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Attendance Reforms Still Needed in Schools & Universities of the Arab World

By       Message Kevin Anthony Stoda     Permalink
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Attendance Reforms Still Needed in Schools & Universities of the Arab World, i.e. to ensure progress, development, jobs, and empowerment of populace

By Kevin Stoda

I have written previously on the issue of whether attendance is important at the tertiary level of education around the world.

As I have taught in the Middle East most of the past 13 years, I am particularly concerned about the relationship between poor attendance practices in schools and universities in Arab lands and the lack of achievement there academically  due to lost time-on-task-spent practicing.

This morning, I came across a two year old article from Yemen which reveals how one government in the regiona has tried to encourage female students to attend classes over the past half-decade.

The article notes: "A two-year-old government scheme offering financial incentives to parents in the rural areas of two of the country's poorest governorates to send their daughters to school or to prevent them from dropping out is paying off as girls' enrollment rates have increased by around 9 percent in the targeted schools, according to education officials."

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"According to a 2007 UN Development Programme report, 43 percent of girls and 67 percent of boys were enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary education in the country. In addition, only 35 percent of girls were literate, compared with 73 percent of boys."  In short, in order to overcome a huge gender gap in the country, the government decided that the issue of attendance warranted financial incentives for parents and students.

In a way, this is no different than what many governments around the region, such as Oman, currently offer their many students attending universities and colleges.  University students in the Dhofar region of Oman, where I teach, receive a monthly stipend or government allowance of 30 to 90 Omani Rials ( $ 75 to $ 225 US) to attend colleges or universities.

The rate per student simply depends upon how far the student (or his or her family) lives from the university.  Attendance is not really part of the allowance scheme.

Sadly, historically, the issue of truancy at universities and colleges in Oman has been treated lightly--regardless as to the fact that students are being paid by the national govenment to attend.


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There are roughly three types of time-on-task experiences that students (and their teachers or professors) are losing out on as attendance slacks off to almost zero by the end of each semester in too many university classes in Oman--and in several other Arab lands, like where I taught previously in Kuwait and the UAE.  Here are the three main elements to "time on task".

(1)     Allocated time for tasks

(2)     Engaged time on tasks

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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