THE ROLE OF MINISTRY OF EDUCATION IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CHILD ABUSE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EDO COLLEGE
1.1 Background Of Study
Despite the fact that children's rights are recognized and, to some extent, protected by legislation and constitutions in many nations around the world, child abuse and neglect are rapidly becoming universal phenomena in today's world civilizations. Childhood maltreatment has the potential to have a significant economic impact on Nigerian schools and pupils. Even conservative estimates imply that at least 8% of children in the United States are sexually abused before the age of 18, with 17% experiencing physical abuse and 18% experiencing physical neglect (Flisher, Kramer, Hoven, & Greenwald, 2007). Childhood maltreatment, as well as poor parenting practices in general, have the ability to stymie students' academic advancement. As a result, it has the potential to jeopardize schools' capacity to meet the No Child Left Behind Act's (US Department of Education, 2005) school achievement goals, placing them in danger of losing federal funds. It also has the potential to have a negative impact on pupils' economic results in adulthood due to its impact on middle and high school achievement. The African network for the prevention and protection of child abuse and neglect (ANPPCAN) defines child abuse as "deliberate and inadvertent acts that harm the child's physical, mental, emotional, moral, and educational welfare." Child abuse, according to Hopper (2004), is any act of maltreatment or submission that jeopardizes a child's physical, emotional, or health development.
Gelles (2007) stated that child abuse includes malnourishment, abandonment, neglect, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse, in addition to physical assault. Child violence, child labor, child abandonment, neglect, teenage prostitution, early marriage, and forced marriage are all common forms of child abuse in Nigeri. Emotional and sexual abuse are rampant in Nigeria. According to Oji (2006), there were 625,024 babies born to teenage mothers in Nigeria at the time of reporting. Unwanted pregnancy has been highlighted as a major source of child abuse in Nigeria. Many mistreated children were unwanted to begin with and proved to be a significant burden on their emotionally inept or destitute parents. Children from low-income families are more prone to abuse, while Todd (2004) argued that Nigeria, a notoriously corrupt African country, is on the verge of slipping into perilous poverty, with its teeming people lacking sufficient food for a healthy lifestyle. When examining the conditions of minors who are utilized as househelps, Oluwole (2002) expressed similar regret.
Child abuse is one of the most significant barriers to achieving education for all (EFA), and this has resulted in a setback in achieving the UN goal of universal primary education by 2015. Child maltreatment, according to Onye (2004), is a sign of poverty. Aderinto and Okunola (2008) also found that some youngsters were forced to engage in street hawking to help support the family's needs. That means that, even at a young age, kids are the breadwinners of their diverse families. Children between the ages of 6 and 16 are frequently seen as bus/taxi companions, peddling things, pushing trucks for money, or asking for money when they should be in the classroom learning in the schools in Nigeria's major parks and streets. All of this points to the reality that children are the most vulnerable to diseases, exploitation, neglect, and violence. Although child abuse has a substantial potential impact, proof of the causal impact of maltreatment on children's long-term educational outcomes is often inadequate.
The evidence for a link between childhood maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse or neglect) and school achievement is now restricted to negative associations. On average, abused children have lower teacher evaluations, perform worse on cognitive assessments and standardized measures of academic attainment, receive lower grades, and are suspended from school and retained in grade more frequently. Abused children have a harder time forging new relationships with classmates and adults, as well as conforming to social standards.
The Ministry of Education's main purpose is to improve children's learning and remove obstacles that make learning difficult. Public Law 94/142 authorizes millions of dollars for this purpose each year. This education law safeguards every child's right to a specialized education. This statute demonstrates our commitment to removing barriers to learning for all children. However, the long-term impacts of child abuse and neglect are just as great a barrier to learning as any perceptual issue. When students are unable to fully benefit from their educational opportunities, educators are educated to notice and intervene. They are specially qualified to recognize indicators that may indicate child maltreatment as a result of this training. School is the only location where children are observed on a daily basis. As a result, the ministry of education will have the opportunity to observe changes in their appearance and behaviour.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
Child abuse has a way of affecting the school system, the school can do a lot about it. Child abuse has long been a problem in Nigeria, and it has only grown more harmful to the nation as a whole. It can not be overstated that the history of child abuse in Edo State is as old as the phenomenon's existence in Nigeria. Recently the government suspended the principal and house master of Edo college over the abuse of students who were taking their National Examination Council ( NECO) final papers. Child abuse includes child violence, child labor, child abandonment, and neglect, teenage prostitution, early marriage, and forced marriage, among other things. In the majority of situations, parents are the primary cause of all of these forms of social maltreatment. Although school, as a socialization agent, promises to have a powerful and overwhelming impact on a kid's growth, observation has revealed that the essence of education is likely to be lost if children are forced to endure the hardships of child labor on a regular basis.
1.3 Objective Of Study
The following are objectives of this study:
1. To examine if Ministry of Education plays a significant role in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools.
2. To examine strategies used by the Ministry of Education in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools.
3. To examine if child abuse in secondary schools has been reduced.
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions guides this study:
1. Do Ministry of Education play any significant role in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools?
2. What are the strategies used by the Ministry of Education in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools?
3. Has child abuse in secondary schools been reduced?
1.5 Significance Of Study
The findings of this study are crucial because they will benefit the ministry of education, parents, guardians, teachers, school administrators, and all other stakeholders in the educational sector, since they will be better informed about the issues surrounding child abuse. Such awareness may deter future acts of child exploitation, particularly when the kid is utilized as a source of family income. Hawking undoubtedly exposes children to a variety of societal vices, thus the study's attempt to build a model for healthy child raising in society makes it justified.
This study will contribute to the current literature in this field and will also serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students who may want to do future research on this or a comparable topic.
1.6 Scope Of Study
This study focuses on investigating the role of the Ministry of Education in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools. The study will also examine if Ministry of Education plays a significant role in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools, the strategies used by the Ministry of Education in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools, and examine if child abuse in secondary schools has been reduced. This study is therefore delimited to Edo college in Edo state.
1.7 Limitation Of Study
Finance,inadequate materials and time constraint were the challenges the researchers encountered during the course of the study.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Child Abuse: Child abuse is when someone, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm, or risk of serious harm to a child.
Ministry Education : The Federal Ministry of Education is a part of the Federal Ministries of Nigeria that directs education in Nigeria.