A meriting system in a Madrassah classroom is one whose aim is to motivate students to reach their potential in terms of behaviour and performance by:

  • Meriting positive behaviour
  • Demeriting negative behaviour

For it to be successful, the system must be simple and linked to a set of disciplinary consequences and a set of motivational awards.

One of the simplest and most popular meriting systems are the ‘Traffic Light System’.

Here is how to apply it:

  1. For each class, print out and laminate a poster of the four traffic lights: Green, Amber, Red, Dark Red. The colours correspond to positive behaviour, minor, serious and very serious misbehaviour respectively.
  2. All students’ names should be printed out and cut into strips and then laminated. Alternatively write all student names on wooden pegs.
  3. At the beginning of the lesson, all names are stuck next to the green light using blue tack.
  4. Students whose name remain by the green light until the end of the lesson have had a ‘green day’, which is marked in their diaries and recorded by the teacher. At the end of the term students who have a certain number of ‘green days’ are given a certificate of good behaviour or an award.
  5. On the other hand, the names of children who commit minor offences are placed next to the amber light and they are disciplined using the appropriate consequences.
  6. If misbehaviour escalates, the name goes up the traffic lights and the student is dealt with using the pre-set disciplinary consequences.
  7. It may be motivating for the student whose name is by the red colours to know that they could redeem their offences by being extra polite, focused and productive during the rest of the lesson.