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This study focused on the Effect of Truancy on Students Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The objective of the study was to find out problems which truancy has caused at secondary school in Onicha Local Government area of Ebonyi State. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was (250) two hundred and fifty students in some selected secondary schools in Onicha Local Government. The instrument used for Data Collection was questionnaire. The Data collected was presented in tables. Mean, standard deviations were used to analyze the data collected. The findings show that home condition/socio-economic background is the problem of truancy in the secondary schools. It also shows that students hope on examination malpractice is not encourageable enough to stop truancy. Based on these findings some recommendations were made.



Background to the Study         

In essence, amongst the many influences that contribute to the academic performance of secondary school students, truancy is one of the core values to be examined. Most children of secondary school age are indiscipline, exhibit violent attacks on other students and even their teachers, destroy school property, breaches of school rules, loiter around aimlessly in the street and the school environment,

students whom for one reason or the other are failing to stay in school regularly and these often blamed for afformentary truancy in the context of a school system according to (Arigbogu, 1997). A truant is one who absentee himself from classes and school, exhibit chronic misbehaviour in classrooms, time wasting in lessons, challenges to the authority of teachers, disruption of pupils who are anxious to work, stealing,

untidiness in school work, dress and habits and also late coming to school and lessons, (Farrant, 1999). In other worlds, a truant is said to be one whose behaviour does not conform with the pre-determined rules and regulations of the school. There are numerous ways students exhibit truancy such as going back to school days or weeks after school resumed, going out of the school premises without excuses and dodging

specific classes or lessons period of which many factors had appeared to account for the unhealthy situations whereby students are exposed to unlawful practices (Dabney, 1996). A student who practices truancy absents himself from classes and school functions, comes late to classes and even go back to school days or weeks after the beginning of each term without good reasons or permissions, (Oloko, 2000).

Parents are not left out. A lot of parents have been abdicated of their responsibilities to their maids, nannies and even to the school, for they believe that their duties are completed when they provide food for children and offer them opportunities for formal education. Nwangu (1996) was of the view  that family is the first window of the child to the world and should tend to nurture the child from deviating from the vital social roles.

Most parents neglect their basic roles, they tend to shift their responsibilities to the school forgetting that the school cannot achieve success if parents have not acted well on their own parts however, parents should be blamed for the high level of truancy in schools. Teacher’s personality and leadership style of the teacher matters a lot in the up bring of a child, teachers are to develop and enhance students

awareness of the values, equip them to contribute meaningfully towards the attainment of national needs, instil in them the spirit of self-reliance, self-pride, self actualisation, ensure that all programmes should have a built-in mechanism in which national aspirations are affirmed that should take cognizance of the issues like socio-political development of the economy of the society, the fact of our pluralistic

society, and the need to forge a strong and united country (Eluu, 2005). But the teachers are not doing the above listed task, they are not helping matter since they are also responsible for the abuse of time by the students, they are not up and doing to perform all their duties for the day, late to the class and neglect the role model for the class. (Ukario, 1998).

Teachers’ attitude is another thorn on the flesh of students’ performance, some teachers’ attitude at times  looks appolling, appearance discreditably to their noble profession and even some teachers are psychotic. They do not have good endocrine system much more to fully occupy their  scheme of work. some of them leave their job to attend their business as a result of government inability to pay salaries as at when due (Brophy, 2001).

Ehe (1995) stated that  General Ibrahim Babangida in his message to the conference of principals blamed the teachers from shrinking away from the ordinate pursuit of materialism. Some teachers enter the classroom with unprepared lesson, making the whole lesson boring and hence causing the students to dodge the lesson.

Very often students come to school totally unprepared for life in the school setting and leave the school premises before dismissal such students are not ready to learn. This has actually pose a problem in our society, some students are not seen in school rather at the market, drinking place, engaging in gambling, roaming about the street, the female prefers mainly to make order their hairs during the school hours,

less attention is given to education and during examination they engage in examination malpractices and so on (Jones, 1998). The rate of this ugly situation has grown and has disrupted the academic work of many schools. In many occasions, parents are not aware of the fact that their children appropriate time each day, through the parents lack of responsibilities the child plays truant.

In contribution that Amato, and Achilitree (1998) stated that, the achievement is positively corrected with realistic high parents expectation for children school performance which truancy is one of the most persuasive causes of poor academic performance in schools. Truant in this situation rebel against frustration felt at home or at school.

Kanh and Mursten (1998) said that although truants are dull children, they seem robust and adventurous and crave for constant change. They have few strong ties and they had a lack of warm relationship in early life, the home are often broken and the parents have usually little energy left over for interest in the child’s welfare.

In most cases, children from low background frequently encounter failure, inferiority complex and frustration, making them to feel socially isolated and ineffective in educational enterprises thereby making them to find the school environment unfriendly and uncomfortable to stay which will result to truancy. The dangers implicit in this case of truancy are the forms of anti-social behaviour that affect the child’s every day life.

The mildest form it takes is lying to parents and teachers when this is beginning to be found out, and should the child decide to school, there may be forged notes to show that he has been to school. The more serious danger arise from the amount of free time that the child has, once away from school organization, boys often embark on their first attempts at breaking into empty houses and girls may drift into sexual immoral behaviour. As a result it is timely that a serious examination of its nature, causes, factors and possible solutions be investigated (Michael, 2001).


Statement of the Problem

Recently, there had been increase in rampage about the high rate of truancy in the pages of the newspapers and other electronic media. Segun (1998) wrote that issues has to a very large extent generated a lot of controversy as to how to eradicate this moral act, truancy which is one of the deviant behaviour among students had reached an alarming state in our educational institutions.

In the past, stringent disciplinary reassures meted out by both parents and teachers used to deter students from committing any act of truancy and other bad practices which are prevalent in our schools. The parents’ threat to report the child back to the teacher usually brought such trouble some child back to his good senses.

Today most students neither fear their teachers nor parents, there is hardly any atrocity that students do not commit now, it is no news that a lot of students smoke grackle, pickpockets and take dangerous drugs, some of them organise disco parties outside the school compound instead of forming a discussion group where they can benefit academically.

Apparently, the questions that face itself on every one’s mind is how can this be minimized, it was question this background that the researcher had decided to look into the effect of truancy on academic performance in secondary schools student in Onicha Local Government Area with a view to proffering solutions.

The Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to find out the effects of truancy on students performance in secondary schools in Onicha Local Government Area.

Specifically, this study was designed to: –

  • Investigate the causes of truancy in secondary schools in Onicha L. G. A.
  • To determine how the socio-economic status of parents can lead to truancy of students of secondary schools in Onicha L. G. A. of Ebonyi State.
  • To investigate the effect of truancy on students performance in Onicha L. G. A.
  • To determine the strategies that could reduce incidence of truancy among secondary school students.

Significance of the Study

This study will be of great importance to the school administrator in that it will enable him/her to find solution to that and consequently keep the child in the school for effective teaching and learning. The study would also help to answer some relevant questions on why some secondary school students stay away from school, and it could help to find out what activities the students are other wise engaged in such

knowledge, can lead to the application of possible preventive measures to ameliorate the situation. On that part of the ministry of education and the society in general, their huge investment in the education of the pupils will not be in vain. this is because when the causes of the problems are identified and stated, the system will change, it will lead to the educational system effectiveness and hence to enhanced national productivity greatness.

It will also help the teachers to improve in their teaching method and attitude when such constraints are identified and taken care of. Thus it will enable the teacher to perform his primary duty as a teacher. The study will help policy maker to advice means of preventing truancy in the Nigerian educational system. They may go ahead to back it up with strong law.

On the part of the students, the study will now expose them on the evils that follow truancy. For example the truants may end up being kidnapped by some evil minded people. The girls may have unwanted pregnancy and on the process of trying to get rid of the pregnancy will meet their untimely death.

Scope of the Study

This study focused on the effects of truancy on academic performance of secondary school students. It also focused on causes of truancy, effects, strategies to reduce truancy. This study is limited to teachers in secondary school in Onicha Local Government Area.

Research Questions

The following research questions are formulated to guide their search:

  • What are the causes of truancy in secondary schools in Onicha L. G. A.?
  • To what extent does the socio-economic status of parents lead to truancy of students of secondary school students in Onicha L. G. A. of Ebonyi State?
  • What are the effects of truancy on students in secondary schools in Onicha L. G. A.?
  • What strategies can be used to reduce truancy among secondary school students in Onicha L. G. A.?


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