FACTORS INFLUENCING DENTAL STUDENTS ATTENDANCE IN LECTURES IN PRIVATE DENTAL COLLEGES OF KARACHI
This descriptive study assessed the factors affecting the attendance levels of dental students in lectures in five private dental colleges of Karachi. The study was conducted from March to September 2018 after approval from the ethical review committee of Bahria University Medical & Dental College. Third and final year B.D.S students participated and were asked to fill out a survey performa at the end of their lectures. The performa consisted of students demographic details and close-ended questions based on, attendance levels and their views on attending lectures. Total 384 students (155 third years and 229 final years) which comprised of 288 females and 96 males with a mean age of 22 years 0.954 participated in this study. Based on attendance rates of last semester, 280 students had attendance level of 75 percent and higher while 104 students had attendance rates below 75 percent. The high attendance rates of students in lectures was due to the presence of a strict attendance policy by Pakistan Medical Dental Council as mentioned by 86.5% students from all private dental colleges. The results stated majority of students 74.5% were satisfied with the content and 62.2% presentation of lectures delivered at their institutions but 52.2% students preferred self-studying over attending lectures and 42.2 % students preferred studying from online course material. Students also believed lectures play a significant role in their examination results (64%) and in comprehending the courses (68.4%) offered in their undergraduate dental education.
The results of the study concluded that factors affecting students attendance in lectures in private dental colleges of Karachi were timing of the lectures and preference for self -study. These need to be rectified in order to reinforce the learning process in dental undergraduates.