THE EFFECT OF CHILD LABOUR ON THE ACADEMICS PERFORMANCES OF STUDENTS IN SOME SELECTED SCHOOLS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Western education is the primary tool for social transformation in Nigeria. Education is the safest and most effective investment a country can make in order to accelerate the development of its economic and human resources (Ifeakandu, 2011). When the nation is in desperate need of urgent restoration of a balanced economy, education is a long-term policy that must be undertaken. Nigeria, like other countries throughout the world, seeks people who will contribute to the country's progress through education. Such education should be designed to provide knowledge and abilities that will allow students to follow cultural values while also progressing technologically (Fayokun, 2015).
According to UNICEF (2006), 15 million children under the age of 14 are involved in some sort of labor in Nigeria. The majority of these children are forced to labor long hours in a hazardous and unhealthy setting.
According to Fayokun, (2015), in some parts of the country, children work as street beggars and shoe shiners, car washers and watchers, scavengers, and foot washers in public places and markets. Children who subsist by begging on the streets in Northern Nigeria are known as "almajirai." The surge of child labor in the country could be attributed to the desire for inexpensive labor as well as poverty.
In Nigeria, children have always worked. Most Nigerian cultures encourage youngsters to work with their family to develop the learning skills they would need as adults. Children, on the other hand, are now forced to labor for their own and their families' survival. The money made by a child's family members has become an important source of income for underprivileged families. Child labor may result in a large number of students dropping out of primary and secondary schools, as well as involvement in criminal activity and drug use, stifling human capital development and limiting the potential of developing countries like Nigeria. Early employment is widely held to be harmful to children's intellectual and physical development, particularly that of small children (Alemika, 1996).
According to statistics from the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1999, 24.2 percent of Nigerian children aged 10 to 14 work. The latter circumstance may be to blame for Nigeria's rising rate of child trafficking. Nigeria is a significant source, destination, and transit country for child trafficking. Cameroun, Gabon, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, and Togo are key source and destination nations for trafficking minors from and to Nigeria. Nigeria is said to have Africa's highest concentration of child and woman traffickers (Fayokun, 2015).
Child labor has the potential to influence both the ability to attend school and the ability to benefit from schooling; as a result, it poses a significant hurdle to achieving the Education For All goals (EFA). When youngsters work in one sort of labor or another, they are more likely to drop out of school.
Abe, (2019) opines that in Nigeria, child domestic labor in third-party houses is a serious impediment to obtaining and completing a good basic education.
According to UNICEF (2006), most working children do not have the time, money, or energy to attend school. In Nigeria, there are around 6 million working children, evenly distributed between males and girls. Because approximately 1 million children are forced to drop out of school owing to poverty, working children either do not attend school or skip courses. Over 8 million children attend school and work at the same time. These children labor in their leisure time to pay for their education, and they frequently miss lessons as a result of high demand at their workplaces (Abe, 2019).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The 'Education for All' movement is a worldwide effort to ensure that all children, teens, and adults receive a high-quality basic education. The global commitment to education for all arose in response to the growing phenomenon of child labor, child trafficking, child exploitation, and child-related abuses, all of which deprive children of basic education and leave them with uncertain futures. Child labor is a major challenge in Nigeria's educational sector (Bolaji, 2010).
According to Ikejiaku, (2009), a well-organized educational system is the result of a certain factor in which educational output exceeds human demand. The government makes proper provisions for work possibilities and other issues in this area. Child labor may be minimized as a result of this experience as it has adverse effects on their school performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine the effect of child labour on the academics performances of students in some selected schools. Specifically, other objectives of this study are:
i. To determine the causes of child labour in Nigeria
ii. To examine the different acts of child labour in Nigeria
iii. To determine if child labour has an impact on school attendance of the child
iv. To determine if child labour has an impact on the academic performance of the child
v. To examine ways in which child labour can be curbed in Nigeria
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
i. What are the causes of child labour in Nigeria?
ii. What are different acts of child labour in Nigeria?
iii. Does child labour have an impact on school attendance of the child?
iv. Does child labour haves an impact on the academic performance of the child?
v. What are the ways child labour can be curbed in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be beneficial to the various organizations have continued to emphasize the need to stop child labour and abuse but the economic situation in country has made this almost impossible.
The findings from this study will contribute to the educational sector as it will reveal the harm child labour does on the child’s academic performance.
Finally, this study will be beneficial to the scholars and students as it will serve as an existing material for further studies and future research.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on the effect of child labour on the academics performances of students in some selected schools. Specifically, it will focus on determining the causes of child labour in Nigeria, examining the different acts of child labour in Nigeria, determining if child labour has an impact on the academic performance of the child and examining ways in which child labour can be curbed in Nigeria.
This study will be using teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State as enrolled participants for the survey.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researchers encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Child labour: Child labour refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful.
Academic performance: Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor's degrees represent academic achievement.
Students: A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment in a desired field.