Full Project – Causes and implications of truancy on science secondary students’ academic performance

Full Project – Causes and implications of truancy on science secondary students’ academic performance

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1.1 Background of the Study

Truancy is one of the major dishonesties or delinquent behaviours committed by students in contemporary Nigeria irrespective of school type, gender and location. Sara (2014) perceived truancy as a serious delinquent behaviour characterized by students that often leads to other deviant behaviours. Ukanyiroha (2013) defined truancy as running away from school or classes without the consent of school authorities. That is the habitual staying away of students from school/class without permission to avoids responsibilities such as assignments, test, examinations and other extra-curricular activities. Odoemelan (2014) also defined truancy as keeping away from school during school hours with neither the permission of the parents nor school authorities with a view to avoiding punishment, dodging specific functions and neglecting certain lawful school duties.

Robinson (2016) viewed truancy as the extroverts’ reaction to school problem however, introverts too play truancy especially at teenage age. Truants are irregular in attending school, a few may choose to come once or twice in a week or may show up in the morning and disappear later while some are persistently absent without any good or acceptable reason either by the parents or school authorities. Hopson (2016) described truants as vagabonds, wretched, lazy, idle persons who shirk or neglect responsibilities and plan to go contrary to the provisions of the school rules such as attending to movies, attending special events, prepare for nights, playing games during school hours but outside school, avoid wearing school uniform, failure to serve punishment, engaging in substance abuse and cultism. Other maladaptive or anti-social behaviours characterized by truants include hyperactivity, disruptive classroom behaviour, bullying, shyness, skipping classes, indiscipline in school, disregard for school authority, poor performance and ultimately becomes a school dropout.

While truancy is frequently defined as absence from school without prior knowledge of the parents, guardians and/or the school authority but self/personal initiation of the students concern, Baker (2017) expressed that the two dimensions of absenteeism which are missing full days of school and missing some classes should be observed. Baker further stressed that truants missed individual classes and full school days due to a number of integrated problems and that without adequate and proper timely intervention will escalate and metamorphose into serious societal problem overtime. Loober&Faington (2013) and Baker (2017) expressed that some truants have personal issues that make regular school attendance difficult such as chronic physical health problem, family socio-economic challenges like helping the younger siblings or contributing extra income for the up keep of the family. Others could be the social setting itself or academic needs that are not being met.

A report compiled by the Los Angeles County Department of Education in 1999 as cited by Sara (2014) indicated that chronic absenteeism is the principal predictor of delinquency among youths. Furthermore, a California Deputy Assistant Attorney (2010) who handles cases of truancy stated that he has ‘never seen a gang member who was not a truant first’ because they fall along the same continuum of behaviours and the obvious end result is dropout of school. Kaupman (2011) added that approximately eighty percent of school dropouts were initially truants and the consequences are detrimental on the individual, parents/guardians and the wider society.

Generally, students copy from those they live with as their role models and families are the first and immediate people students learn and copy from hence serve as agent of socialization and role model for the siblings. Mbuha (2009) reported that few truants received either affection or training from their parents/guardians. Those that came from families where affection and moral training are available tend to acquire good habits and morals while the reverse is the case for those that lack parental affection and moral training. Mora (2017) observed that some parents in Nigeria recognized the importance of sending their younger ones to school but do not see the need to provide learning facilities (text books, exercise books, pen/pencil, mathematical instrument, school bags, uniforms, sandals and socks), pocket money and opportunities  at home to support what the child has learn. Inability to provide learning facilities by parents/guardians will make a child becomes truant for fear of being punished at school or being laughed at by peers. Additionally, Mbuha (2019) explicitly stated that those students whose parents/guardians are unable to pay their school fees in good time tend to skip school/classes to avoid embarrassment from their mates who would continue to mock them for not settling their fees as at when due.

Epstein and Sheldon (2012) expressed that about one third (1/3) to a half (1/2) of the cases of truancy came from the low income class and single parenting. For economic reasons especially those living with their step mothers have to fetch water, hawk bread, pure water, ‘moimoi’or‘akamu’ before going to school and late arrival usually attracts penalties. Some students will prefer truancy to punishment. In other words, they will choose to stay away from school then to go late and get punished. Gumsumi (2016) considered medical and teachers’ attitude as the factors causing students’ truancy. Students suffering from sickle cell, calcium, diabetes and sight problems or crippled would be skipping school or class hours to be attending hospitals periodically for medical checkup and that most teachers are harsh on students especially the untrained or uncertified teachers who lack teaching methods and find it difficult to comprehend the curriculum and relate the relevant message to students will end up punishing students unnecessarily. Such teachers’ attitude will discourage students and start feeling that the school offers them virtually little or nothing thus cultivates the habit of absenting from school.

Truancy is one of the delinquent behaviours of non-adult individuals in the society which is judged by the society as bad. Truancy is in the increase particularly among secondary school students in Kano State, Nigeria and a nation with uncontrolled cases of delinquents is characterized by unproductive citizens, poor national growth and development. Truancy could push one out of school (dropout), becomes daring and turn into armed robber or murderer. This act if not checked will get to undesirable level and the society will be losing and living in fears. As a result, there is the need to identify the possible causes and effects of truancy among secondary school students

1.2 Statement of the Statement

This research work is on the causes and effects of truancy among secondary school students. Truancy has been one of the factors that hinders academic performance and educational achievement among school students (Maynard, 2016). The school and teacher factors left aside, the learner’s unique behavioural pattern is a valuable area in enticing teachers to teach effectively (Smith, 2016). It is very frustrating, discouraging and demoralizing for teachers to spend time and prepare lessons that they cannot teach because many of their students stay away from school or classes. The child factor, as mentioned earlier, is a leading factor for educational advancement. The influence of one truant in a class may be too spasmodic that before the end of a term, ten other students may fall victims. A survey of the school environment has been seen as enhancing the degree of truancy in a school. A school with an in-built culture of indiscipline is likely going to have many or her students as truants.

This study is therefore planned to examine the causes of truancy among secondary school students. The researcher intends to look into the possible effects of truancy on secondary school students.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This study is designed to identify and determine the:

  1. To determine the effects of students truancy in secondary school in Gwale LGA Kano State, Nigeria
  2. To find out the acts that constitutes to truancy in Gwale LGAKano State, Nigeria based on school type, gender and school location
  3. To determine the factors responsible for truancy in secondary school in Gwale LGA Kano State, Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were answered in this study:

  1. What are the effects of students truancy in secondary schools in Gwale LGA Kano State, Nigeria?
  2. What are the acts that constitutes to truancy in Gwale LGA Kano State, Nigeria based on school type, gender and school location?
  3. What are the factors responsible for truancy in secondary school in Gwale LGA Kano State, Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study of the causes and effect of truancy among secondary school students is advantageous. As the evil can easily spread as wildfire, it should be stopped to avoid many students falling into it as victims. If the evil in our school and other similar sources, the students will have limited access to perform well in school activities; anywhere the clever ones have the chance to go higher. Students are exposed to the pleasure of good loves of school environment where by they interact for the development of their society; facing the solution of these crimes like lateness to school, serving as a bus conductor during school hours, hunting birds in the bush at the time they are supported to be in school, will be drastically there reduced.

Finally, this study and research finding will also be significant in such a way that it will serve as a pointer to other research who may be interested in the study.

1.6   Scope and Limitation of the study

The research study covers secondary schools in Gwale local government area Kano state. Due to the considerable fund needed to cover the whole zone in data collection, the researcher was forced to limit the scope to only a few randomly selected schools. Some principals of the schools selected for the study did not allow much time at the researcher’s disposal to collect information needed for the subject as they saw this to be an intervention with the school’s daily programme.

Furthermore, some questionnaires were returned to the researcher during the process of administration without answering the questions in them. There was also the problem of inaccessibility to materials on the topic as enough research has not been carried out on the area.


1.7   Definition of Terms

Truancy: This refers to students’ unexcused absences from school or class. It is also used in the study to refer to the act in which school students leave their houses for school but do not be in the class because of lack of interest to learn or to evade punishment.

Delinquent Behaviour: This refers to behaviour similar to truancy in which a delinquent child stays on his own and avoids lessons and formal class interactions.

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Full Project – Causes and implications of truancy on science secondary students’ academic performance