ASSESSING THE EFFECT OF TRUANCY ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
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The purpose of this research is to find out the causes of truancy among senior secondary students; its implication on academic performance of the students and the role of counselling in eradicating it.
The study is limited to three secondary schools in Ogbomosho south in Oyo state.
Personal interview as conducted with teachers and students. About 150 students and 15 teachers were interviewed.
Five hypotheses are stated in this research two of them are rejected while three are accepted.
The hypothesis stated are:
(1) There is no significant relationship between the attitude of truants and non-truants to schooling
(2) There is no significant relationship between the academic performance of truants and non-truants
(3) There is no significant relationship between influence of gender on truants and non-truants.
(4) there is no significant relationship between the parents of truants and non-truants.
(5) There is no significant relationship between influence of teachers on truants and non-truants. Recommendations are made at the end of the research.
These could be useful in eradicating truancy among senior secondary students of ogbomoso south in Oyo state.
1.1 Background to the Study
Truancy is one of the disciplinary acts that is common in our secondary schools. It is not unusual to see students roaming the street during school hours.
This study is based on the effects of truancy on academic students in Ogbomoso south in Oyo state.
It is important to note that truancy has negative effects on academic performance of students.
A students who does not attend lesson regularly and is not always in the class when other students are being assessed will have himself to blame if he eventually fails.
In view of the disciplinary problems in Nigerian secondary schools, many investigations have been carried out on the causes of truancy.
Truancy is a great problem affecting the academic performance of students.
In the new 6-3-3-4 education system, student’s performance in school may be affected if he does not come to school regularly. These days, many students do not have positive attitude to schooling such students are under-achievers.
Terry G, Thomas j. and Blair et al (2014), they define truancy as a deliberate absence from school for no medical or justifiable reason, with or without parental knowledge.
A truant is a pupils who just does not want to go to school and makes plans to do something else.
He may go fishing attend a movie or take a trip. If the activities at school challenge him as much as those outside school, it is certain that he would be no truant.
The pupils who is successful in school, whose needs are being met is unhappy if events prevent him from attending his classes.
Teachers should consider truancy as a sign that something is wrong with the school. When changes have been made in school program truancy has been known to drop out prior to this time, truancy was not so rampart in schools, but nowadays it has become noticeable.
It is one of the indiciplinary act affecting students academic performances in the west African school certificate examination.
It is a gradual process possibly from the day a student enters school or in the course of his educational pursuit.
The bad effect it has on students is more than the enjoyment they derive from it.
The influence of truancy on academic performance of students can not be over-emphasized. Students are assessed on a continuous basis.
The academic assessment of a student is based on his performance in class.
If a student is not always present when other are being assessed, and if he has no genuine reason for his absence, no mark would be recorded for him and this will affect the over all mark for such a student. Continual absence from school can affect a student’s academic record-especially in the cumulative file and this may affect his future career.
This is because achievement-oriented people would strive towards accomplishing better future goals in favor of the lesser goals of the present time.
A student who knows his future goal should not absent himself from school without genuine reasons.\
Student who can discover their interests tend to achieve more realistic goals than others who drift about with no interest in what they do.
A student who is a truant may not discover his interest on time and would find it difficult reinforcing an interest he has not discovered.
In view of this fact that he has no interest in coming to school, he would just be drifting about like a ship without a ruder.
The causes of truancy may be related to some personality problems affecting individual truants.
Some of the causes vary from the home, school, society and personal traits of individual truants.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The objective of secondary school education in Nigeria is to provide students with academic and vocational skills as well as moral ethics but it is quite unfortunate that these objectives have not been fully achieved due to the high level of students involvement in truant behavior.
In recent times, truancy has become a regular habit among students.
There are so many causes of students poor academic performance in schools, some students put up non-chalet attitude to academic work and no longer regard teachers as people representing the authority.
They prefer to roam the streets 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.
The introduction of ‘exeat cards’ in schools has helped to curb this act a bit.
In 1977, general Obasanjo summoned a national conference of principals of secondary schools and other schools of learning to deliberate on problems of indiscipline such as stealing, smoking, playing truant, drug abuse examination leakages to mention a few in the secondary schools.
The conference/work-shop on school discipline was organized by the federal government.
The main objective of the conference was to defined the goals, formulate the strategy and propose a machinery for instilling discipline in our schools.
At the end of this conference twenty-two vital recommendations were made along with their policy implications and actions.
Some of the recommendations dealt with the need for research and the roles of people like school psychologists, guidance counsellors and universities faculties of education mainly to eradicate truancy.
In 1978, the military government introduced the system of posting military personnel to school to prevent students from indulging themselves in these learning and behavior problems.
The national policy on education (2014) states that the secondary school should:
– equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology; develop and project Nigeria culture, art and language as well as the world’s cultural heritage;
– Raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labor, and appreciate those values specified under our broad national aims and live as good citizens.
A students who does not come to school regularly will not be able to achieve these aims.
All these aims would be of no importance to him and would see no reason why he/she should work towards achieving the aims.
On the long run, he would be a liability to himself and to the nation.
Due to these, the study aims at investigating truancy among secondary school students in Ogbomoso south educational zone.
1.3 Research Questions
1. Why do students practice truancy in secondary school?
2. What are the effects of truancy on the academic performance of students in secondary school
3. What role can the parents, school and environment play to prevent truancy in schools?
4. Suggest means and methods that could be adopted to eradicate truancy in secondary schools.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
Based on the research questions the following hypothesis will be verified.
i. There is no significant relationship between the attitude of truants and non-truants to schooling
ii. There is no significant relationship between the academic performance of truants and non-truants
iii. There is no significant relationship between the influence of gender on truants and non – truants.
iv. There is no significant relationship between the parents of truants and non-truants
v. There is no significant relationship between influence of teachers on truants and non-truants
1.5 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine;
a. The effect of truancy on students academic performance in secondary school. Schools where truancy prevail, disobedient children are likely to face problems in their academic pursuit which lead to laziness and stealing.
b. To examine the role which parents, schools, society or community can play in order to prevent truancy.
c. To suggest means and methods that could be adopted to eradicate this evil practice in secondary schools.
d. Examine the role of counsellor in eradicating the rate of truancy among students.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will be of great benefits to the parents in Ogbomoso South Local Government Area who would know that they have a great part to play in making their children to develop positive attitude to schooling and never to run away from school again.
Teachers would also gain from the study by knowing the causes of truancy and how to find solutions to them in order to get the best out of their students.
It is hoped that this study will also help the secondary school administration in Ogbomoso Local Government Area to provide conducive environment good for learning by the students so that they do not run away from school.
Also, it is expected to help the Local government authorities to recognize the reasons or causes of truancy among secondary school students.
Lastly, counsellors, can also be used in assisting truants to give up their act.
To this effect, when truants are identified, school counselors should ensure that they counselors the students so far identified as truants.