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     Volume 4 Issue 31 | January 28, 2005 |

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Pre-reading activity:

Read the story below.

Think about the above story and answer the questions below.
1. Why is the boy running out of school?
2. Where is he going?
3. How is he feeling?
4. Do you think his teacher or parents know what he is up to?

Now read the story below.
Children at a Singapore school will need to think twice about playing truant after a mobile phone text message broadcast system, which automatically alerts their parents, started last week.
This new system should actually reduce the amount of administrative work for teachers and enhance the home-school links. Teachers will mark the names of absent students in an electronic database. The mobile phone text message of the Short Message Service (SMS) broadcast system, supplied by local technology provider WorldRemind, taps into a database and automatically sends out a message to parents telling them their child is missing from class.

5. What will happen to him at home tonight and at school tomorrow?
6. What happens in Bangladesh if someone is caught playing truant at school?
7. Is it a major problem in Bangladesh?
8. Have you ever-played truant at school?

Use a dictionary and find the meanings of the below vocabulary.
1. Truancy 7. Attendance
2. Absent/absence 8. Principal
3. Excuse 9. Secondary school
4. Obtain 10. Enhance
5. Cut down 11. Initially
6. Reduce 12. Punching out

Preparation for reading:
Read the first paragraph of today's story and think about the questions below.
1. What is text messaging?
2. What is the school doing to stop students from 'playing truant'?
3. What do you think the phrase 'to think twice' means?

Read the following statements and put 'A' if you agree, 'D' if you disagree or 'NS' if you are not sure.
1. Children in Singapore can play truant twice before teachers can SMS their parents.
2. This system automatically alerts both the head teacher and the parent.
3. The new system will decrease the amount of administrative work for the teachers.
4. SMS means 'Short Message Sender'.
5. There are four pre-set replies.
6. The SMS service is a new service in Singapore.
7. The idea behind this new service is to cause stress to the students.
8. By next year, 1,400 schools will have this new SMS service in place.

Look at the list of words below and match one word from Column A with a word that can go together with it from Column B. These are called 'collocations' (Example: Play truant)

Think about the following question and write no more than 250 words.
Children learn much more from the Internet than from teachers in schools. The government should therefore close all the schools so those children can study at home where they are safe from playing truant.

play truant cause stress mobile phone electronic database provide an excuse extremely popular response time absent student

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