THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CERTAIN INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS AND STUDENTS WITHDRAWAL RATES IN SCHOOLS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is now unquestionably a driver for national growth. This likely explains why the vast majority of nations that seek technological growth devote so much attention and resources to it. As a developing nation, Nigeria is not excluded from this competition. As a nation, she has experimented with several educational systems in an effort to identify the one that best suits her. Universal Primary Education (UPE), Nomadic Education, and the current Universal Basic Education (UBE) are all attempts by the various Nigerian governments to provide functional and high-quality education to the country's teeming population regardless of age, size, religion, location, or occupation in order to accelerate her development (Ekperigin, 2022).
As demonstrated by the introduced Universal Basic Education (UBE) program in May of 2000, the Nigerian government has attempted to accord a high degree of importance to the provision of education to its inhabitants, particularly at the basic and secondary levels. Additionally, it has boosted public investments in the field and encouraged private engagement at all levels of education supply. Despite these efforts, it has been noticed that Nigerian educational institutions continue to struggle with student retention, particularly at the basic and secondary school levels, as children drop out of school without reaping the advantages of these massive expenditures. This is evidenced by Nakpodia's (2022) observation that secondary school pupils are leaving school at will to engage in various socio-economic activities.
Since the advent of western education in Nigeria in the middle of the 19th century to the present day, the issue of student attrition in schools has been a major concern for scholars, parents, and educational planners.
Although there has been no uniform approach to defining attrition, most definitions view it as a situation in which students withdraw or drop out of school during regular school terms for any reason other than death or transfer to other schools prior to graduation or completion of a programme of study. Some of these perspectives seem to indicate that dropouts are viewed as underachievers, not working to their full potential, dissatisfied with school, hostile, aggressive, and rebellious, and are socially rejected by the majority of other students because they are frequently viewed as a social problem. Similarly, prior studies conducted in the 1970s and 1980s tended to attribute attrition to students' incapacity to adjust to the educational environment. Commentators currently seem to concur, however, that individual attrition, whether voluntary or involuntary, is rarely the product of a single event, but rather a mix of several variables (Yorke, 2022; Braxton, 2022).
Pascrell, Smart, & Ethiton (2022), who researched the school persistence of 825 students from 85 different institutions over a nine-year period, concurred that academic and social integration were major predictors of school persistence for both males and girls.
According to Phillip (2022), alienation of a student in the classroom was the most frequent cause of attrition or dropout. To him, a student who does not accept personal responsibility for his academic performance is the educational equivalent of an alienated member of society. However, he believes that in such cases, the alienation could be traced to the learner's personal history, his current reality, or his home environment.
Also in Nigeria, several research have been conducted on the issue. From a few of these studies (Okeke, 2022, Nakpodia, 2022), a variety of factors that can either directly or indirectly cause attrition were identified. These factors included institutional factors such as leadership style, the lack of facilities within a school, and other variables such as illness, poor academic performance, and expulsion from school, as well as the parent's inability to finance the education of their children or s.
The truth remains, however, that student attrition in schools, for whatever cause, continues to be a type of educational waste. This is due to the substantial financial losses, increased facility use, and lower graduation rates that it typically causes. First, repeaters will spend more time in school than the required number of years, and they would have to be "reprocessed" within the system, incurring additional costs. Second, an excessive dropout rate at any level of education would likely cripple the system and can even bring it to a virtual halt.
According to Odekunle (2022), waste in the educational system is the poor use of both human and material educational resources, which might appear as drop outs, repeaters, early withdrawals, unemployed school leavers, or even brain drain. According to his remarks, "repetition and dropout are key sources of waste in any educational system," and "excessive repetition generates congestion at every level and grade within the educational system."
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is reported everyday that the government spends mind-boggling sums of money annually on the education of its children, particularly on the Universal Basic Education program, which is intended to serve as the cornerstone of any lifetime learning experience. In recent years, however, the public and even educational planners appear to have expressed considerable worry over the increasing rate at which kids drop out of school, especially at the secondary school level, without benefiting from these enormous investments. This suggests that if kids do not remain in school to reap the advantages of these massive government investments, then both capital investments and human resources (students who should reap the benefits) are squandered (Ekperigin, 2022).
Due to the lack of a standardized method for counting the number of dropouts in the system, it is difficult to determine with absolute certainty the number of students who drop out of our schools. However, it is estimated that in Nigeria, a sizeable number of students drop out of school daily, with the majority of dropouts between the ages of 15 and 21 and primarily from secondary schools. These hypotheses have far-reaching ramifications, especially when one considers the assumptions that dropouts have a tenfold greater delinquency rate and are more likely to become social liabilities. Today, the majority of dropouts are unemployed, and their prospects of getting employment are lower than those of graduates; as a result, they are more likely to engage in illegal and questionable activities, posing a threat not only to themselves but also to their parents and the society.
According to Odekunle (2022), the National Policy for Education has advocated vocational, adult, and remote education as a method of addressing this issue, yet it appears to remain. This circumstance has prompted an examination into the causes of the high percentage of school dropouts in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between three institutional characteristics - the quality of instructors, class size, and the availability of instructional facilities - and the rate of student attrition in Local Government schools.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad aim of this study is to examine the relationship between certain institutional factors and students withdrawal rates in schools. Precisely, this study seeks to:
i. To find out the extent institutional factors affects students withdrawal rates in schools.
ii. To determine whether the quality of teachers affects students withdrawal rates in schools.
iii. To determine whether the unavailability of instructional materials affects students withdrawal rates in schools.
iv. To determine whether instructional facilities affects students withdrawal rates in schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
i. To what extent does institutional factors affect students withdrawal rates in schools?
ii. Does the quality of teachers affects students withdrawal rates in schools?
iii. Does the unavailability of instructional materials affects students withdrawal rates in schools?
iv. Does instructional facilities affects students withdrawal rates in schools?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is notable because of the following:
The findings of this study would be of great use to educational planners and administrators, as they would aid them in developing policies for student retention in schools, creating academic and social programs, and reviewing curricula to fit the different requirements of children.
The study will also benefit educators by heightening their understanding of the diverse requirements of the students in their care.
Through this study, parents will be made aware of the many approaches and techniques for dealing with their children and wards, as well as the necessity to give decent and fundamental requirements capable of lowering school dropout rates.
The outcomes of this study will also contribute to the body of knowledge and previous research undertaken on comparable topics. Therefore, it will be a useful resource for researchers.
The findings of this research will also give more empirical information for administrators to develop actionable judgments regarding particular traits that are often associated with teachers' performance. This information should help them determine the optimal approach to allocate instructors among schools and classes. This should have long-term implications for efficiency and drive future teachers' policy initiatives.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on the relationship between certain institutional factors and students withdrawal rates in schools. Precisely, the study focuses on finding out the extent institutional factors affects students withdrawal rates in schools, determining whether the quality of teachers affects students withdrawal rates in schools, determining whether the unavailability of instructional materials affects students withdrawal rates in schools and determining whether instructional facilities affects students withdrawal rates in schools.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This researcher is willing to accept the potential that other unexpected variables may be uncovered throughout the course of this research that are likely to impact the conclusions of this study. Nonetheless, it is essential and crucial to note that this study is already Ex post -facto, with all independent variables previously established. In this study, however, it may not be able to exert complete control over the participants.
In addition, there is an absence of statistical data. This suggests that there may be insufficient data to do a comparison study of attrition rates between Local Government regions.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Institutional Factors: Internal dynamics that reflects the governmental or non-governmental organizations efficiency of performances.
Withdrawal Rates: The process of reducing something's strength or effectiveness through sustained attack or pressure.