1.1 Background of the Study
School is an institution for educating children (oxford Dictionary, 2015). It is also an agent of socialization as well as institution set up by the society in order to pass knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and other necessary qualities to the younger generations so that they become productive and leaders of tomorrow. Mahuta, (2007) was of view that a school is regarded as a centre of knowledge and it possesses the power to mould and shape the character of individuals in the society. Therefore, it is clear that school is a backbone and life wire of a society.
In our schools, teaching and learning take place effectively when there is proper attendance on the part of both staff and students. However, present day students do engage in absenting themselves from school without concrete and reasonable reasons which makes them truant. Therefore, truancy becomes one of the problems seriously affecting teaching and learning, general performance and quality of our secondary school students as well as the quality of the education generally in developing nations like Nigeria. Even though teachers, school administrators, government and community are trying their best in order to tackle truancy, it still persists in our schools.
Nigerians refer to truancy as an act of indiscipline, psychologists and counsellors see truancy as the behavioural problem which can be solved if the causes are found and properly tackled. Truancy remains a major antisocial problem among secondary school students in Nigeria.
The concept and acts of indiscipline have received a lot of attention by researchers. Peck (2007) opined that the various behavioural disorders like stealing, violence, drug abuse, examination malpractice, sexual abuse and truancy have so undermined effective teaching-learning processes that some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of impacting knowledge to the learners. Truancy as it affects the school and life chances of students, stands as conspicuous and serious stumbling block against the achievement of success academically. Truancy contributes to idleness, joblessness, unemployment.In fact, it has been ranked as the seventh in the line of behavioural problems according to teachers (Tierney, and Snyder 2003).
Truancy has to do with none or irregular attendance to school. There are different shades of truancy; some children are engaged in money making ventures like hawking thereby absenting themselves from school without permission from teachers or school authority. Students may run away from school or may leave their homes on the pretence of going to school while roaming the streets only to return home at the close of school among many others. According to Garry ( 2001), truancy is one of the behavioural problems in our secondary schools that need to be investigated. Extensive and more detailed research that would give full coverage and exposition to this problem need to be conducted urgently so as to prevent this menace from resulting into more serious or further problems in our educational system. This study therefore attempted to assess the causes of truancy among secondary school students in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Indiscipline among students is a perennial problem. One common discipline problem found globally is truancy. Davies and Lee (2006) found that school children are inclined not to go to school or choose not to attend certain classes during the school hours. Truancy also occurs among Nigerian students, and according to Bello (2003), it has become a social moral issue.
Indeed, what is of concern is that the spread of the truancy problem has given rise to various moral and social problems among students. This cannot be treated lightly, because studies have shown that truancy nearly tops the list of acts of misbehavior among students.
Preliminary investigation by researcher in some secondary schools in kuje Area Council, Abuja showed that a lot of students found one excuse or the other to be involved in truancy. Some of the excuses were based on helping their parents to hawk goods in the market or roadside, inadequacy of fund to get instructional materials like books and other stationery and even failure to do assignment. The question now is what are really the causes of truancy among government secondary school students in Kuje Area Council, Abuja? This what the study would provide answer for.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study was to examine the causes of truancy among government secondary schools students in Kuje Area Council of FCT Abuja. Specifically the study was to;
1. Establish the causes of truancy that come from the homes of Government Secondary School Students in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.
2. Determine the causes of truancy originating from the students in Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.
3. Ascertain truancy among students originating from the Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.
4. Proffer possible solutions to occurrence of truancy among students in Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.
1.4 Research Questions
The study sought answers to the following questions:
1. What are the causes of truancy that come from the homes of Government Secondary Schools students in Kuje Area Council, Abuja?
2. What are the causes of truancy originating from the students of Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja?
3. What are the causes of truancy among students originating from the Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja?
4. What are the possible solutions to curb truancy among students of Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The youth of today are leaders of tomorrow as the adage stands. If they are not disciplined today, they cannot be expected to become responsible leaders of tomorrow.
The study would be useful to the following;
School administrators; this study would examine the various causes and consequences of truancy and state the way of curbing them which would serve as a vital sustainment for effective school administration
Parents; the study would equally give parents an insight on how and why their wards engage in truancy and the effects of such activities
The study would also be of immense value to graduate and undergraduate students who are studying administration in the field of education as it would give them insight on how to handle truant students.
The study would also help in the discovery of the fundamental aspect of truancy that is mostly found among students with this, proper guidance and counseling would be given to them to enable them make the best out of education. The study would also go a long way to help students do well in academy performance and to be good citizens of the society at large.
It would be significant to Kuje community because if students are corrected from truant behaviour , the streets will be decongested of hooligans and arm robbers.
1.6 Scope and limitation of the Study
The scope of the study was based on the causes of truancy among students of Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council FCT, Abuja
The Study covered all Government Secondary Schools in Kuje Area Council, Abuja. The Schools were;