1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Oxford Advanced learner Dictionary (2001) defined ‘cause’ as:
(I) The person or thing that makes something happen;
(II) A reason for having particular feeling or behaving in a particular way;
(III) An organization or idea that people support or fight,
(IV) A case that goes to court of law.
Encyclopedia wikipedea (2009) opined that ‘cause’, as it relates to the research topic is what makes something happen or a reason for behaving in a particular way. In the same context, Microsoft Encarta (2009) defines solution as a way of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation or undesirable behavior.
Truancy is any intentional unauthorized absence from schooling. The term typically describes absence caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate “excused ” absence. It may also refer to students who attend school but do not go to classes, (wikipedea 2009).
In the same vain, Nwachukwu (2004) said that a truant is one who absents him/herself from classes and school functions, comes late to classes and returns days or even weeks after the beginning of each term without any good permission. Meanwhile Nwachukwu (1999) opined that if a student’s character does not conform with the already mapped out rules and regulations with regards to class attendance and other school activities, that such student is regarded as a truant.
According to Baker, sigmon and Nugent (2001), voluminous research indicates that school problems including: academic failure, juvenile delinquency, gang activity and drug abuse. Nonetheless, the present researchers believe that some of the causes of truancy are non- student factors like, inadequate parental care, cruel teachers, and poor school management.
In the light of the above, Nwangwu (1991) reported that most parents usually over look their responsibilities in training their children rather they try to transfer their roles to the school, neglecting their vital roles of nurturing the character of the child at home. It does not mean that a teacher has not got their own shortcomings. Araonyer (1991) said that some teachers are chief truant who come to school at will while some make lessons very difficult for the student by jumping into the class without proper preparation for the lesson. The present researchers observed that in any school where management has a laissez – faire approach to disciplinary issues like, punctuality, neatness, moral conduct etc the students show lackadaisical attitude to school functions and thus revert to truancy. Fitzgerald (2005) explained that school attendance is an important factor in the development of child’s future. Success in school often leads to a bright and promising future for a student. He further opined that many students stray away from school and become involved in negative activities such as drug abuse, delinquent behavior and gang activity. Sigmon and Nugent (2001) warned that not only does truancy have an immediate effect on the secondary school student, it also extends far into student’s adult years with increased likelihood of incarceration.
The National policy on Education (2004) defined secondary Education, as the education children receive after primary Education and before the tertiary stage. Post primary school board (PPSMB) statistical record PRS (2009) shows that there are nine government owned secondary schools in Enugu North local Government Area. Enugu north local government area is in Enugu senatorial district of Enugu state, Nigeria. The area is predominantly an urban settlement with a few rural communities. Some the communities in Enugu North L.G.A include : Enugu Ngwo, Iva-valley , Coal camp, G.R.A, independent Lay-out , Ogui and Asata.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM;
Truancy has been a nagging issue in Nigeria and Enugu state in particular, Ogakwu (2009). Beyond the effect that missed schooling may have on a student’s educational attainment, truancy may indicate more deeply embedded problems with the student presently and in latter life .The entire educational system is also affected, wikipedea, (2001).
This study tends to find out the causes, consequences and solution of truancy among secondary school students in Enugu North local government Area. It has been earlier perceived in the background of this study that the incident of truancy is on increase. This is perhaps due to school phobia, delinquency, inadequate parental responsibility or care, attitudes of class teachers and the school management.
Specifically, One Would Like to Ask
1. What is the contributing factor of truancy among secondary school students?
2.In what ways can the parents help in reducing the incidence of truancy in schools?
3.What roles have teacher to play in order to reduce truancy?
4.What roles have the school management and non-tutorial staff to play in pursuit of the solutions to truancy?
5.How can government help to reduce truancy among secondary school students?
1.3 Purpose of Study
Based on the background and the problems and of this study, the main purpose underlying this project is to investigate the causes and solutions of truancy among secondary school students in Enugu North local government Area. The study specifically seeks to determine;
1. Why some students abscond from school?
2. Why some students sneak out the school during classes?
3. What roles can the teacher, parents, school authorities and government play towards the reduction of truancy?
4. What strategies can be used to affect the desired changes?
1.4 Significance of Study
The usefulness of this research work in the educational system cannot be over emphasized. If the result of the study is properly utilized, it is going to be of benefits to the students, teachers, parents and government.
1. The students carrying out this research study needed the result of the research to fulfill their graduation requirements.
2. The research work will help to educate the up coming students on the consequences of truancy.
3. It will help the parents to understand the need for adequate parental care on school children.
4. It will intimate the teachers and other school staff on the strategies to employ in order to reduce the incidence of truancy in schools.
5. It will help the government to design relevant policies and legislations to curb the menace of truancy in this country.
1.5 Scope of Study
The study was based on the secondary schools in Enugu North local government Area, Enugu state. The scope of the study is limited to determine the causes and solution of truancy among secondary school students in the area.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
1. What are the contributing factors of truancy among secondary school students?
2. In what ways can parents help in reducing the incidences of truancy in school?
3. What roles have the teachers to play in other to reduce truancy in schools?
4. What are the roles of the school authority in reduction of truancy among students?
5. How can government help in reduction of truancy among secondary school students?
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ENUGU STATE