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Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
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The role in the social environment appears to be one of the important predictors of student’s attendance and academic performance and social development. Despite existing research on contributions of social environment factors namely home, social and school on student dropout but these factors were examined in a separate fashion and primarily focused in rural villages.

This study aims to develop a comprehensive framework of social environmental determinants of student dropout in secondary school in the area which understudied. These determinants play a critical role in identifying the measures or inventions that will enhance a child’s education.

The role of these institutions in the social environment and its influence on student’s dropout is examined in general and amongst the secondary school students in the area in particular.

The findings reveal that although family factors contribute predominantly to student dropout as shown in conventional literature, school and social variables appear to be equally important and emerging determinants as well.



Despite the numerous schools created in our localities with little or no fees paid, there are still many children or students who move about on the streets during school hours. According to Mushi (2002), provision of education to all citizens has been challenging despite the universal declaration of human right that entitles everyone to the right to basic education.

Female education is recognized as a critical pathway in promoting social, political and economic development in any country. The dropout of girls from public schools is a result of inefficient utilization of human and economic resources by the education system (Odaga&Heneveld, 1995).

It is not only the individual that suffers economically from dropping out. Society also pays a price when students fail. Forty percent of 16- 24-years-old dropouts receive some form of government assistance in 2001.

It is estimated that each high school dropout turns to drugs or crime. Teenagers’ dropping out of high school has been a challenge for educators, parents, and employers for at least 30 years (Haycock & Huang, 2001).

As minimum skill expectations have increased at every educational and employment entry point, so has the importance of attaining a high school diploma. Research consistently finds that high absenteeism one specific indicator of engagement is associated with higher dropout rates.

Misbehavior in high school and delinquent behavior outside of high school are both significantly associated with higher dropout and lower graduation rate. In addition, drug or alcohol use during high school is associated with higher dropout rates.

Teenage parenting and childbearing increase the odds of dropping out. Having friends who engage in criminal behavior or friends who have dropped out also increases the odds of dropping out. Finally, students are more likely to drop out if they have a siblingswho have dropped out.

The Anglophone crisis

The Anglophone crisis has also been a contributing factor to why students in secondary schools in Buea municipality had to stop going to school. The enormous scale of attacks on schools and threats to education suffered by millions of children around the world has been revealed in a report by Theirworld “there is chaos, most young people are not well educated and now some of them have guns” said Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu a Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld from the Northwest Region.

Also, due to the crisis the military forces have carried out arbitrary arrests of civilians, torture detainees and burnt down entire villages, leaving children with no access o schools.

The separatists’ fighters have kidnapped school children and teachers and have placed an embargo on the functioning of schools. All these implements and restrictions fall directly in children who can neither gain any further education nor move freely in their communities.

Also in Buea, when bikes were used for commercial purposes, students in secondary schools who were facing difficulties in sponsoring themselves and also did not see a chance of having job after schooling, had to drop out from school and indulge in motor bike which fetch them quick money

1.1 Background to the Study

Education is becoming very important in our society. All parents want to educate their children. Farrant (1986) sees education as “the process of learning to live as a useful and acceptable member of the society.” Ducasse (1958) gives the etymological definition of education. Etymologically, education is derived from educere which means to lead out or bring out. However, another school of thought holds that education is derived from educare which means to form or train. Luma, (1983, p233-234) quotes what the following say about education.

Thomas (1986, p 105) defines education as “The process of producing desirable changes in the individual so that he may take his place as an efficient and useful member of the society.” Lester (1986) views education as “The culture which each generation purposely gives  to those who are to be its successor in order to quality them at least in keeping up and if possible for raising the level of improvement which has been attained.”

Farrant (1986) sees education as “The process of learning to live as a useful and acceptable member of the society.”   Education can be achieved through various means. We have the non-formal, informal and formal education. With informal education, there is no attempt in structuring it.

Most of the learning that goes on is almost unconscious as with those things the child learns from his family, friends and the environment. Informal education has no instructions. Our ancestors had their own way of educating and training the young ones. The family and the society were all agents of education.

Today formal education has overshadowed the informal type. Learning is carried out in specially built institutions such as schools, colleges. What is taught in these schools is carefully structured by means of syllabus and timetable s and the teaching provided is usually carefully supervised by an external administrative body.

Schooling is one of the tools or aspects of modern education. According to Leke,(2003, P6)”, schooling is often confused with education.” In everyday conversation the question is often asked, “Where were you educated?” the answer usually given is “at school”, “at college”. Such a question is not correct because a person cannot be completely educated.

Schooling goes on in every formal and logical stage for example nursery, primary, secondary and higher levels or stages. Each of these stages or levels ends formally with a formal examination that leads to the award of certificates to successful candidates.

Farrant (1986, P287) says “drop out in education are people who despite having the abilities to complete an educational course fail to do so”. Horby (1998, P358) defines dropout as, “one who withdraws from a course or examination”,

According to the above educationist therefore, dropouts are not necessarily those who cannot cope with schooling and even if it is so, why should they dropout from school when there are qualified teachers in our society today who can change the ability of the learners positively.

A persistent problem in the society that aims for universal education is the number of students who do not complete secondary school Students likely to continue schooling if there is no hindrance but some students today, because of certain reasons dropout of school. This is evident in the number of students who dropout each years.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the numerous schools created in our localities with little or no fees paid, there are still many children or students who move about on the streets during school hours. It is for this reason that the researcher was urged to find out what might be the cause of keeping away or drop out from school by these students.

The study was guided by a theoretical framework based on socio economic, cultural and regional differences indicative of patterns of inequalities in the distribution of resources in the society.  The dropout of girls from public schools is a result of inefficient utilization of human and economic resources by the education system (Odaga&Heneveld, 1995).

Despite the fact that no tuition fees are paid for day secondary schools, girls still face challenges arising from community and school that force them to dropout of schools as compared to boys (Njeru&Orodho, 2003 

Despite this trend and the increased severity of the negative consequences of dropping out (McCaulDonaldson, Coladarci, & Davis, 1992), for many public school students particularly male students from low-income or ethnic minority families graduating from high school has remained problematic, even as the nation’s general educational level has increased. The results of this study will help in proposing recommendation

1.3 Objective of study

This study is intended to investigate social environment as a determinant to student dropout from secondary school in the Buea Municipality. The objectives for the study include:

  • To find out the rate at which students drop out from secondary schools in Buea sub division.
  • To find out the influence of school environment as a determinant of students drop out from secondary schools in Buea municipality.
  • The find out the influence of home environment as a determinant of students drop out from secondary schools in Buea municipality.
  • To find out the influence of peer groups as a determinant of students drop out in secondary schools in Buea municipality.
  • To find out how these social environments can prevent students from dropping out from secondary schools in Buea municipality.
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