CHILD LABOUR AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS
The purpose of the study was to established the effect of child labour on academic achievement of pupils in primary school in Etim Ekpo Local government area. The specific objectives are forms of child labour in relation to academic achievement, factors influencing child labour in relation to academic achievement, sexual abuse and academic achievement, influence of building and academic achievement.
Literature shows that different forms of child labour can lead to poor academic achievement by primary schools pupils. Poverty emerges as the major cause of child labour in our society as reveal in the research. Teachers statistic shows that labour usually result in poor academic performances in primary schools.
Therefore, there is need to sensitize the parent on the devastating effect of child labour on academic achievement of primary school pupils. Consequently, teachers non-governmental organization, social welfare department and government as a whole create more awareness in this issue of child labour and also help to control it especially because of its effect on academic achievement of pupils in primary schools.
Child labour refers to work undertaken by children, age between 0-18 years that prevents them from attending school which is exploitative, hazardous, or inappropriate for their age. Child labour can be looked out as the employment of children in the age group of 5-18 years with or without payment. Children who are paid for some work outside their homes or children who work in hazardous environment can be said to be child labourers.
Child labour is also defined as any situation where a child provides labour in exchange for payment. The situation include: where a child’s labourer is use for gain by any individual or situation whether or not the child’s benefits directly or indirectly; where a child provides labour as an assistant to another person and his or her labour is deemed to be labour of that other person for the purpose of payment, and where there is written contact or service and the employee is a child or children (Acts, 2010). Worst form of child labour (W.F.C.L). includes slavery, prostitution force or compulsory labour. Involvement in illicit activities and force recruitment for use in armed conflict.
Child labour is a long time international vice that denied children from attending school at their tender ages, instead they work for their own or family survival. Child labour has always been associated with high level of poverty but it goes beyond force labour in various illicit activites on behalf of the powerful people in society (Attolini, 2012).
In 1989, the united nation general assembly adopted the unconventional on the right of the child. The unconventional state that children have the right to be protected from all physical and psychological violence, injury and abuse negligent maltreatment or exploitation inside and outside the family setting.
From the African perspectives the organization for African unity (O.A.U) in 1990 adopted a chapter on right and welfare of the African child. Also sitting the 1990’s as the decade of the African child and June 16 at every year as the day of the African child.
Despite all this noble endeavors, child labour and its consequences still persist in Africa, Nigeria and in Etim Ekpo local government area in particular. The causes come mostly in the traditional beliefs that the child has a right. Beating and deprivation are seen as part of their education and upbringing. This should be clearly differentiated from normal correctional measures. In essence, he should be careful in our categorizing what makes up labour. Children are forced into labour market and along the street in most cases to the total abandonment of their education.
The house help syndrome is another vivid example of Nigerian’s child labour. Others worthy of mention includes: child’s trafficking, bus conducting, begging along road sides, child labour malnutrition, starvation etc. all this has a direct consequences on the educational achievement or lack of it on the child involved.
Again poverty and family circumstances force children into child labour scheme at the expense of their education, health and safety as well of their childhood. High unemployment levels and poor families rely on children employment in order to achieve basic necessities. More than one fourth of world people live in extreme poverty (United Nation, 2005).
Also children walk long distance to reach a school. This problem makes many children in such area like Etim Ekpo local government to drop out of school to look for paying engagement elsewhere and subsequently becomes labourers. As much as access to education has been made free and compulsory in Akwa Ibom State (AKS) and actually entrained in AKS constitution, access to education is still unlimited in some local government like Etim Ekpo, many children are not going to school because they are unable to meet basic hunger and lack of motivation from parent and communities at large.
Akwa ibom state introduces free and compulsory education in line implementation of millennium development goals (MDGS) and enhancing the achievement of one in the pillars of the development (DESD) (UNESCO, 2008). Nevertheless, not all children are in school. The government has subsequently set up a control mechanism that has worked reasonably well in rural area like Etim Ekpo local government area. As the local educational board had been mandated to implement government educational policies.
Child labour has been identified as the major problem facing all societies in the world. It has continued to deny children access to education and retention in school.
The international labour organization (ILO) estimated that 218 children are engaged in worst forms of labour (ILO, 2006).
Child labour continues to be a problem in Etim Ekpo local government area as many children engaged in domestic service and prostitution (ILO/IPES, 2007).
According to ILO report on child labour, sociologists like to distinguish between “internal” and “external” forces (ILO, 2004).
Internal forces are those acting within family to produce particular outcome such as child labour. An example would be the wealth or child-rearing practices of a parent. Internal issues may include difficult family situations, singled parent families, family illness or incapacities to work, dysfunctional families, unsupportive or unproductive families, poor families values how level of education of the child or the parent and how parental skill level (Bainham, Lindley, Martins Rechard and Trinder, 2003)
External forces are those working on families from the outside, and are therefore likely to affect many families simultaneously, an example of this would be a national economic crisis, family poverty plays a significant role in whether a child would work. External factors include belonging to minority population (Racial or ethnic) and suffering social exclusion, strong peer group and external influences, material values, social-economic dislocation (economic crisis, political and social transition), the effect of HIV/AIDS and the special situation of girls.
Aspect of child labour includes:
BULLYING: This is when a child is frighten or hurt by caregivers or other people who are more powerful or stronger or putting pressure on them (children) to make them do what they want.
There is also emotional labour which includes: sexual harassment which when others force children into sexual acts or situations. It can also be look or touching someone who does not want it, constant belittling or trashing of a child or ignoring and withholding praise and affection. This is failure to provide the psychological nurturing necessary for a child physical and emotional growth and development.
Neglect is another type of child labour: this is a continues failure to provide a child with basic necessities of life and adequate supervision needed for a child’s optimal growth, development, and failure to use the available resources to meet these needs e.g not taking a child for medical treatment when clinic is free and close by, failure to provide food, shelter, safety, care and attention which result in physical and academic performance.
The effect of child labour on the educational performance of a child could be psychological, preventing the full achievement of his or her educational right attainment or through physical denial of the educational opportunity.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Child labour has existed in Nigeria in general and Etim Ekpo local government area in particular for many years. Before independence children were sold by their parents to the white to earn money to supplement family income and to pay taxes. In urban area today children are employed as domestic helpers, street beggars and hawkers. Child prostitution and other form of child labour is known to exist in the council headquarter of Etim Ekpo local government area where young girls of below 18 years are involved as commercial sex workers.
Even with the introduction of free primary education there is still high dropout rate and performances of pupils in national examinations, children of school age going are seeing loitering and selling in bus stop and market places. The issue is whether child labour has any effect in academic performances of individual pupils in Etim Ekpo local government area; it is against this background that the researchers wish to carry out a research.
Many researchers argue that poverty is the main reason children work (Admassie, 2012, Andrig et al; 2001, Baland and Robinson, 2000, Grootecert and pattrinos 1999; Jensen and neilsen, 1997, Manda et al; 2003, patrinos and psacharopoulos, 1997,). In a 1989, policy paper the world bank described child labour as” one of the devastating consequences of persistence poverty” (Fallon and Tzonnaton, 1998: V). others blame deficient economic and educational policies for child labour (Hiraoca, 1997, 2002; weiner, 1991).
Generally, the author looks at child labour and it interferences with academic performances of children in school without considering the advantageous aspects of labour in promoting or enhancing a child physical, mental, spiritual, moral social development without interfering with schooling recreation etc.
I wish to suggest that the authors should compare and contrast the exploitative or destructive aspects of child labour with the benefiting aspects to ascertain whether child labour should be encourage or discourage.
- Purpose Of The Study
The main purpose of the study was to establish the influence of child labour in the academic achievement of pupils in primary schools in Etim Ekpo local government area.
specifically, the study will seek:
- To determine the forms of child labour in primary schools in Etim Ekpo local government area.
- To examine the influence of sexual abuse on academic achievement of pupils in primary school in Etim Ekpo local government area.
- To determine the relationship between building and academic achievement of the pupils at primary school in Etim Ekpo local government area.
- Significance Of The Study
The importance and benefit of education are the quality and the level of education that a child purpose to attain.
To the teachers and parent themselves the most importance skills taught at primary school level is the ability to read and write which is the foundation of academic achievement. This project may be importance to different classes of people who are interested to child labour, and it effect. (impact) on children of school-going age. Such classes of people include:
Teachers, pupils, parent and government and sponsor.
Teacher imparticular many think of way of attracting pupils in school. The society and government as a whole can also initiate programme at the local government for teacher parent and pupils to cheek child labour which may help to improve pupils academic achievement.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent does child labour influence the academic achievement of pupils in Etim Ekpo local government area?
- How do sexual abuses influence the academic achievement of pupils in Etim Ekpo local government area?
- To what extent does bullying relate to academic achievement of pupils?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated to quid the study.
- There is no significant difference between academic performance of pupils who are expose to hard labour among primary school pupils.
- There is no significant difference between academic performance of pupils who are sexual abuse and those who are not sexual abuse among primary school pupils.
- There is no significant difference between academic performance who are exposed to bullying and those who are not expose to bullying.
- There is no significant difference between academic performance of pupils who hawk and those who are not hawking.
- DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study was carried out in selected secondary school in Etim Ekpo local government area from teacher parent whose children are engage in labour and social service officer who deal with issue of children to gather information on child labour.
There was limited to the direct relationship of all forms of child labour with academic achievement of a child and the common ways of controlling conditions leading to futures occurrence of the menace.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In the cause of carrying out this investigation, the research was confronted with certain problem which poses significant threat to the success of the exercise.
Prominent among which are: the research depended only the pactry finance contribution of her parent which was sincerely adequate to produce and process materials required for the research also another factor limited was the time frame which was very short.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
- CHILD: A child is a person between the age of 0-18 years
- CHILDE LABOUR: This is define as any situation where a child provides in exchange for payment including where a child’s is used for gain by any individual or situation whether or not the child benefit directly or indirectly or where a child provide labour as an assistant to another person and his/her labour is deemed to be labour of that other person for the purpose of payment.
- SEXUAL ABUSE: When others force children into sexual acts or situations.
- BULLYING: When children are forced or frightened by their parent or caregiver to do things unwillingly.