Indore: Monotony in classroom prime factor of absenteeism in B-schools

Indore: Though they met and became friends by chance, these researchers have been working together on various systematic topics, specifically enriching education system. Researchers Dr Rajeev Shukla and Dr Ajit Upadhyaya were invited from India to present their study at the 14th South Asian Management Forum 2017 held in Male, Maldives recently.

Sharing their research as well as their friendship tale, the researchers felt that working and being together has enriched their life. Talking about their companionship, Upadhyaya said, “I was going through a difficult time in my personal life when I met Rajeev.” His father had passed away and hence, he had to make some tough decisions. “When I meet Rajeev, we instantly connected and it felt like we had known each other forever!” Upadhyaya said.

Their friendship became stronger as they stuck with each other through thick and thin. “Sometimes, we just end up finding someone who is closer than a brother and family, that is how we had connected,” Shukla said. With time their interests and intellectual collaboration, they have worked together on about 100 researches.

Considered reasons for absenteeism

79.3% of respondents were male and the remaining were female students.

Exploratory factor analysis with Principal Component and Varimax rotation extracted 8 factors:

1. Monotonous Classroom Delivery deals with inappropriate teaching style, classroom control, lack of motivation and no opportunity to participate in class room discussion, etc.

 2. Non-congruity between faculty and students deals with student and teacher’s perceptual mismatch and doubts regarding lectures credibility.

3. Career orientation and compulsiveness relates with career concerns and selective class room attendance and compelling factors which contribute to attendance.

4. Short-cut believers indicate readymade study materials available in market and friend’s mood’s relevance for attending classes.

 5. Cognitive difference points out perceptual difference in students’ valuation of subjects and teachers.

 6. Routine issues signals discomfort the daily problems related to transportation and class room timings.

 7. Improper scheduling relates to lectures timings and scheduling that leads to inconvenience about attending classes.

 8. Personal Issues are associated with personal, medical and familial problems.

 9. Non- congruity between Faculty and Students and Short-cut Believers is co-related moderately and positively, i.e., Non-congruity between faculty and students does not exist and students do not believe in short-cut tools.

Part-time job or business not a reason for absenteeism

So, students think that absenteeism is not caused by their involvement with family business or part time jobs. Not only they regard subject teachers, value lectures but interest in teaching process and lectures also. It means students like to attend class, they might consider the material or instructor interesting as Gump (2004) also mentioned. They believe that classroom notes have no replacement available in the market. They don’t think that friends’ mood are the determinant of classroom attendance.

Absenteeism not affecting learning!

Monotony in classroom, lack of individual attention as Curzon (2004) also criticised for being a one-way communication process, teacher’s classroom control, not well thought out time table, personal issues like medical and family issues could be a reason of absenteeism. These findings are in contrast to Longhurst (1999) findings that student absenteeism resulted in inadequate learning, disruption in class and compromised performance.

Conclusion and Suggestions

Absenteeism is not perceived as laymen think about gap between teachers and students but in fact it was found that procedural delay and routine issues like transportation and improper interval between classes should be relooked in.

One way communication must be avoided and participative class room should be promoted. The subject and classes needed to be made interesting so students can divert their attention from routine problems.

There must be regular interaction between student and teachers through relevant and consistent activities and events. Management is a discipline that intervenes with multiple disciplines.

Student psychology along with their personality traits needed to be studied and management schools devise plan and policy for meaningful students’ presence accordingly.

Time table should be framed in a manner that students do not lose interest in classes and their tiredness do not divert or dilute students’ classroom focus. More personalised attention must be ensured in the classes.

Location and area of study

The study is exploratory in nature. The study covers the management schools of Madhya Pradesh state of India. Random sampling method used for the study. Primary data was collected with the help of self structured questionnaire. Items of questionnaire were extracted from extensive literature review and validated by academic experts in management field.

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