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The Influence of Child Abuse and Student Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

The Influence of Child Abuse and Student Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

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ABSTRACT

This study examined child Abuse and students’ Academic performance in Economics in Secondary schools in Ika Local Government Area. Four research questions and null hypothesis were raised in line with the specific objectives of the study. The survey design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised of 834 SS2 students in the study area.

The simple random sampling technique was used to select 240 SS2 students to constitute the sample size for the study. The major instruments for data collection were child Abuse Variables Questionnaire (CAVQ) and Economics Achievement Test (EAT). The data collected from the above instruments were analyzed using simple percentages and t-test. The result showed that students who were not subjected to child abuse perform significantly better than those that were abused by parents and guardians.

It was gathered that lack of domestic peace, poor parental tutelage, child labour, denial of emotional and social needs and exposure of children to undue punishment by parents and teachers were major factors that led to poor academic performance of students in Economics. It was concluded that child abuse has a significant effect on students’ academic performance in economics in the area.

Consequently, it was recommended that serious consideration should be given to the establishment of an autonomous national commission for the child with a duty to protect the child. This will go a long away to address the unwholesome-some trend of child abuse and it attendant consequences which is becoming a vogue  in our society.                                        

The Influence of Child Abuse and Student Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1 Background to the study

Child abuse has remained a global issue in most countries including Nigeria. It is an age- long human problem. The United Nations Convention (1990) defines a child as a person under the age of 1 years. According to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) a child is a person from birth to 18 years of age. Childhood is very important period in human development. It is the formative period that spans through adolescence to early adulthood.

However, education all over the world is generally accepted to be the right of every child. Childhood is expected to be the best time to lay a balanced socio-emotional stability for an expected adult. The ingredients in which the child should grow is expected to be put in place during childhood. It is in recognition of this fact that the United Nations(1990), has put in place the “Rights of the child” to which Nigeria is a signatory.

It affirmed the rights of the child to enjoy special protection, opportunities and facilities for his/her development, healthy living and good manners. These United Nations Rights of the child attempts to eliminate all forms of impediments which would hamper the optimal growth and educational development of the child. Notably, the United Nations document has made provisions for conditions which will enable the child to grow and develop into a stable and emotionally balanced adult.

Unfortunately, the poor economic realities of Nigeria has militated against the Rights of the child such that child abuse becomes a resultant effect with child labour being at the fore front of the abuse(Abdu,2008) have been recorded throughout history. It has always been maintained that the level of development of any given society can be measured by the way it looks after its less privileged ones .However, a country cannot preserve its future  if it abuse is on the increase especially in developing countries like Nigeria.

According to Akan(2008), in some families, many parents because of many social, political and economic activities tend to neglect their children. In schools such children are not given the basic motivation and encouragement necessary for development of positive attitude towards effective learning. Teachers in schools who are expected to play a significant role in the educational life of their learners, more often than not tend to exhibit total lack of interest in their students while some even ridicule and subject them to various forms of maltreatment. The abused students then exhibit recalcitrant and unruly behaviours which consequently deteriorate their academic (Ludan,2009).

According to Isangedighi (2004) most of children from extremely poor homes do not have the prescribed texts and other sundry materials needed for effective learning in the classroom. He added that some children in an attempt to fend for themselves resort to street hawking and commercial sex.

Child abuse is an issue of grave concern to the counselors, schools teachers and administrators, parents and governments the world over. Accordingly, Okon and Ekere(2006), maintained that the child is a valuable gift from God and should be cared for. In some homes, parent-child relationship is a source of distress and trauma which results in a parent maltreating his child physically, sexually, psychologically and neglect by failure to provide him with love, care,  attention and other needs.

Nevertheless, the consequences of child abuse in recent years has become a topical issue that is receiving international attention. This is due to the fact that an abused child constitute a serious hazard to the society. For instance, abused children have been linked to violent crimes, stealing, prostitution and other undesirable behaviours.

With such stated crimes, that are inimical to peaceful societies, it becomes imperative that urgent steps must be taken to address the issue of child abuse and neglect in our society. More so, the resultant effect of child above child in schools cannot be over emphasized given that every child needs a conducive environment and a good parent’s tutelage to function well and achieve optimally in school.

The Influence of Child Abuse and Student Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

1.2 Statement of the problem

Over the year, there has been public outcry on the continuous decline in the academic performance of students in schools. The abysmal performance of students in internal and public examinations has become increasingly worrisome. This has necessitated research into the factors that are responsible for this academic quagmire.

To tackle this menace, the government at all level and well meaning individuals and organizations have made concerted efforts to improve on the academic performance of students in school through the provision of basic educational materials, yet the performance of students in school to a greater extend remain nothing to write home about (Breland, 2007).

Nevertheless, available data have shown that not much research has been conducted along the line of child abuse in relation of students’ academic performance. Accordingly, the poor academic performance of students in schools, most especially students from extremely poor homes might not be unconnected with the various forms of child abuse they have been subject to.

It is against this background therefore, that this study “child abuse and students academic performance on Economics in Secondary Schools in Ika local Government Area”. Was carried out.

1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study is to examine the effects of child abuse on student academic performance in secondary schools in Ika Local Government Area: In specific terms, the study will accomplish the following objectives

  1. To identify the forms of child abuse that affects the academic performance of the students in economics in Ika Local Government Area.
  2. To identify the causes of child abuse among secondary school students in Ika Local Government Area.
  3. Examine the effects of child abuse on student’s academic performance in economics in secondary school in Ika Local Government Area.

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is anticipated that the findings of this study would be appreciated by all and sundry in the education sub-sector including teachers, school administrators, parents, students, researchers etc. the findings will provide useful information in the specific ways:

  1. It will provide information on the various forms of child abuse and their resultant effects on student’s academic performance in school.
  2. Through the findings of the study parents will realize the need to provide effective parental tutelage to their ward most importantly in the area of education rather than subject them to street hawking, battering, maltreatment and other forms of exploitation.
  3. It will reveal that the poor academic performance of students in schools may be connected with child abuse.
  4. It will add to the body of existing literature on child abuse in relation to student’s academic performance.
  5. Finally, the findings of this study will serve as a reference, material for further research into child abuse and students’ academic performance not only in economics but other school subjects.

1.5.   RESEACH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were raised in line with the specific objectives of the study.

  1. What form of child abuse exists among secondary school students in Ika Local Governments Area?
  2. What are the causes of child abuse among secondary school in Ika Local Government Area?
  3. To what extent does child abuse affect the academic performance of secondary school students in Ika Local Government Area?
  4. What are the likely indicators of abuse children?

1.6    RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

There is no significant difference in academic performance of abused students and those that are not abused in Economics in secondary schools in Ika Local Government Area.

1.7.   DELIMITATION TO THE STUDY

This study is delimited to child abuse and students’ academic performance in Economics in secondary schools in Ika Local Government Area. Analysis was on Senior Secondary School two (SS 2) students in the area. There are four (4) public schools in the area.

1.8    LIMITATION TO THE STUDY

The major factors that limit the scope of this study to Ika Local Government Area were; insufficient funds, time frame for the study, unpredicted school strike action which impeded data collection and the researcher’s academic workload.

1.9.   DEFINITION OF TERMS

The following terms used in the study were conceptualized by the researcher as explained below:

A Child:    A young person who is not yet an adult, often between the ages of 1-1.

Abuse:     Unfair, cruel or violent treatment of somebody.

Child abuse: The crime of harming child in a physical, sexual or emotional ways.

Child Labour: A form of child abuse whereby a child is exposed to hard work and dangerous elements.

Child neglect: Denial of emotional and social needs of the child including abandonment.

Child battering: A violent attack on the child that injures or damages him and other ill-treatment like unnecessary beating.

Academic performance: the performance of students based on taught lessons. Its indicated by examination and test scores

The Influence of Child Abuse and Student Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

Chapter two

Review of related literature

This review of related literature deals with already existing opinions held by various scholars and schools of thought about this topics; thus discussions shall be under the following subheadings: the concept of child abuse, forms of child abuse, causes of child abuse, child abuse and students’ academic performance and consequences of child abuse.

2.6 Summary of literature review

The literature for this study is logically reviewed to reflect the works of other authors and researchers in line with specific objectives of the study and the research questions. The review covers the concept of child abuse, forms of child abuse, and causes of child abuse, child abuse students’ academic performance and the consequences of child abuse.

Apparently, available empirical literature have shown that child abuse significantly influence the academic performance of students in school. From the researcher’s point of view, there is no doubt therefore, that the various forms of child abuse identified in this study would affect student’s academic performance since abuse children lack concentration and focus on their studies

CHAPTER THREE

Research Methods

This chapter describes the design of the study, the study area, population of the study, sample and sampling technique, instrumentation, validation of instruments, reliability of the instruments, and method of data analysis.

The Influence of Child Abuse and Student Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

CHAPTER FIVE

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations.

This chapter presents the summary of the research, the conclusion and recommendations.

5.1 Summary

The study was designed to examine the effects of child abuse and students’ academic performance in economics in secondary schools in Ika Local government Area. Four research question and one null hypotheses were raised in line with the specific objectives of the study. The survey research was the design adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 834 SS2 students in the study area.

The simple random sampling technique was used to select 240 SS2 (Economics) students to constitute the sample size for the study. The instruments for data collection were “ Child Abuse variable Questionnaire (CAVQ) and Economics Achievement test (EAT).

The data general for the study were analysed using simple percentage and t-test. The result showed that students who were not subjected to child abuse performed significantly better than those that were abused by parents and guardians. It was gathered that lack of domestic peace, poor parental tutelage, child labour, denial of emotional and social needs and exposure of children to undue punishment by parents and teachers were major factors that led to the poor academic performance in economics in the study area.

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