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1.1 Background to the study

Social problems are occurrences that have become common in society in recent years. They are societal concerns that impact everyone. Both young and old are concerned about the challenges. They are not personal or customized difficulties, but rather generic issues that necessitate a general solution. Some of our country’s social issues, such as corruption, social inequality, ethnicity, limited resources, poverty, criminality, and other socioeconomic crises, have manifested in various dimensions in secondary school levels of our education system and appear to be reaching alarming proportions. It is critical to evaluate the impact of social problems on pupils’ academic achievement. Although several socioeconomic and psychological variables, such as hard work and discipline, family income, parent’s education, ability, interest, and aptitude, have been identified to influence academic performance, consideration of adolescent biological age, school entry age, cult activities, examination malpractice, truancy/ deviancy, and late-coming to school, which are some of the social issues affecting secondary school students, is frequently overlooked in this inquiry. Given our country’s academic and behavioral performance issues, the relative lack of attention to these pervasive social problems in secondary schools is worrisome.

First, teenage identity crises have been recognized. They are bombarded with questions about life, such as “what,” “how,” “where,” and “when.” They are impatient for a quick result, which exposes them to various dangers. Our media is rife with news of social ills committed by teenage pupils in schools. Similarly, a child’s school entry age may be a cause or a benefit to his or her education. In this way, a child’s exposure to learning in school is determined by his or her parents’ socioeconomic development. The findings of research on the relationship between school entry age and academic performance are mixed. There is a need to create a balance between these contradictory outcomes.

Second, cult activities among high school kids were previously unheard of. Cultism has now taken center stage in secondary schools. When cults strike, there is usually some interruption in the academic calendar’s steadiness (Olusakin, 2004). Students who are not serious about their academic work, the majority of whom are found (if not all) in covert cults, frequently cause uncertainty that can lead to school closures. The cultists’ aggressive actions violate the academic environment’s tranquility. In 2012, violent actions in secondary schools in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and Adamawa State were mentioned in daily newspapers (Nation Newspaper, 2012; the Nigerian Tribune, 2012). This condition may force school closures, keeping pupils home for extended periods of time and jeopardizing their education. When cultists are detected, they may risk suspension or expulsion from school. Whatever the case, cultism among secondary school students is a necessary evil that affects students’ academic achievements because those who indulge in it pay less attention to reading and studying in school.

Third, students engage in test malpractice because they want to earn the highest possible result without putting in the necessary preparation time. Corruption in private and public areas, as well as Nigeria’s twin sister orientations on certificate, have not helped matters. Every high school student understands that examination misconduct is terrible and corrupt, but many of them continue to participate. Today, the situation has deteriorated to the point that certain parents, instructors, owners / proprietresses, and examination authorities, who should be championing the struggle against examination misconduct, are also supporting it. In any case, students are less likely to follow formal examination regulations in societies where rewards are perceived to be based on personal rather than professional criteria, and where widespread corruption in national and local government is perceived to exist, than in societies where high levels of integrity are perceived to prevail (Okolie, 2004).

Third, it is fairly unusual for kids to get angry when professors attempt to regulate them when they make noise and disrupt other students in class. In a similar spirit, rape or sexual promiscuity, arson and wanton damage of structures and properties, and imitating foreign ways of living appear to be the norms of many adolescent students’ lives. It should be remembered that when students set fire to buildings and destroy property, the school is forced to close. As a result, deviant and delinquent acts among secondary school pupils are societal concerns that have grown so pervasive in schools. This has an impact on students’ learning and, as a result, their academic achievement.

Four, the situation in our high schools regarding absence and truancy is appalling. Absenteeism and truancy are currently big issues in our schools, and the negative repercussions on children’ academic performance have largely gone unnoticed.

However, in the context of this study, academic performance refers to pupils’ capacity to perform well, reasonably, or poorly on an examination. The evaluation of pupils’ academic achievement is done through a variety of standardized exams and examinations. It is worth noting that academic achievement, including academic failure, is sometimes considered narrowly as an individual behavior restricted to the early life period. In essence, academic success has ramifications that span numerous life stages and levels. Academic challenges, it is said, predict individuals’ short-term problem behavior and dropout, and can disrupt educational and career paths far into adulthood. It can also cause disruption and undermine the overall goal of schools. Furthermore, widespread academic failure has an impact on fertility, mortality, marriage, and unemployment rates due to its relationship to educational achievement and human capital development (Egenti, 2005). Thus, what appears to be a minor feature of the teenage experience has far-reaching implications across a wide range of social phenomena. This supports more research into the relationship between social difficulties among kids and academic achievement in secondary schools.

Furthermore, despite the rule against test malpractice and the teaching of Civic Education, Social Studies, and Christian Religion / Islamic Religion in Nigerian junior and senior secondary schools in order to instill good values in pupils, social difficulties continue in secondary schools. To stop the flow of conditions, there is a need to continue doing research on these issue areas among secondary school pupils.

Most obviously, the current Nigeria generation has been a generation of young restlessness and moral decay, with corruption, arson and looting, abduction, and terrorism on the rise in deteriorating neighborhoods and huge cities like Lagos. Student engagement in such activities is steadily increasing, posing a severe danger to our educational goals.

Without a doubt, the academic and maladaptive behavior performance of secondary school kids merits such a study. The trend in poor performance of secondary school students in their West African School Certificate Examinations, as well as students’ emotional lives, reinforces the rationale for this research. As a result, identifying sources of emotional stress in pupils and directing them to suitable areas of professional and adult assistance in school becomes an important component of the educator’s responsibility. Against this backdrop, the purpose of this study is to investigate the link between social concerns in school and kids’ academic performance in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State..

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Students’ indiscipline, as evidenced by their low academic and behavioral performance in numerous secondary schools at Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State, prompted this research.

The proportion of pupils arriving late and missing school is highly concerning, and it appears that students are missing some things taught in school. The eventual consequence might be too disastrous for the pupils and parents.

Most pupils nowadays are too obstinate to accept corrections. Rather of reading and studying diligently for their schoolwork, kids prefer to distract during class, quarrel, and act in a way designed to disrupt the teaching and learning process. All of these negative student attitudes pose a challenge to obtaining better student outcomes in schools.

Today’s pupils consider shortcuts as a way to pass a test. Several students’ scores are revoked and withheld each year in several test sites where incidences of examination misconduct have been recorded. This causes significant harm to kids, parents, schools, and the government in terms of having to repeat exams and pay school and examination costs all over again. The negative impact on our country’s image is so severe that this threat must be combated with vigour.

More issues occur as a result of students’ cult activities, deviancy / delinquency, and the use of aggressive measures to achieve scholastic goals. We occasionally suffer disruptions in academic activity as a result of students’ cult activities and other violent situations in our high schools. Human lives are sometimes lost, and school properties are ruined. This causes schools to close for months, and when they reopen, pupils may forget what they have learned. Students who are unable to deal with academic learning may also drop out of high school. This poses a significant danger to our country’s education system in terms of preparing the suitable persons to work in various areas of our economy and give solutions to our country’s socioeconomic growth.

In an effort to find long-term solutions to the country’s plethora of social problems, the government has tailored the curriculum of our compulsory education with the goal of solving some of the problems while also achieving the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) policy initiatives. One of the committee’s key accomplishments was the incorporation of social studies, civic education, Christian and Islamic religion, and security education under Religion and National Values. The invention was both national and educational in character.

It is unclear whether government efforts to restrict these behaviors have achieved any results in the past. Student involvement in anti-social behaviour is on the rise. At the same time, the frightening impact of this conduct poses a significant challenge to teachers, parents, guardians, and the government, as well as stakeholders in the educational sector and well-meaning Nigerians in general.

In view of the general issues of social problems in schools, the purpose of this study is to investigate the association between social problems and academic performance of secondary school students in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State..

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between social problems happening in schools and academic. Specifically, the study is aimed at finding

1. The relationship between age and students’ moral behavior in relation with academic performance.

2. The relationship between school entry age and academic performance.

3. The relationship between cult activities and academic performance.

4. The relationship between examination malpractice and academic performance.

5. The relationship between truancy and academic performance.

6. The relationship between deviancy/delinquency and academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the proposed study:

1. What is the relationship between age and students’ moral behavior in relation with academic performance?

2. How does school entry age have relationship with academic performance?

3. Is there a relationship between cult activities and academic performance?

4. How is examination malpractice related with academic performance?

5. What relationship exists between truancy and academic performance?

6. Is there relationship between school deviancy delinquency and academic performance?

7. Is there relationship between social problems and academic performance of students?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research study has implication for addressing social problems in our society and specifically the problem of anti-social behavior associated with urban secondary school students the Lagos metropolis. In view of the prevailing undesirable behaviours in youths, this study will expose the students to the harmful effects of deviance on academic performance and thus serve as a cautionary measure for students.  It will enlighten teachers and school managers or administrators on the behavior pattern of students thereby helping them to use education to adjust the maladjusted students in their anti-social behaviours. This research study will equally educate parents on the associated risk behaviours of adolescents which their children sometimes involved themselves that contribute to their poor performance in school work. This will help inculcate in the students the behavior pattern that the society expected of her citizen, more so, now that the present democratic dispensation is bent on eradication of all corrupt practices. It will also contribute to the existing literature on social problem of among secondary school students and academic performance in the Lagos Metropolis.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is limited to the entire secondary school student in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The study examined social problems happening in secondary schools with particular emphasis on age, school entry age, cult activities, examination malpractice, truancy, deviancy/ delinquency and how the relate with academic performance of students in secondary schools. Also, obtaining materials used for the study poised some constraints.

1.8 Operational Definitions of Terms  

Academic performance: This is the behavior of a student that can be directly observed by evaluating what he/she has learnt during a course of study. This behavior can be measured through class work, homework, class participation and tests.

Absenteeism: Absenteeism is regular persistent absence from work or school.

Deviance:  This refers to possibility of an individual or group deviating from an established norm. Any behavior which does not conform to the rules, regulations, norms, and values of a given time is viewed as deviance.

Delinquency: this is the behavior pattern that breaks certain rules or laws enacted by constituted authority.

Social problem: A social problem exists when a significant number of people in a society believe that a certain condition is in fact a problem

Examination Malpractice:  a deliberate act of wrong doing contrary to official examination rules and is designed to place a candidate at unfair advantages and disadvantages.

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