This case is about an elementary (K-5) public school in US. The school mostly catered to the low-income segment.
The principal of the school was puzzled by the poor attendance rate of students. To counter this, he took several initiatives, such as free school lunch, transport facilitated by the school, etc.
Still, there was no significant impact on attendance.
One day the principal witnessed an incident that gave him an insight that solved the problem. Here is that incident.2
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Kids are very conscious of peer pressure. They feel humiliated if they are not wearing a proper dress and someone points that out.
This school had taken a lot of initiatives, but had not gotten to the bottom of the problem.
When the principal visited the families of the students, what she found was something she hadn’t expected. Because these families were trying to make ends meet, children didn’t always have clean clothes to come to school in. Some parents were faced with the choice of feeding the family or paying electricity bills. If power was shut off they couldn’t easily launder clothes. Other families didn’t have easy access to a washing machine or couldn’t afford detergent.
It wasn’t that the children weren’t smart or motivated – they were just too embarrassed to come to school in dirty clothes, so they stayed at home.
The above is a real-life case!
Eventually, it led to a pilot scheme where Whirlpool donated washers and dryers to 17 schools. These schools saw an impact on attendance within one month of the program being introduced. Attendance increased in over 90 per cent of tracked students in the first year and teachers reported that 95 per cent of those students were more motivated in class.
Read more here.
1. Question10 point(s)
Will putting free-to-use washing machines in the school help increase the attendance?CorrectIncorrect