BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A look at the current trends in global migration show that migration has in the last decade increased drastically in all parts of the world. The number of migrants has more than doubled with about 192 million people living outside their place of birth, which is about three per cent of the world's population. This increase in the rates of migration is associated with a number of processes that are affecting many countries. These may include urbanization in which particular forms of employment are spatially concentrated, diversification of livelihoods in which migration is one set of diversification options. These processes may also include globalization which has created new forms of international divisions of labour that produces areas and countries of huge labour demand, conflict and environmental stress which displace populations and produce refugees and internally displaced persons. It is also related to high rates of HIV/AIDS which produce fragmented households incapable of maintaining rural livelihood, whose members move to cities and towns (Whitehead and Hashim, 2005:6). People migrate for several reasons and these may include the lack of adequate employment opportunities and low wages in countries of origin, for family reunification and ties to countries of destination, seeking educational opportunities and improved services such as health care, access to material goods and services. The increased demand in destination countries for unskilled labour, semi-skilled labour, and skilled workers coupled with higher wages than in the countries of origin is also another reason why people decide to migrate (D’emilo et, al. 2007:3) . Also, looking at the opportunities that migration presents, mothers, fathers or both parent(s) migrate as a form of domestic survival strategy to meet the needs of their family (D’emilo et, al. 2007:3). However, the decision of migrant fathers, mothers, or both parents to travel with or leave their children behind while migrating may vary from one circumstance to the other. For instance, historically, male labour migrants in Southern Africa were not allowed to bring their families with them due to colonial and later apartheid labour regulations. Again, the decision of migrants to be accompanied by their spouses and children was hindered by the fact that most of them lacked the legal status in their host communities, or because their legal status (for instance as temporary labour migrants) did not give them the entitlement to bring their families for the duration of their contracts (Whitehead and Hashim, 2005:12). For parents who decide to leave their children behind when migrating, it has become a common practice in Central American and Mexican families with young children to make arrangements for their children to stay with relatives in their home countries. They do this in order to avoid exposing them to uncertainty and also protect them from the dangers of travelling without documents and crossing the US border (Orellana et al 2001).
As noted by Mazzucato and Schans (2008:1), research on the effect(s) of migration on developing countries has revolved largely around remittances. Most of these studies focus mainly on why migrants remit their family members and how these remittances contribute to the reduction of poverty levels of people in their home countries. Surprisingly, the fact that migration has an impact on the various members of the family has been greatly neglected in most of these studies. These studies on migration have for instance neglected the fact that children are affected by migration and that they might end up as unproductive citizens in their countries if they are not taken care of. Also, although several studies acknowledge that migration affects children when they are left behind by their parents, they hardly address the effect(s) that migration has on children when the parent(s) are absent. In addition to the above, most of these studies on migration which normally focus on remittances do not consider the non-economic effects that migration has on the psychological, emotional and health outcomes with respect to spouses, children and elderly who are left behind. The effects that migration has on children and the family has been numbered to be so numerous that apart from the risks of broken homes, it can also lead to a redefinition of relations within the extended family to the extent that children end up replacing their biological parents with the relatives in whose care they are placed. They sometimes even go to the extent of calling their caretakers who mostly happen to be their grandmothers and grandfathers “mum” and “dad” (Toth, 2007:5). In addition, the high increases in the number of people who migrate have led to families increasingly living apart together and also to situations where large numbers of children are left behind by their parents to stay with other family members who most of the time happen to be grandmothers/fathers or older siblings.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
Education is generally regarded as a major indicator of a community’s social well-being, standard of living and social justice. In an effort to define and measure levels of living on an international scale, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (1966 – 1970) recognized eight variables, in addition to education, as social indicators. In his study on social well-being in the United States, Smith (1973) recognized seven sets of variables: education, income and employment, the living environment, health, social order, social belonging and recreation and leisure. The general recurrence of education on the list of major indicators of social justice could be said to confirm that education is a powerful instrument of developing intellectual abilities of shaping cultural attitudes and acquiring knowledge and skills. Both directly and indirectly, education is therefore, important for acquiring social well-being because of its close association with other factors of social well-being. In Nigeria as a whole, education is highly rated in the National Development Plans. Nigeria’s philosophy of education, therefore is based on the integration of the individual into sound and effective citizen and equal educational opportunities (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1981).
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the impact or rural-urban migration on the academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
H0: There is no significant relationship between rural-urban migration and academic performance of secondary school students.
H1: There is a significant relationship between rural-urban migration and academic performance of secondary school students.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense benefit to the development of the educational sector of Nigeria by improving students’ academic performances through examining the determinants of academic performances like rural-urban migration. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies of the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the impact of rural-urban migration of academic performances of secondary schools in Nigeria using selected secondary schools in Gboko LGA of Benue state.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.