This research was carry out to investigate the influence of child labour on the academic achievement of the pupil in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State. The subjects of the study were one hundred and ten. Also, the research design used in this study was survey design. The instrument used in collecting the data was structured questionnaire with four point like format while data was coded into frequency count and analysed with the use of simple percentages. The result indicates that child labour is not a way of training children to be responsible adult or culture rather it was an intentional welfare of the child. Furthermore, the major causes of child labour is poverty which has link with other causes such as broken home, early marriage, wards and natural disasters and so on. Moreover, the major influences of child labour on the academic achievement involved were lower intellectual and academic development, truancy, dropout and so on. Besides programmes such as Universal Basic Education (UBE), poverty alleviation, enactment and implementation of laws concerning children’s right, etc can help to eradicate or reduce child labour to the bearest minimum. Based on these findings recommendations were made.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A child is the source of rejuvenation of man and his community (Kalu, 1982). In (1959) the United Nation general assembly unanimously passed the declaration on the rights of the child which stated that mankind owns the child the best, it has to give and that every child is entitled to protection in the early years (adequate health care, food and social service and prepare for later years without respect to social status, sex, race and so on).
United Nation convention and Africa charter (1987) defined a child as every human below the age of fourteen years old. Children are the largest of human species, they are the most liberable to abuse in the society. The statement does not by any means over look the multi directional efforts by the society to protect the children.
Various form of child labour still exist in the society, child duty should be differentiated from child labour. Child duty is the work in which the primary emphasis on learning, training or socialization.
UNICEF Nigeria (2001) as such the schedule is light and tends to be geared toward development the capacity of the child and encouraging their effort in good area of the decision making progress.
Additionally, child labour is work essentially exploitative and injurious to the physical, social, cognitive, and moral development of a child. The phenomenon of child labour is historical, it has been existence almost as long as the history of manking. Child labour is now a global problem found over all round developing countries, especially the region of African, Asia and Latin American.
According to UNICEF (1994), it is estimated that millions of children are at special risk because of poverty, wars, natural calamities disabilities and other circumstance which they may be that is the children in such condition will be separated from the relative without the protection and security which the families suppose to provide and are left vulnerable to enable from exploitation and abuse what a pity.
Exactly, as many as two hundred millions in the world, work for their own and their families survival according to UNICEF statistics. They labour in oppressive and often dangerous factory jobs, in domestic service, on the street and lanes of cities and town in degrading condition of sexual exploitation childhood a time that is suppose to be associated with help, promise and aspiration has now turned out to be a time of trouble and hardship.
Especially in developing countries where boarders of poverty so often fall heavily on the young. In this time, there has been an increase international concern over plight of total number of about two hundred and fifty millions young sister who are victims of child labour. It is not only the united nations agencies that are concerned with the issue but leading international non-government organisation sought to draw attention to the issue. There appears to be a growing consensus on the need to curb this practice.
The divided adult groups are gradually coming to an agreement on issue concerning child labour through there still remain a tough nut to crack while some black believed that total elimination may not be possible.
On the other hand, “learning outcome” which is otherwise referred to as academic achievement or academic performance in this research work has become a subject matter of importance to stakeholders (educational psychologist, teachers, academics school administrations psychometricans parents, etc) in education and to a large extent, to students who are the direct beneficiaries victims of the outcome.
Aremu and Adika (2001) submit that academic performance is interestingly important in that it is the fundamental premium upon which all teaching activities are measured using some criteria of excellence.
It is the aspiration of almost all Nigerians to educate their wards. The biting poverty to which the poor are consigned tends to frustrate the hope of the very poor to achieve this end. Parents and guardians however must be in a position to feed their children, see to their good health, have a house to shelter them, clothes them and be sure of some sufficient income to live on.
Considering the high opportunity cost of their children’s education, low-income families resort to child labour as an indispensable option for their family survival poor parents receive payments in exchange of their children’s labour and services to the rich and this affects education of their children.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is generally believed that the extent of child labour differs in various families, and societies due to the high cost of living Adesanwo (2007). One equally wonders whether the need for extra income in the family often compiled many parents or guardians to send their children to earn a living outside the home.
Child labour as work that is mentally, physically, socially and morally dangerous and harmful to children and interfere with their schooling by depriving them opportunity to attend schools, by obliging them to leave school prematurely or by requiring them to attempt to combine attendance with excessively large and heavy work.
Child labour robs children of their interest in learning and this contribute to low literacy rate and low academic achievement in Nigeria. Therefore, the problem to examine the influence of child labour in selected primary schools in Abeokuta North Local Government Area in Ogun State aid to equally budget ways to eradicate this social menace.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study examines the socio-cultural and economic factors in the incidence of child labour. The purpose of this study is to understand the meaning of child labour to differentiate between child duty and child labour.
To examine the causes of child labour and how these causes affect the academic achievement of pupils in Nigeria. And also to discuss the implications of child labour on academic achievement of pupils in Nigeria. Finally, to suggest possible solutions to the problems of child labour on academic achievement of pupils in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the perception of people about child labour?
2. What are the possible causes of child labour in the local government?
3. What are the influences of child labour on the education of children involved?
4. What are the possible solutions to the problems of child labour in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance to this study is to throw light on the need for government to recognize and protect the rights of a child. It is also very important that this research will put in order corrective programme which are aimed at enlightening, encouraging and educating the masses on the need to assist from child labour. Moreover, this study will add to the existing body of knowledge and will serve as a useful source of information in future.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to some selected primary schools in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Child: A child is every human being below the age of fourteen years.
Labour: Hard physical work.
Child labour: This refers to hard physical work or employment of children below adult age.
Hazarding: This refers to a risk or damage especially to someone’s health or safety.
Exploitation: A situation in which somebody treats someone in an unfair way, especially in order to make money from their work.
Rejuvenate: To make somebody or something look or feel younger or more lively.
Prejudicial: Harming or likely to harm somebody or something.