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FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE SCHOOL DROPOUT AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Dropping out of school is a well-documented social problem and often present daunting circumstances for adolescents. Dropping out is also associated with delinquency, and low school achievements. One of the major reasons for children being kept out of school was the lack of education of parents.
The issue of school dropout in Nigeria has been with us for a very long time. Fafunwa (2008) noted that dropout is one of the most serious problems that have continued to bedevil our educational system since independence in 1960 from the colonial administration. Even before our independence, the problem of dropout has already established its grip on our educational system. This can be buttressed with the remark made by Nuffied foundations in 1953 that in the West coast of Africa, a considerable proportion of student’s dropout of school each year. It was found that parents’ attitudes towards education have a major effect on education. It seems that when either of the parents is literate or especially when women are literate, they are more willing to send their children, especially girls, to the school.
“The huge dropout rates, however, indicate that children, girls more often than boys, are needed for other activities such as looking after other siblings, domestic work and help with farm work. Parents play a crucial role in keeping young people in school.
De Cos (2005), commenting on the importance of graduation from high school noted that with the economy changing from a dependence on manufacturing towards more reliance on technology, services, and a “knowledge economy”, the need for education beyond high school has grown. In Nigeria of today, Senior School Certificate is considered as the minimum required for most jobs and status positions. This development has serious implications for the economic well being of dropouts and the society at large. In this era of global economic meltdown and global economic competitiveness, Nigeria as a nation that has vision must make concerted efforts to raise the educational attainment of all its youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. The degree and nature of family support are determined by such factors as a stressful/unstable home life, socio-economic status, minority membership, siblings’ completion of high school, single parent household, poor education of parents and primary language other than English” (Horn, 2010). The girls who are denied educational opportunities disproportionately as compared to boys suggests a clear cut discrimination in household behaviour. Parental and social attitudes in most Indian cultural context tend to perpetuate the stereotypes of girls being transient members of families on their journey to marriage and boys being the mainstay of support to ageing parents.
Globally, reasons why students dropout from school can be categorized into four clusters. These include; School related, Job related, family related, and community related. Study by Frenden berg and RugIls (2007) identified twenty four factors under family cluster; three factors under community cluster and twelve factors under school cluster. The factors identified under family cluster include; low family socio economic status, racial or ethnic groups, male, special education status, low family support for education, low parental education, residential mobility, low social conformity, low acceptance of adult authority, high level of social isolation, disruptive behavior conduct, being held back in school, poor academic achievement, academic problems in early grades, not liking school, feelings of “not fitting in” and of not belonging, perceptions of unfair or harsh disciplines, feeling unsafe in school, not engaged in school, being suspended or expelled, conflicts between work and school, having to work and school, having to work or support family, substance use and pregnancy. In community cluster, the following factors were identified: living in a low income neighborhood, having peers with low educational aspirations and having friends or siblings who are dropouts. Under school related cluster, these factors were identified; low socioeconomic status of school population, high level of racial or ethnic segregation of students, high proportion of students of color in high school, high proportion of students enrolled in special education, location in central city, large school district, school safety and disciplinary policies, high-stakes testing, high student —to- teacher ratio, academic tracking, discrepancy between the racial or ethnic composition of students and faculty, and lack of programs and support for transition into high for 9th and 10th graders. While job related cluster entails: those students who could not work and school at the same time, those who had to do a job to survive and those who found job.
It must be stressed at this point that variables in each of the clusters are not all conclusive. The reasons why students drop out of school vary from one society to another, and from one country to another. For example, in Pakistan, Mohsin et al (2004) found weak primary education system, non-availability of trained teachers, and parent-teacher relationship as the major causes of dropouts.
Most of the researches on the causes of dropout in Nigeria isolated the following: Poor educational background of parents, inability of parents to pay their children school fees, failure in school examination, very poor state of facilities in schools, unemployment of graduates, broken homes, types of parents occupation, school discipline policies, teenage pregnancy, early marriage and very early ambition for self-business and employment.
According to sokare (2008) the emotional effect include depressing, sorry, dreadful etc. in the political dimension sokare (2012) noted that during election, opponents of the dropout use the issue of dropout to use society to incorporate socio-economic and political instability, unhealthy and stressful society.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most of the researches on dropout have been centered on causes, effects and remedies. Most if not all the researches in Nigeria on the same subject matter followed the same pattern. No studies to my knowledge in Nigeria studied dropout problems using the parameter “pattern of dropout” under the influences of school type and environment.
The inability of students to attain their academic achievement is as a result of certain motivation, socio-economic background, (Fombo 2008). Another problem is because the female children began their domestic function at their early age as expected by their parent, the females at that stage combine both the domestic functions and educational responsibilities, which result to poor academic achievement.
The dropout of students from schools is due to a complex interplay of socio-cultural, economic and structural factors. Finding and implementing solutions to this problem has implications well beyond the benefits to individual students in Nigeria. Moreover, enabling students to complete their education is to invest in future progress and better standards of life with multiplier effects. To make efforts that will improve the situation due to dropouts requires a clear understanding of the extent, causes, consequences, and policy responses made to the problem of students dropouts. This understanding will be used as a benchmark for new start.
This study is therefore very timely arid significant. The statement of the problem therefore is: will the evaluation of dropout patterns among senior secondary schools in Mushin Local Government Area, Lagos State identifying the most vulnerable groups susceptible to dropout from school.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to find out the factors that influence school dropout among senior secondary school students in Nigeria
1. To examine the factors that influence school dropout in secondary schools in Mushin local government.
2. To investigate the effects of dropout in secondary schools on national development and personal development especially the development of students in secondary schools.
3. To explore measures that can be taken to curb the problem of dropouts in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions will guide the researcher during the course of the research to achieve the specified objectives above:
1. What are factors that influence school dropout in secondary schools in Mushin local government?
2. What is the effects of dropout in secondary schools on national development and personal development especially the development of students in secondary schools?
4. What measures can be taken to curb the problem of dropouts in secondary schools.
Ho: school dropout of secondary school students has no effect on national development and personal development especially the development of students in secondary schools
H1: school dropout of secondary school students has effect on national development and personal development especially the development of students in secondary schools
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings in this study are useful in creating awareness to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and other Education stakeholders on the issue of dropping out in secondary schools in Nigeria, so that the situation can be rectified.
The study will help to raise the level of awareness among parents and guardians on causes and effects of dropping out for their children and in doing so it makes them take measures to ensure that their children stay in school for future benefits of families, their societies and the country as a whole.
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