Background to the Study
Truancy is as old as the school itself. It seems now a phenomenon that has come to stage in our school in our school and institution of higher learning’s such as, college of education, polytechnics and universities.
However, truancy is more rampant in our secondary schools where the students are in their translational stage of adolescence, when children do outstanding things. They want to be noticed and to have freedom.
It is an important part of government social inclusion policy (whitney 2008)
Truancy means deliberate absence from compulsory school attendance without adequate cause or present in the school without really participating in class and school activities. Several definitions have been put forward to explain the term “truancy” this is refers as absence from school. However any absence from school excused as well as missed classes and tardy arrival can affect students negatively. Murphy (2004) looks at it as staying out of school without good reasons.
Herbert (2005) said that truancy is childhood problems. According to him, the truancy is a child who absents himself from school without a legitimate cause and without the permission of his parent or school authorities. Ezenwu (1999) defined truancy as including returning days, weeks after school resumed, leaving school without authorization and dodging lessons period.
Truancy learning experience in the school gives the society false impression that the administration is weak. The cause of most truant behaviours cannot be so neatly categorized. In Nigeria society, truancy may be conceived as factors which militate against the good work of teachers, since teachers effectiveness is mostly evaluated in terms of students’ educational achievement during examination. It is not surprising therefore that truancy is regarded as a serious offence in schools. Herbert (2005) said that truancy is a childhood problem, for the educational progress in school it is important that students participate fully in all school activities. The problem of truancy is a problem of regularity and maximum participation in school work.
School rules entail doing the right thing at the right time. Students who work indulged in truancy, many a times move themselves to all work and crannies for the general public to see them and recognize them as students of “x and y” institutions.
Experience have prove that the amount of security no matter how tight will prevent a truant from leaving the school at odd hour since they have alternative routes of escape apart from the official school gates. Some of these students stay away from school compound for hours only to come back once the school is over.
School truancy is a particular form of truancy and is a term used to describe any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory schooling. The term typically refers to absence caused by students on their own free will, and usually does not refers to legitimate “excused” absence such as ones resulted to a medical condition. In fact, researchers have shown that these truants engage themselves in such unlawful activities as embezzlement of school fees, organizing unauthorized rag days, drug abuse and criminal behaviour. Such activities are going on in our secondary schools today, particularly among the senior students which are the focus of this research stuffy.
Truancy is a multifaceted problem with a wide range of consequences on the educational and social life of a child. According to Robbins (2000) behind the truant, dislike for school lies a history of failures. Often, both academic and social.
Academically, he found out that truancy is as powerful determinant to school success as low I.Q intelligent quotient and leads to school drop out. A truant under develop his/her talent for he or she deliberately boycotts school activities. Therefore, he could not fully develop his capabilities and potentialities. This leads to backwardness in the school work which results in failures to pass decisive examination. These leads to unemployment and frustration later in life.
Socially, truancy gives birth to other deviant behaviour manifestation such as stealing, gambling, fighting etc. these, like truancy affect the personality and behaviour of the child.
It is highly frustrating to the teacher, parents, the society and the child himself to realized the consequences when it is too late and as a result the goals of a well planned education curriculum is defeated. According to legislative Audit committee of the state Wisconsin (2000) the date show during the 1998 – 1999 school year, 15,600 students or 1.6% of enrolled students were truant per day. Truancy accounted for about 1/3 of total absence that year.Truancy rates in the 10 largest urban school district were twice as the state average.
The quest for the causes, forms and possible solution for these problems informed the choice of this research topic.
Statement of the Problem
The existence of truancy among senior secondary students is an educational problem that needs to be solved. It is quite common to see students roaming the streets and loitering around the school.
Truancy posed a serious treat to education; it raises problems for discipline and the administration of schools. Therefore, this research addresses itself to identify the causes, forms and possible solutions of truant behaviour among the secondary school students.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to ascertain the causes, forms, and the possible solution of truancy among senior school student’s attempts will be made.
1. To determine whether home conditions and socio –economic background contribute to truant behaviour among students.
2. To determine whether students hope on examination malpractices causes truancy among students.
3. To determine whether school polices on attendance will eliminate truancy among senior secondary school students.
4. To determine whether truancy is a predictor of other problems.
Significance of the Study
The importance of this study derives from its attempt to provide information and recommendations that will lead to the curtailment of the large number of students which miss classes. It is therefore, hoped that the result of this study will contain useful information for various school heads, teachers, parents, the government and all those who may have been seeking ways of reducing or eliminating truancy among students.
Scope of the Study
This study is limited to the senior secondary school students in Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1. Does home condition/socio-economic background contribute to truant behaviour?
2. Does a student hope on examination malpractice cause truancy among students.
3. Does a school policy on attendance of classes eliminate truancy among senior secondary school students?
4. Does truancy contribute to other problems of students?