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This research work titled “Truancy Among Secondary School Students in Ebonyi South Education Zone: Myths and Facts “ was carried out to examine truancy among Secondary School Students in order to ascertain the causes of   truancy, and the extend to which truancy affects the academic achievement of secondary school students. To carry out the study, four research questions were asked. The population of this study comprises of all the secondary schools in Ebonyi south Educational Zone. From the population, five secondary schools were randomly selected using simple random sampling technique, after which twenty teachers were selected from each school through simple random sampling using ballot papers.

One hundred close-ended questionnaires was structured according to the research questions and sampled to the respondents from the selected schools. From the data collected and analyzed using mean statistics and standard deviation, some findings were being made. Based on the research findings, a good number of recommendations were made which include, School authorities should reinforce in her mode of enforcing school rules and regulations as this will go a long way to reduce students misbehavior in the school etc. With the above recommendations if duly implemented It is hoped that truancy among secondary school students will be a thing of the past.





 The School is a social unit established by members of the society as a formal agency of education in which the young (students) attend to learn about themselves, other people, as well as the language, custom, attitude and the ways of doing things.  Staying in school is the first step to a good education and in order to achieve academic excellence, the students are mandated by the school laws to attend school daily but due to some factors (which work will unravel) most students absent themselves from formal school activities hence engaging in truancy. When this happens, every one loses; students lose the benefits of instruction, the society loses income and the community suffers from increase juvenile crime.

Historically, the origin of truancy can be traced to the Massachusetts compulsory Education Act of 1647 and its subsequent school Attendance Act of 1852, which forced parents to send their children for at least 12 weeks in a term (Michael, 2005). To this Act, every school is by law required to notify any student who acquires five unexcused absence within a school year.  However, it is through this unexcused absence from school without legitimate or legal knowledge of parents, guardian or the school that truancy among students came into being. Conceptually, the term “Truancy” has been defined in various ways by different people and agencies such as counsellors, psychologist, sociologist, welfare Authorities and Educators in general.

Stoll (2002) defines truancy as “absence from school for no legitimate reason”. He went further to state that many students do skip either single class or even a full day school at least once during their academic career. This is because they may want to attend a special event, prepare for promotion night or simply take what is known in the world of work as a “Mental health day”. This Isolated incidence (truancy) is quite typical and likely to create problems which can lead to varied set of negative and even more dangerous consequences.

Peninsky (2000) wrote that when a child is a truant, it implies that he has been constantly absent from school for so many days, weeks or even moths. Truancy, he further explains is a deliberate absence from school for no medial or justifiable reason, with or without parental knowledge. Peninsky’s explanation of truancy agrees very well with the definition given in Collin’s English dictionary in which a truant is described as one’s absent from duty without leave especially children who absent themselves from school. In the same manner, Nwana (2004) explained truancy to include Intentionally absenting of oneself from school without permission, leaving without authorization and dodging of specific lesson periods.

Truancy on academic in secondary school is a situation in which students develop and show adverse attitude and behaviour to learning. They absent themselves from classes using unnecessary excuses such as in genuine sickness, fake suspension by the class teacher or school authority and involvement in sport activities. Truancy can equally occur in a boring and boredom classes, harsh teachers who are difficulty to approach and in an unconducive school environment (Osarenren, 1999)). The causes of truancy among secondary school students have been attributed to lack of writing materials such as pen, pencil, exercise book, recommended text books, school uniform and midday meal (Obe, 1998).

The government is also another major cause of student truancy. This is attributed to the fact that Government do not pay teachers regularly and most of their allowance such as leave allowance, sport and science allowance etc are being withheld, most teachers find it difficulty to be committed and dedicated to their primary duties of teaching. When this occurs and the students do not find their teacher in the class, the next plan of action is truancy. It is common these days to see students roaming about in streets during school hours. Such act has often been followed by incidence of aggressiveness and other terrible negative actions.

Some parents due to the nature of their jobs, show nonchalant attitudes to their wards and as such, they grow up to be corrupt and aggressive hence getting nothing and giving out nothing. Most parents do give too much money to their wards thus contributing to their truant behaviours.

Also, with the breakthrough in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) which led to the emergence of Internet system in the World Wide Web. The use of internet system, though very beneficial to students, especially in the areas of research work as it provides them with a medium of Interaction with renowned scholars and authors whom they wouldn’t have ordinarily met in their life time. Conversely, internet system have equally contribution much to the promotion of truancy among secondary school students. This is because most students especially those in secondary school do abandon their lessons to visit Internet cafes thereby spending much of their valuable time and resource only to visit pornographic sites and some other sex related sites which will in turn ruin their lives thereby increasing the rate of immoral behaviour among youths in our society (Shyam, 2006).

The introduction of Internet use had denied students the chance of thorough research work as ready-made materials are readily found on the Internet. This makes them to lack the in-depth knowledge about the object of inquiry hence resulting to “educated illiterates” (Pam Willenz, 2006).   All these have drastically reduce the level of students academic performance in both Internal and external examinations. Below is a review of students performance on six subjects in west Africa Examination Council between 2000 to 2003 in one of selected secondary school in Ebonyi South Educational zone(Onicha Technical College, Enuagu Onicha).



4 – Year Percentage performance of Candidates in six subjects in Onicha Technical College.


Subject%of passes at credit grade (1-6) % of Failure (F9) 
English lang.8.479.7110.819.5665.3364.9164.1865.10

Sources: Statistics from WAEC Chief Examiner’s Report 2003.

As result of the inability of truant students to perform creditably in both Internal and external examination, they eventually engage in examination malpractice in order to measure up in their academic works. This their inadequacies in academic works do lead to waste of money and other resources, Worst of it all is the psychological trauma which parents of truants children suffer due to their failures in examination and other terrible negative attitude exhibited by their words such as armed rubbery, prostitution, drug abuse and drug trafficking, and other social crimes ranging from pick-pocketing to secret cult (Stool, 2002).

It is from the foregoing that the researcher recognized truancy as a delinquent act that has an ill-attitude-on secondary school students academic achievement as well as their moral lives. It is therefore on this grounds that the researcher considers it necessary / pertinent and quite imperative to carry out this study/ research so as to determine the extend to which truancy reduces the academic achievement of secondary school students and as well ascertain the extend to which truancy affects the society.


The objective of secondary school education in Nigeria is to provide students with academic and vocational skills as well as moral ethics, but it is quite unfortunate that these objectives have not been fully achieved due to the high level of students involvement in truant behaviours. Due to this, this study aims at investigating truancy among secondary school students in Ebonyi South Educational zone.



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