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· Volume III Issue I


This study investigated on the underlying factors concerning students’ absences at Gusa National High School – FS Catanico Annex in School-Year 2015-2016. It aimed to improve students’ attendance and participation, for a generally improved school learning outcome. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies were utilized. There were twenty-seven student-participants randomly selected from Grades Seven to Ten and eleven parent-participants from grades Seven to Eleven. Survey-questionnaires for the students were used to gather the data needed and a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with parents and teachers was conducted. Ten questions were included in the questionnaire for students. The two-hour Focus Group Discussion with the parents was observed to gather data. Tallied frequencies and the transcriptions of the recorded video served as the basis to determine the common and underlying factors affecting students’ attendance. Findings revealed that Illness ranked first among the common factors causing students’ absences. However, Computer Addiction, which ranked second, revealed to be the underlying factor affecting the students’ absences as resulted from the FGD with the parents. Both factors mentioned though are under Student Factor in the Survey Questionnaire, which led to conclusion that the students are fully aware of their responsibility as individuals and they finger-point no one but themselves on their absenteeism. The need for better participation and strict ordinance implementation from the community like prohibition of the entry of minors in internet cafes and video game centers during class hours and the functionality of the government-provided computers for students in school are found to be helpful. 

Keywords: Students, Absences, Improve, Attendance


Absenteeism is one of the major problems faced by both public and private school teachers today.  Various incentives and motivational techniques have been implemented by the Department of Education to solve issues related to it, and some schools are also carrying out their school initiated interventions just to keep the registered learners in school every day for the rest of the school-years until they finish their basic education.

Child-finding is the most recent strategy being utilized by the Department of Education in the Philippines, which is basically a move or an intervention to find the pupils or students at risk of dropping out, those who have been absent for consecutive days or even weeks, and those who have even decided to drop out from the roll. This becomes a great challenge for the teachers especially when they feel they have exhausted all their means to motivate the students to stay in school, and more so if the parents would even declare they have done their best but could not persuade their children to go back to school for whatever reason.

As observed, during home visitations to the learners who are frequently absent, the students would just tell the visiting teacher-adviser the valid and acceptable reasons for their absence, so they may be given considerations.  However, some reasons are common, and some are unique.  

Gusa National High School-FS Catanico Annex is a public secondary school located at the heart of Barangay FS Catanico, Cagayan de Oro City, surrounded by mountains and is about three (3) kilometers away from the highway of Cugman, Cagayan De Oro City. For School-year 2015-2016, it has a population of 136 with the common occupations of the students’ parents/guardians as farmers and contractual laborers.  It has seventy-seven 77% reported Indigenous People in the community with two (2) Datus and the rest, Higaonon Tribe members. Moreover, sixty-eight students or fifty percent (50%) of them are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4 Ps) recipients and twenty-six (26) or nineteen percent (19%) of them are scholars of the Second Legislative District Representative Rufus Rodriguez.

Absenteeism in school is the habit of staying away from school without providing a genuine or any reason for not attending classes. Absenteeism is a truant behavior that negatively affects the students’ individual performance and the school performance.

Chronic absenteeism is usually defined as missing ten percent or more of school days.  Unfortunately, few school districts currently have the capacity to analyze attendance data to identify those students who are chronically absent. 

In the Department of Education, DepEd Order No. 11, series of 2011 section 157.1 was issued stating that a pupil/student who incurs absences of more than 20% of the prescribed number of class or laboratory periods during the school year or term should be given a failing grade and given no credit for the course or subject.  This is the reason why teachers are in a dilemma, when students have reached their maximum number of allowable absences, yet still wanted to pass in their subjects.

However, the question is, with the ultimate goal of the Department of Education to improve student outcome, how will it be possible when the students are frequently outside the classroom?

Based on the School Form 4 in September to November 2015, there was a decreasing trend in the monthly attendance of the students, and that the percentage of daily average students’ attendance in the second quarter of that School-Year was only 81%.  This authentic consolidated data cause dismay to the School Head and the teachers as well, because the lowest of that was specifically from the Grade 9 students with only 58% in November 2015.  The situation was very alarming especially that the academic performance of the students, the enrolment, and the possible increase in drop-out rate are at stake.   

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