Child Labour and Academic Performance in Government among Senior Secondary School Students
This study was carried out to determine how child labour affects the academic performance in Government among senior secondary school students in Esit Eket Local Government Area. Two research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select four (4) secondary schools from the area for the study.
A survey research design was adopted for the study. One hundred and twenty (120) senior secondary school two (SS2) Government students from the four selected secondary schools constituted the sample size, out of a total population of one-thousand eight hundred (1800). They were selected using stratified random sampling technique. Two research instruments (Questionnaire and Government Achievement Test (GAT) were used for data collection.
The instruments were validated by the researcher’s supervisor before administration. Data collected were analyzed using independent t-test statistical technique. The findings indicate that Government students who were involved in child labour had a significantly lower academic achievement mean score than those not involved. The findings also showed that boys involved in child labour activities had a significantly higher academic mean score than girls involved in child labour activities.
It was concluded that there were child labour and gender effects on academic performance of secondary school students in Esit Eket Local Government Area. This study recommended that students should not engage in labour activities.
Child Labour and Academic Performance in Government among Senior Secondary School Students
1.1 Background to the study
Childhood can be divided into four stages based on period of psychological changes. These stages are the toddler stage, the pre-school stage, the early school stage and the pre-teenage stage.
The lack of care and love needed by the child and the absence of proper transition from one stage to another will go a long way in affecting the child physically, psychologically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, and moreover, one of the factors that affects or hinders proper transition of children from childhood to adult is child labour which hampers the child’s growth and development.
Child labour which is known as the forceful involvement of children in life activities contrary to societal norms and values. It is a menace that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society which in turn has formed the basis for this research work.
The increasing numbers of young children who have been forced into child labour by parents, guardians for any reason whatsoever is a matter of concern in many countries including Nigeria. The involvement of children in one form of employment or the other, contravenes the international laws which provide for their protection form economic exportation and from performing works that interfere with their education and harmful to their health and development (UNICEF, 1999).
Child labour is a major challenge of our time, its history dates back to the ancient days when farming, hunting and fishing were the main occupations of our families. Child labour is exploitative if it involves full time work at early age, too many hours spent in workshop, work and life on the street in bad conditions, work that involves deprivation of education and work that undermines the dignity of the child.
In Esit Eket, there are scenes of children along the road hawking their goods in the sun and rain and also running after moving vehicles, in order to sell their goods, thereby exposing their lives and health to dangers all in the name of making money for themselves and their families.
In Nigeria today, many children are subjected to hard labour in the same capacity as adults. It has been noted that children who engage in the jobs meant for adults will not be able to perform well in their academic activities duel to the fact that there will be little or no time for them to read, lack of concentration in class, etc. Also, they will not be able to develop well physically, mentally, psychologically and socially.
It is important to note at this point that child labour does not refer to any work performed by the child but sp[civically to work done by a child that is considered detrimental and offensive to their economic growth as well as academic, and violates their fundamental rights.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study is aimed at investigating the effects of child labour on the academic performance of students in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. It is disheartening to see children along the street, motor parks, garage, and main roads hawking wares and goods for their parents, guardians, or themselves.
Children engaging in hard domestic services – working in bakeries and other small industries such as pure water packaging firms and companies, children given to prostitution and neo-slavery in order to meet the economic demands of the society and also render a helping hands to their parents.
The questions one may ask are “What are the possible causes of these various form of child labour? Why do parents and the government fold their hands and watch innocent children expose their lives to different hazards such as: road accidents, sexual assault, sever health hazards, drug addiction, murder, violence and callously inflicted injuries?
How do children feel engaging in hard labour? Can the labored child perform well academically and develop fully. Therefore, this investigation intends to provide answer to the question: What is the effect of child labour on children academic performance in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
- The purpose of the study is to find out the effect of child labour on academic performance of students in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area.
- The study intends to find out whether there is a difference between the academic performance of non-laboured and laboured students in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
For proper guide into the study, the following research questions were formulated:
- What is the difference between the academic performance of non-labored and laboured students in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area?
- What is the difference between the academic performance of labored male students in Government and laboured female students in Esit Eket Local Government Area?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
Hypothesis One: There is no significant difference between the academic performance of non-laboured and laboured students in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area.
Hypothesis Two: There is no significant difference between the academic performance of labored male students and laboured female students in Government in Esit Eket Local Government Area.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research work is intended to add to existing literature on child labour. The findings of the study will help the different arms of government to appreciate the problems that confront children and be able to put in place machineries to alleviate their plight. The study will help parents to be able to give birth to the number of children that they can cater for, so that such children can get the best of academics and develop fully.
The finding will also help counselors to appreciate the problem that is facing children and provide counseling programmes for the parents, government and children so that they will be able to overcome the psychological effects of these activities which affects their development.
1.7 Scope and Limitation
The study is delimited to all the secondary schools in Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The scope of the study is the effect of child labour on the academic performance of secondary school students in Government.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The study was limited in the following areas:
- The sample size was small because of time constraints and lack of funds. This made the researcher not to be able to generalize with the findings.
- Insufficient materials also posed a serious challenge to the study.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
Child: A child is a young person from birth to the age of full physical development which can be a boy or girl. In fact, a child is everyone who is not yet an adult.
Labour: Labour means work intended to bring some financial benefits. It is a way people make a living and provide food, clothing and shelter for their families and themselves.
Child labour: Is the use of children to work in factories or other places of employment against stated work rules and regulations for such country or state. Child labour is also defined as activities that are mentally, physically, socially and morally dangerous and harmful to children.
Neo–slavery: A situation whereby children are given out to serve others or other households. It is a new way of being a slave.