards do not emphasize the importance of learning.

In light of this information, is rewarding good attendance necessary? There is a need to some extent. However, schools should do more to ensure that students attend class and benefit from it. Schools need to emphasize to students the importance of learning. They should also make the lessons more interactive and enjoyable. Moreover, students should choose the courses that are in line with their prospects instead of sitting through classes they do not like. Consequently, students with perfect attendance records will receive their awards while the other students get an education.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

1 Comment

  1. Can I please ask for permission to use the image posted here? Thanks

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