1.1 Background to the Study
Problems affecting students’ academic performance in Nigeria include absenteeism and truancy. These are behaviours that students exhibited that deviate from the social norms of the school. It has caused serious problems to the smooth running of the school system. There are a lot of effects of truancy and absenteeism on a child and society in general. Absenteeism and truancy may lead a child to become hardened criminal in future life, if not curbed (Abayomi, 2002). When a child tends to get involved in acts such as running away from school, he may not have time to concentrate on his/her studies, whereby having negative impact on the academic performance of such a child. This will make such a child neglect his intended goals and if this happens, such a child will not be able to concentrate on his/her studies and his/her career will come into a stand still. In a situation where a child is always playing the truancy, such a child will be missing a lot of lessons and definitely will not know anything being taught by the teacher.
As a result, such a child will never achieve any goal in his/her education and career. Education plays a vital role in individual and national development. One can state with little contradiction that a well-educated and gainfully employed large population would be an asset to any country. On the contrary, an uneducated, underemployed large population would be a disastrous debit for a country will be a footstool on which others will step to climb to higher levels.
Technological advancement of many nations depends on the quality of the education of its manpower. Most technologically advanced countries have high levels of education and there is always a positive correlation relationship between advancement in technology and level of education in nations all over the world. Economic development is seen to follow the same trend, a nation blessed with a lot of natural resources can remain crippled (as in the case of third world countries) without the availability of the skilled man power required to put these resources into use.
As early as the sixteenth century, Smith (2006) brought into focus the need for nations to invest in human capital through education.
The objectives of education in Nigeria and other countries of the world serve as a channel for increasing equality of opportunity as well as help to transmit feelings of patriotism, reinforcement of culture and ideology of the country. It is thus seen that a nation takes a serious view of education of its citizenry will not only progress technologically and economically but also politically and socially.
Selemani (2007),reiterates that education opens people’s eyes, makes them more politically consciously so that they acutely aware of their right and citizens and their duties to their nation. Nyerere (1994) also point out that education is a potent tool for people to break the bondage of poverty, ignorance and disease. It also helps people who have scientific outlook and practical approach to problem solving.
The individual can through education have a better social status, better personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement. He can see things from a broader horizon through continued learning which helps him know and understand people of different cultures and backgrounds. Education therefore must be held in high esteem by the child, teacher, parents and society as a whole.
Staying in school is the first step to a good education. But when students become truants and do not attend school, everyone loses. Students loses the benefits of instruction, the district loses income and the community suffers from an increase in juvenile crime.
In Nigeria, the general attitude of students towards education in secondary schools has aroused the concern of scholars, philanthropists and other interested people in the country. Each school day, students are absent from their classrooms many without cogent reasons.
A recent survey was discovered that the general attitude of students to learning in senior secondary schools is having a deteriorating effect on the development and advancement of the performance in Nigerian schools. Thurston and Dave (1992) defined attitude in terms of three possible direction of movement. According to this view, there is a tendency to move to wards, against or away from a person, object or situation.
The first is the compliance attitude, that of friendliness and willingness to cooperate or do what one is told.
The second is the aggressive attitude, that of opposition and antagonism, implying dislike, detached attitude, and that of running away or escaping threats, fear and anxiety created by the environment.
The society has certain norms and values which must be respected and when or where this expected behaviour is lacking in the child or student, indiscipline sets in. Hainza (1997) identified three different types of indiscipline in Nigerian schools. They are;
1. Antisocial Act: this refers to noting but destruction of the public property, stealing, building.
2. Act of Defiance: this is usually directed against established rules of the social uniforms, smoking, drinking and drug taking, sexual immorality and failure to carry out lawful duties.
3. Act of Negligence: these are many which include lateness to classes and assembly, careless handling of school and personal property.
Indiscipline is well related to truancy which falls under the Act of Defiance and Negligence. Stoll (1990) defines truancy as absence from school for no legitimate reason. Truancy marks the beginning of future problems and should not be ignored. That is why every parents or guardian of a child is required by the la to make sure their child attends school regularly. Parents or guardians ho do not make their children attend school should be charged with educational neglect.
Truancy includes absenteeism and lateness. It is an unacceptable behaviour exhibited by the adolescents in the school. Absenteeism on the other hand is high rate of absence from school regularly without permission Obe (1999). Truancy as identify by Obe (1999) is one of the categories of indiscipline. Indiscipline being lack of discipline which according the Advance Learners Dictionary is the training especially of the mind and character to produce self-control, habits of obedience and so on. In other words , if the students does not have self-control, habits of obedience etc, the students is likely to be called an undisciplined student. Some are of the opinion that many factors are responsible for a truant child, such as peer groups, level of intelligence (I.Q. Intelligence Quotient), the students-teacher relationship, parental supervision and a host of others. (Osavenren 2006, wakefied and wilkin 2006, Sean Gabb, 1994) said in this present generation, most students simply refuse to attend classes and do their school works which at the end would result in poor academic performance. Left unchecked, truancy is a factor for serious juvenile delinquency. The impact also extends into the adult years here it has been linked to numerous outcomes. These outcomes could be been linked to numerous negatives outcomes. These outcomes could be inability to keep ones job when the youth eventually attains that level; identifying with fraternities and cults to give the individual a sense of self worth especially in the area of finances and social status; becoming touts, thieves and armed robbers thereby bringing menace to the society hen attempts at gaining a decent employment or acquiring financial wealth is not forthcoming.
In the case of not being able to stick to a job for a period of time, it is a s a result of the person playing truant in school. Truancy in itself could cause restlessness; which is prone to him/ her being mobile and not being able to stay in a place for a comfortable period of time. This causes financial and emotional instability in the individual. Youth and adults who could be seen to be lacking in self-esteem and confidence, financial strength and social acceptance. As a result, in order to be accepted in the society and seen as rich individuals, they resort to desperate measures. These qualities or exuberance is not lacking in a truant child. There is no gainsaying that students (most) who engage in truancy eventually because terrors to the society. As the saying goes this “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”, once a child starts stopping school, he/she finds alternatives on the streets which to them is better than sitting down in classrooms and getting an education. As a result of being more on the streets, they join gangs i.e the males become petty thieves which eventually (if not checked) grows to armed robbery; the females could become prostitutes and sometimes thieves.
Another factor to consider is the teacher/ student relationship in the classroom. The open hostility these adolescents have or feel for teachers serves to fuel a cycle of increased truancy. Consequently, it is critical to identify strategies that intervene effectively with youth are chronically absent from school that interrupt their progress to delinquency and other negative behaviour by addressing the underlying reasons behind their absence from school.
These are problems facing our school system that need lasting, sustainable solutions and if not addressed as urgency demands, would adversely affect academic standards of youths in our society as a whole.
1.2 Purpose Of The Study
1. To find out the causes of truancy
2. To find out why the deviant behaviour is among school students.
3. To analyze the factors responsible for truant behaviour.
4. To find out the possible solution to the problem ‘truancy’ in our society.
5. To enlighten our youths on the damage truancy might inflict on them and the society.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
The rate at which students engage in truancy and absenteeism is becoming disturbing. Some students could be seen roaming the streets, while others simply sleep off in their parents’ homes unmindful of the importance of education in the pursuant of their future endeavours. Some out of gullibility decide to follow their peers to lurk around the school environment without attending classes. Has truancy come to stay in the life of our youths in school?
Truancy introduces a radical change into the school system as a whole. The increasing effect of truancy as a deficient behaviour is immediately within check. However, it is strongly believed that truancy has destroyed education, the life of youths in the school; our society because the negative effect cannot weigh up to the positive effect. Truancy encourages other delinquent behaviour as parents do not bring up their children properly. Even some students have confessed that their parents do not monitor their movements.
The issue of truancy is a matter of concern to every educational researcher, individual, parents, and government.
1.4 Research Question
1. What influence has parental care on truancy in a child?
2. Is bad company responsible for truancy?
3. What role has the government to play in curbing truancy?
4. Does the relationship between students and teachers encourage truancy in students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H01 There is no significant influence on parental care and discipline on students involvement in truancy
H02: Peer group will not significantly contribute to the act of truancy and absenteeism in our secondary school.
H03: There is no significant impact of absenteeism and truancy on the academic performance of student in Ogun state, Nigeria.
H04: There is no significant relationship between students and teachers relationship on students involvement in truancy.
1.6 Significance of Study
The issue of truancy among secondary school students is a matter that cannot be overemphasize, hence, It is hoped that this study would provide teachers, counselors with adequate information as to the relative strength and nature of adolescents so as to have a better understanding and be better prepared in guiding them to safety. It is hope that this study would create awareness in adolescents that they are the future of Nigeria and that the future starts now. It will also enable the school system to know and understand how to curb truancy so as to enhance students’ academic performance. The school would make accurate assessment of students more valid, intent and dependable. Also parents would take proper in monitoring their children and in bringing them up in love attention and in understanding their children.
The significance of this study is to device possible means of educating or putting an end to the illegal behaviour of our school students call truancy.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of Study
The study will be limited only few selected schools in Ijebu North Local Government of Ogun State due to constraints of time and money and also to ensure data management. The research is intended to cover students in the 1st to 3rd years of Senior Secondary Schools.
The limitation of this study could be the truthful or not totally truthful manner of response given to the research instrument of this research (Questionnaire) which could make the result inadequate.
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