This post with keywords, how to mark daily attendance register in brief

This post, how to mark daily attendance register is a guide for new teachers. It gives a concise definition of attendance register. The post also discusses the importance of attendance register. Finally, this post guides (new) teachers on how to mark the daily attendance correctly.

No more mistakes and cancellation in the register. Save yourself the burden of having to listen to a pissed off head explain this to you vaguely. Approach the task and argument with confidence.

To school owners and administrators, this may be just the best way for you to explain – how to mark daily attendance register – to your teachers.

 

Introduction to how to mark daily attendance register

When I first got a teaching job, I was paranoid about everything before I did it – whether I was going to do it right. Under normal circumstances, I am an introvert – you won’t believe that if we met in the classroom. So, although I asked new colleagues at work; I didn’t always like it. That is probably because I thought asking about everything would show that I was not capable for the job – is that true?

Well, one of those tasks that I battled with was how to mark daily attendance register. Somehow, my employer felt like I was 100% able to the tasks. So, at due time; the head handed me the daily attendance register for my class – without reasonable orientation. I am a bit of a perfectionist as well. Hence, I spare no effort in my paranoia to read up anything I could find on how to mark daily attendance register. When I was done, lo and behold; I did not only mark my register well but I also discovered mistakes in others and suggested correction – perfectionist right? Hey, I am a gentle one, so no qualms!

Fast-forward to years later, I have become an administrator. And a general experience that every administrator will attest to is – new engagement without orientation equals friction! There was a time that I have to change an entire register due to errors.

If you studied education, I understand that you discussed school records in your level 2 – General Teaching Methods – and it is also in your level 3 – Teaching Practise Manual. But nobody understands the Nigerian school better than us – educators.  My inference is that majority only remember listing attendance register as a statutory record. They did not have any practical guide on how to mark daily attendance register. Perhaps you were lucky and you had a practical guide but you need to refresh your memory.

One thing is sure, administrators and supervisors do not like register mistakes. Making mistakes on how to mark daily attendance register is unimaginable to supervisors – I mean it is one of the first things you (will) do every morning. And some HODs are not very friendly when making corrections.

The goal of this post is help you learn how to mark daily attendance register without mistakes.

What is Attendance Register?

Attendance register, Class register or simply register is simply a book used to record whether a child is present at school. It is a statutory record. This means that education law demands every school to keep attendance register. And if school inspectors from the ministry visit, you will be asked to provide it. Each class usually has its separate register and the class teachers maintain it.

Description

The attendance register in Nigeria is usually large book within the range of 88.5 cm by 62.5 cm – It can be any dimension. The back cover is usually blue in colour and hard – see picture below.

School Daily Attendance Register Cover Design - LeadinGuides
Figure 1: Back cover of School Attendance Register

An attendance register contains about ten key pieces of information about the learners in the class for any given session, total number of (male and female) students in class and the class’ weekly/termly attendance summary for the whole session.

The learners’ information in a class register are:

  1. Full Name
  2. Date of Birth/Age
  3. Name of parent/guardian
  4. Address of parent/guardian
  5. Religion of parents/guardian
  6. Date of Admission into the class
  7. Admission number
  8. Number in Admission/Withdrawal register
  9. Fees paid
  10. Daily class attendance with weekly summary

Although there are a few technical things about filling the other information in the register, this post particularly addresses how to mark daily attendance with weekly summary.

Why Keep Attendance Register? Importance of Attendance Register

Generally, if one does not know the reason or importance of something they won’t give the required commitment to it. Hence, before we discuss how to mark daily attendance register, let’s see why we keep it.

  1. It is mandatory
  2. I have explained earlier that class register is a statutory record. I also explained that this means it is required by law. Therefore, the first reason for keeping and marking register is because the law requires it. Remember this whenever you want to mark your register

  3. It is a source of data for supporting important societal decisions
  4. If you have been a teacher and in a position well enough to know, you should have taken part in at least one school survey – or school grading self-assessment exercise. These surveys or self-assessment exercises are sponsored by governments – state, national and regional; inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations – national, regional and international.

    Hardly will any of such surveys and school grading self-assessment exercises not require data from the attendance register. The organizations in turn use the data collected to make important decisions – decisions that border on the life of real human beings!

    In fact, class register became a statutory record in 1882. The enabling law – i.e. the 1882 education ordinance – made it that way so the government could decide which schools to give grants based on data from the attendance register. Governments and organizations still use register data to support such decisions.

    I bet you do not want to be responsible in any way for any wrong decisions that negatively affects the lives of others – no, you don’t, we are teachers; we build lives instead. Now, that’s another reason we keep attendance register – and a reason you should ensure you keep yours accurately.

  5. It is a source of data to support learner’s academics
  6. This particular one is not far-fetched for the teacher. The immediate importance of attendance register is that it helps the teacher to identify students that are missing out from classes. You will also be able to tell if a student is punctual, a truant or not. As soon as you identify this, you can then immediately follow to support the learner in their academics.

    Every school has the procedures for this follow up on absenteeism, lateness and truancy in their attendance policy.

  7. To save yourself: It is an accountability tool

Hey, don’t freak out! When I say to save yourself, I do not mean to say that you will be indicted for any crime – at least not for no reason. But there are times that authorities may need class teachers to account for their students.

A common of such time is, say when a student’s result shows absent in a particular subject; but the parent are convinced the student didn’t miss school during the examinations – you have to save yourself, from being perceived negligent. We have heard and seen were the authority is the police.

In many schools, you are required to report irregular attendance curve to the school authority. Hence, if you do not do this and wake up at reporting session to say a student perform poorly due to any attendance default; then you are in for query.

How to Mark Daily Attendance Register

Although there are many electronic attendance systems now is use in schools across the country, majority still uses manual attendance record – which this post discusses.

In the manual or traditional attendance system, teachers record students’ attendance using the register booklet I describe earlier.

When and how many times to mark?

Every school has unique attendance policy. The policy may specify the time and number of times that teachers mark attendance. Hence, they may be differences from school to school. Notwithstanding, there is a general practice/style.  Generally, there are two kinds of school and styles of how to mark daily attendance register.

One time, at the start of each separate session a day

In a school that runs two separate sessions a day; teachers mark the attendance register for each session one time a day; at the start of the session. By running two separate sessions, I mean morning session and afternoon session. In this type of school, the students that attend morning session are different from those that attend afternoon session. This style is very common in over-populated government schools – as we commonly see in northern Nigeria.

Twice, at the start of each of the two continuous sessions a day

On the other hand, there are schools that run two continuous sessions a day. In this type of school, teachers ideally mark the register twice a day – one at the start of each session. Running two continuous sessions a day means that the same set of students attend both the morning and afternoon sessions. The school may or may not permit the students to go home in between the two sessions. But there are specified time for both sessions. Consequently, the teachers initially mark the attendance at the start of morning session. Later on, they complete the attendance just at the start of the afternoon session.

Attendance Register Malpractice

Nonetheless, it is a common observation in this type of school for teachers to cut corners. They put off the morning marking until afternoon then mark both once. Alternatively, they mark both in the morning then shun afternoon marking.  Considering the accountability issues I discussed earlier, this act ill-fated. I normally discourage teachers from this practice.

Procedure of how to mark daily attendance register

For each student, the daily class attendance portion in a school register is divided into two cells – one for morning and the other for afternoon sessions. This is repeated for everyday of the week. Therefore, for a given week (running from Monday through Friday), there are ten cells for each student – see picture below.

How to mark daily attendance register - marking cells - LeadinGuides
Figure 2: How to Mark Daily Attendance Register – daily marking cells

As you can see from the picture, there are two cells or boxes for Monday; two for Tuesday; …; & two for Friday. For each day, the first cell represent morning and the second cell is for afternoon. Therefore, in a week; there are a total of 10 – 5 mornings and 5 afternoons.

 

The procedure of how to mark daily attendance register manually include:

    1. Confirm the presence of the student for the session you want to mark.
    2. If absent, make a small clean circle in the cell for which you want to mark. Note that if your school runs two separate sessions and therefore you mark the register only once a day; the circle should cover the two cells for the day. In contrast, if your school runs two continuous sessions and therefore you mark the register twice a day, the circle for morning should be different from that of the afternoon – meaning if the student is absent for the whole day, there should be two circles. See the pictures below.
    3. How to mark daily attendance register
      Figure 3: Marking student absent on Mon & Tue in a school that runs two separate sessions a day
      How to mark daily attendance register - marking absent - LeadinGuides
      Figure 4: Marking a student absent on Mon & Tue in a school that runs two continuous sessions
    4. If present, make a diagonal line – from top-left to bottom-right (for morning) and top-right to bottom-left (for afternoon) – in the correct cell for the day and session. Note that if your school runs two separate sessions and therefore you mark the register only once a day; you should make both the morning and afternoon stokes at the same time. If on the other hand your school runs two continuous sessions, you should make the first stroke in the morning and then the second at the start of the afternoon session. See pictures below.
      How to mark attendance register - How to mark present - LeadinGuides
      Figure 5: How to mark a student present on a day (Mon) in a school that runs two separate sessions per day
      How to Mark Daily Attendance Register 5 - LeadinGuides
      Figure 6: How to a student present in the morning of a day (Mon) in a school that runs two continuous sessions per day
      How to Mark Daily Attendance Register 6 - LeadinGuides
      How to mark a student who was present in the morning but absent in the afternoon – in a school that runs two continuous sessions per day (Figure 7)
      How to Mark Daily Attendance Register 7 - LeadinGuides
      How to mark a student who was absent in the morning but present in the afternoon – in a school that runs two continuous sessions per day (Figure 8)
      How to Mark Daily Attendance Register 8 - LeadinGuides
      Figure 9 How to mark a student present throughout a day (Mon) in a school that runs two continuous sessions per day

    As you can observe from figures 7/8 above, it is possible for a student to be present in the morning but absent in the afternoon – in a school that runs two continuous sessions per day. The reverse can also happen. As I demonstrate in figures 7/8, you should accurately capture these attendance events. Do not mark a student present in the afternoon because s/he was present in the morning and vice versa. You could be implicating yourself by so doing. Marking a student present means that students was your responsibility throughout the period.

    Last line on how to mark daily attendance register

    Since it is recommended that female students’ name be entered into the register in red ink, some new teachers assume that female students’ attendance should also be in red ink.

    This is absolutely not so. Do not mark female students’ attendance with red ink. Traditionally, teachers use red ink only to indicate lateness. But nowadays, there are different attendance/register code to indicate different attendance events – absent on permission, absent without permission, sick, late, and present/punctual. However, the code varies from school to school.

    Conclusion of how to mark daily attendance register

    If you read the whole of this post, then you should now be able to:

    • Give a concise definition of attendance register
    • Mention the importance of attendance register
    • Explain how to mark daily attendance register traditionally.

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