Impact of Teacher-Student Communication on “High-Risk Dropout” Students

Bajracharya Dinu


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the major possible reasons for “high-risk of dropout” students. Here, the high-risk of dropout students refers such students, who are going to school but at the risk of dropout. The study motivated to explore the affecting factors due to which dropout rate is increasing. Beside that, the study actually focuses on the impact of teacher-student communication on student dropout at the primary level of Nepalese public school. To investigate this phenomenon, specific research questions had been proposed as: 1) what are the major reasons for dropout in the primary level of Nepalese public school? 2) Does the teacher-student communication is responsible to lead “high-risk dropout” students? If yes, how? 3) What kind of instructional strategies could be considered to maintain the teacher-student communication? This paper adopts mixed methods approach which combines qualitative and  quantitative data, that includes a series of semi-structural interviews with the school principal, primary teachers and, a paper & pencil survey with 85 students (of grades one and five). The survey questions, which have been asked with students, were analyzed with statistical tool (SPSS) to find the level of communication between teachers-students, and also to identify it’s effects on dropout.

The finding of this paper indicates that an economic factor, infrastructure factor, migration factor, lack of teachers, and communication factor are major reasons for high-risk of dropout and dropout as well. Among which “Communication factor” seems to be the primary reason that tends to cause high-risk of dropout in rural areas of Nepal. Five critical issues for lack of communication 1) Teacher-centered learning system 2) Curriculum focused teaching system 3) Evaluation of teacher 4) Corporal punishment and 5) Negative image of the teacher created by parents had been found.

Based on the previous research, issues like one-way communication and teacher-centered approach had been known to reduce the motivation for learning. Even thought there was some research had been done about communication in developed countries but had not been done in developing countries like Nepal, especially in the rural Nepal. Moreover, in the context of public primary school of Nepal teachers had been considering as a parent of children. Thus, to enhance teaching and learning, teacher-student communication is very important. That’s why; this study aims to investigate what are the major reasons to reduce the communication in order to enhance the teaching and learning.

In view of these results, the paper suggests that Inquiry-based learning (IBL), informal communication between teachers and students, integration of technology, learners centered approach might be a useful strategy which can increase a level of communication between teachers and students that might reduce “high-risk of dropout” students.

Finally, this paper also recommends the necessity of further research in communication among students with teachers along with the administration, which could help to reduce the risk of dropout students.

Keywords: high-risk dropout student, communication, public schools, and Nepal

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