The Unheared Voice of Truant Students: Implications for School Leaders

Mesfin Manaze


The objective of this study was to explore the possible factors, impacts and prevention mechanisms by school administrators of absenteeism among high school students in Yekatit 12 preparatory school of Addis Ababa City Administration. To achieve the objective of the study a qualitative approach was employed and data was collected from five students based on the number of days that they were absent from school. The main data collection methods employed were consultation of documents like the attendance sheet and records of the student on their absenteeism and in depth interview. Once the data was collected, it was transcribed and translated. Content analysis was used to find out the main themes emerging to answer the basic questions raised. Base on the analysis of the study, it was found out that substance abuse resulted from peer pressure; economic problems due to family separation and domestic chore burden were the main factors for students’ absenteeism. The impact of absenteeism was also found to be huge in decreasing academic performance and results of the students as they miss lectures, demonstrations and class activities which are going to be marked including tests and quizzes. Though teachers and school administrators support was mentioned, it was not found to be at the level which is required to fully understand and help them not to dropout from Scholl. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that the school has to put in place a strict control of drugs and alcohol inside the school premise, guidance and counseling service of the school to be strengthened and to try to engage NGOs and other partners to assist economically poor students.


Truancy, absenteeism, School leadership

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