Influence Of Truancy On Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students (a Case Study Of Enugu East Local Government Area Of Enugu State)

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                                                   ABSTRACT

This study focused on the influence of truancy on the academic performance of secondary school students in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. The objective of the study was to find out the causes of truancy and its effects on the academic performance to be able to make an efficient solution to the problem of truancy in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. Three (3) research questions were formulated to guide the study. The literature review which borders on the work done by different scholars on the topic the effect of truancy on the academic performance of students in furtherance of the successful completion of this project. The population of the study was (4276) forty two thousand seven hundred and six students in some selected secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government. The instrument used for data collection was a questionnaire, containing (15) items from the research questions to elicit students opinion. The data collected was presented in tables. Mean, standard deviations were used to analyze the data collected.  At the end, the researcher found out that Truancy is caused by the following factors: home upbringing, school factor. Based on the findings, the researchers pointed out the effects of truancy such as: student dropout, constant repetition of class.

Finally, based on the finding, the researcher recommended the following as the possible solution to the problems: Government, teachers, parents and students should take over the responsibility of the effective implementation on how to eradicate truancy in order to develop and appreciate learning.

                                                                                

Table of contents

TITLE PAGE                                                                                            I                                                                                                                     

APPROVAL PAGE                                                                                 II                                                                                                        

DEDICATION                                                                                        III                                                                                                            

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                                      IV                                                                                               

TABLE OF CONTENT                                                                          V                                                                           

LIST OF TABLES                                                                                VIII                                                                                                              

ABSTRACT                                                                                              IX                                                                                                                    

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study                                                                         1                                                                                   

Statement of the Problem                                                                        8                                                                                      

Purpose of the Study                                                                               9                                                                                              

Significant of the Study                                                                         10                                                                                           

Scope of the Study                                                                                 11                                                                                                   

Research Questions                                                                                11                                                                                                

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Conceptual Framework

 Concept of Truancy                                                                              12                                                             

Concept of Academic Performance                                                       14                                                                          

Types of Truancy                                                                                   14                                                                                                       

Causes of Truancy                                                                                  16                                                                                                  

Effects of Truancy                                                                                  21                                                                                                  

Solution to the Problem of Truancy                                                       23

THEORETICAL   FRAMEWORKS                                                     27

Differential Association Theory                                                                     31

EMPIRICAL STUDIES                                                                         32

Summary of Reviewed Related Literature                                             33

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODS

Design of the Study                                                                               35

Area of the Study                                                                                   35

Population of the Study                                                                          35

Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                         36

Instrument of the Collection                                                                  36

Validation of Instrument                                                                            36

Reliability of the instrument                                                              37

Method of Data Collection                                                                    37

Method of Data Analysis                                                                       37

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

Summary of Findings                                                                             39

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

Discussion of Findings                                                                           44

Educational Implication of the Study                                                    46

Recommendation of the Study                                                              47

Limitations for the Study                                                                       48

Suggestion for Further Reading                                                             48

Summary of the Study                                                                           49

References                                                                                             50

Appendix I                                                                                             52

Appendix II                                                                                            55                                              

                                                   CHAPTER ONE

                                                 INTRODUCTION

Background of the study             

        Truancy is the absence of student from school without any justifiable reason. T he school is a social unit established by the members of the society, as a formal agency of education which the young (students) attends to learn about themselves, other people, as well as language, custom attitude and the way of life. Truancy is the serious problem in our country today especially in the cities. 

       Education can be defined as the transmission of the value and accumulation of knowledge of a culture, molding behavior in the way of adulthood, and directing them towards eventual role in society. Education is there to help people become useful member of the society, should also help them to develop an appreciation of their cultural heritage and live more satisfying lives.

       However, staying in school is the first step towards achieving good education,  In order to achieve academic excellence, student are required by school law to attend classes daily but some factors have caused most students to absent themselves  from school activities  hence engaging in “Truancy “. It has become a known fact that Nigerian educational standard are on serious decline due to the problem of truancy and other anti –social maladice like cultism, indiscipline etc. The production of individual who will help accelerate Nigerian development is partly dependent on the individual willingness to learn. This means that attendance to school and more importantly classes is very important if the objectives of education must be achieved. Some school does not tolerate truancy, so whenever a student exceed the highest allowed absence set by the school, they will face the consequences of being expelled from the school and it has a negative impact on the  student academic performance.

Historically, the origin of truancy can be traced back to the Massachusetts Compulsory Education Act of 1647 and its subsequent School Attendance Act of 1852 which mandated parents to send their children to school for at least twelve (12) weeks in a term (Micheal, 2005). To this Act, every school is required by law to notify any student who acquires five unexcused absence within a school year. It is through this unexcused absence from school without legitimate or legal knowledge of the parents, guardian or the school authority that truancy among students came into existence.

Truancy: This could be defined  as the practice by which the student leave home for school but do not reach their destination rather they stay mid way between home and school when school close. They return carrying their boxes or bag and go home in accompany of their mates in the pretence that they have close or returned from school. Also, it the practice of staying away from school without permission. In other words, it is the act of staging away from school without a reasonable excuse.

Truant: A child who stays away from schools without permission.

In the same vain, Nwachukwu (2004) said that a truant is one who absents him/herself from classes and school functions, comes late to classes and returns days or even weeks after the beginning of each term without any good permission. Meanwhile Nwachukwu (1999) opined that if a student’s character does not conform with the already mapped out rules and regulations with regards to class attendance and other school activities, that such student is regarded as a truant.

According to Baker, sigmon and Nugent (2001), voluminous research indicates that school problems including: academic failure, juvenile delinquency, gang activity and drug abuse. Nonetheless, the present researchers believe that some of the causes of truancy are non- student factors like, inadequate parental care, cruel teachers, and poor school management.

In the light of the above, Nwangwu (1991) reported that most parents usually over look their responsibilities in training their children rather they try to transfer their roles to the school, neglecting their vital roles of nurturing the character of the child at home. It does not mean that a teacher has not got their own shortcomings. Araonyer (1991) said that some teachers are chief truant who come to school at will while some make lessons very difficult for the student by jumping into the class without proper preparation for the lesson. The present researchers observed that in any school where management has a laissez – faire approach to disciplinary issues like, punctuality, neatness, moral conduct etc the students show lackadaisical attitude to school functions and thus revert to truancy. Fitzgerald (2005) explained that school attendance is an important factor in the development of child’s future. Success in school often leads to a bright and promising future for a student.

He further opined that many students stray away from school and become involved in negative activities such as drug abuse, delinquent behavior and gang activity. Sigmon and Nugent (2001) warned that not only does truancy have an immediate effect on the secondary school student; it also extends far into student’s adult years with increased likelihood of incarceration. The National policy on Education (2004) defined secondary Education, as the education children receive after primary Education and before the tertiary stage. Post primary school board (PPSMB) statistical record PRS (2009) shows that there are ten governments owned secondary schools in Enugu East local Government Area of Enugu State. Today, among the students of the schools there was many truants and deviant behaviour has greatly hindered the progress of the schools generally. I have taken it up as a responsibility to find out the causes of the truancy and the way to stop the evil. This long essay on the causes of truancy is intended to take a critical look into one or the major rules that influence students to the truancy in secondary schools. Some of the truant’s students will go with their fellow students to indulge in watch video in their own resident.

Justice R. A. L. Ogbobin, said that broken homes are assess to truancy. Truancy is a great danger in a discipline schools possibly the whole students in the school to delinquent. This is true because students initiative and don’t at the moment realized the consequences of their delinquency. The measuring of the truancy in the secondary school students, I shall be taking a random sample of the truants find out from that the cause of truancy from their homes, schools and the society they live. It is against this research in the solution of the above measure of truancy and not far fetch. The teacher should advice the parents of the students to provide the students with adequate or requisite school materials and also let parents know the problem if causes failing to do so, teacher should not bully on the students, because hinder the students backwardness. A student should be corrected by the teacher. The government should go further to make law to punish those couples whose home are broken leaving the children to play truancy.

It is against this background that this research work is structured to examine the factors and consequences (effects) of truancy on students of origin and destination which will be vividly focused on Enugu East. I shall finally suggest suitable measures that should help to reduce the evil.  

Truancy among students has become a growing problem. It is the act of deliberately missing one or more classes. Globally, truancy has been regarded as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the educational programmes and has caused a lot of setbacks for secondary school students in their educational pursuits (Stoll, 1993; Gesinde, 2004; Adeyemi, 2006; Animasahun, 2007b). It leads to potential delinquent activity, social isolation, or educational failure via suspension, expulsion, or dropping out (Huizinga, Loeber, Thornberry & Cothern, 2000; Huizinga, Loeber & Thornberry, 1994; Morris, Ehren & Lenz, 1991).

Truancy is any intentional unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory schooling. It may also refer to students who attend school but do not go to classes.

Truancy is non-school attendance behaviour. It is an irregular attendance of school. Truancy is a delinquent and antisocial behaviour (Animasahun, 2009). Animasahun (2007a) suggested truancy to be an act of staying off school, which is one of the several kinds of antisocial behaviours.

Gabb (1997) is of the view that a truant student leaves home but does not get to school or escapes from school or class to engage in any other activities that catch up his imaginations. Indeed, it is a type of deviant behavior exhibited by some students in schools without formal permission from the school administration or authority governing the institution.

Causes and levels of the contributing factors of truancy are numerous and diverse. Truancy results from several factors. Truancy is a four-fold problem which stems from the student, student’s family background, the school and the community. In the same vein, Osarenren (1996) see the home, school environment, peer group culture and society as causes of truancy among students. Reports from various parts of the world upheld that truancy may be associated with adverse social and health outcome later in life. A number of studies have reported that adults who were truant as adolescents were more likely to experience marital or job instability and psychosocial maladjustment when compared to their counterparts who were not truant as adolescents (Hibbett, Fogelman & Manor, 1990; Tyrer & Tyrer, 1974; Hibbett & Fogelman, 1990). Students, who commit truancy, commit deviant acts at a higher rate than students who stay in school. Deviant acts include, but are not limited to theft, burglary, robbery, drug use and sale, assault, various sex-related crimes, and even murder. Truancy breeds educational wastage and poor human power development (Rumberger, 1987; Nwagwu, 1999); production of hoodlums, social misfit, antisocial individual and eventual criminals (Animasahun, 2005) and gateway to crime (Adeyemi, 2011; Animasahun (2007a). Rohrman (1993) stated that peers have an invaluable and influential role to play in providing both the support and context necessary for the learning of new skills and that they act as reinforcing agents of socialization. In own findings, Baker and Jansen (2000) believe that truancy leads to lower academic achievements. While Garry (2001) stated that truancy leads to delinquent and criminal activities. Also, Osarenren (1996) stated that children attempt to model their behaviours according to what represents the standard of their peer group. The study in this regard wishes to determine the causes and effects of truancy among secondary school students using Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State as the case study.

In a study carried out by soll ( 2002), he defines truancy as “absence from school for legitimate reason”. He went further to explain that many students do skip either a single class in a full school day at least during their academic career.  According to the dictionary for education (2002), truancy is a deliberate absence from school for no medical or justifiable reason, with or without parental knowledge”. Blair and Jares (1994), sees truant as “an individual who just not want to go to school but likes to do something else. Adeyeme (1999), defines truancy as a delinquent act which occurs when a child often stay away for school without good reasons.

Nwanga (1996) believes that family background could contribute to truant behaviour of student. He sees the family as the first window with which a child views the world. Okoko (2002) supports this by saying that some parents have shifted their responsibilities to their maids, nannies and even to the school.  This means that many students have turned into truants because their parents fail to monitor their behaviours. Eluu (2005) maintains that teachers are not helping matters concerning high rate of truancy in Nigerian education system. The effect of truancy on secondary school student did not end on how academic performance, they also include other forms of anti-social behaviour like examination malpractice, drugs abuse, criminal activities, early pregnancy and school dropout. This is because a student who is not always in class will surely look for a way of passing an examination which could be by engaging in examination malpractices.  A student could be influence by peers who are already in the habit of absenting themselves from school to engage in smoking of mariguana and cigarettes, students leave school to indulge in pre-marital sex which could result to teenage pregnancy for the girl who eventually dropout from school, boys sometimes engage in armed robbery which could also end them in juvenile jail.

The research is aim of finding out the influence of truancy on the academic performance of students. The teachers complained on the student’s poor performance in academic. Parents also may be carrying out their responsibilities on their children by inadequate studies materials; late payment of school charges can impede students’ becoming a truant.

Truancy is any intentional, unjustified, unauthorized, or illegal absence from compulsory education. It is absence caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate excused absences, such as ones related to medical conditions. Truancy is usually explicitly defined in the school's handbook of policies and procedures. Some children whose parents claim to home school have also been found truant in the United States.  Another term for truancy is playing hooky (US English) or skiving off (British English); Attending school but not going to class is called skipping class.

In some schools, truancy may result in not being able to graduate or to receive credit for classes attended, until the time lost to truancy is made up through a combination of detention, fines, or summer school.

Statement of problem

School has been established as an agent of the society to mould the habits, interest, attitudes and feelings of student and transmit the societal norms, culture, values and traditions from one generation to another. One thing that is clear in this issue is that there is a growing tendency for students to be involved in social vices, such as truancy, stealing, smoking, rioting among others. This is because most home no longer play their traditional function to rear and bring up their child in an upright manner. This occurs because many parents are so preoccupied with duties (working and travelling) outside the home that they have little or no time to keep watch over the actions and behaviour of their children. Many student run away from schools while in many of the case, the parents believe that they are attending classes, while they are away from school; they exercise freedom in engaging in a lot of juvenile delinquencies like fighting and drug abuse.

In recent times, truancy has becomes a regular habit among students. There so many causes of student poor academic performance in schools, some students put up non-chalant attitude to academic work and no longer regard teachers as people representing the authority. They prefer to roam the streets, selling pure water, doing some manual jobs, playing outside school rather than face their work in school. During school hours, they go out to watch inter-house sports competition in other schools even when their schools are not invited, while their co-students are learning in the school.

 In most of the schools, there is no conducive atmosphere for learning. This is due to fact that schools are highly populated, poorly equipped and understaffed. Since student cannot cope with their unfavourable conditions, which these schools are placed, this eventually leads to truancy and other social vices found in our society today. Due to this disorder in the school system, this study is set critically investigate the influence of truancy on the academic performance of secondary school students in Enugu East Local Government Area in Enugu State.

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of truancy on the academic performance of secondary school student in Enugu East local government area.

  1. To find out truant behaviours among secondary school students in Enugu East Local Government Area.
  2. To determine the causes of truant behaviour among secondary school students in Enugu East Local Government Area.
  3. Identify the negative effects of truancy in academic performance of students in Enugu East Local Government Area.

Significance of the study

The researcher hope that the result of this research work shall be beneficial to the following: school administration, parents, graduates and undergraduates, the government and secondary school students.

The school administrators: Educational administrators like, guidance and counselors, principals, vice principal and teacher will gain immensely from this research or study because it will examine the various cause and consequences of truancy and state ways to curbing it, which will serve as an essential instrument for effective school administration.

The parents: Equally, this research or study will bring to the knowledge of parents why and how their children engage in truant behaviours and also suggest to them ways of stopping the havoc.

Graduate and undergraduates: This research will be also be of beneficial to graduates and undergraduate students who are studying administration in the field of education as it will give them insight on how to handle truant students.

The students: This study will most significant to secondary school students because it will expose how truancy retards their academic achievement/performance.

The government: It is significant to the government because it will help device and apply ways of stopping truancy in school. In order to achieve a qualitative education which will at the same time enhance national development?

Scope of the study

The scope of this research will be limited to the secondary school student in Enugu East local government area. The content will also limited to investigate the influence of truancy on academic performance of secondary school students. However, the scope of this work shall cover five (5) selected secondary schools.

Research questions

The following questions are formulated to guide the study:

  1. What are the truant behaviours among  secondary school students in Enugu East  Local Government Area
  2.  What are the causes of truant behaviours among secondary school students in Enugu east Local Government Area
  3. What are negative effects of truancy in academics performance of   student in Enugu East Local Government Area

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