The study surveyed the influence of on the child abuse on academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin metropolis. Data were collected from 200 randomly selected students.
A questionnaire was the major instrument used for data collection. The data collected were analysed using t-test and Pearson Product Moment Correlation.
The results indicated that the respondents were abused by their different parents; no significant relationship was found between child abuse and student’s academic performance when correlated. There is also no significant influence of child abuse on the academic performance of students.
It was recommended that public enlightenment campaign should be carried out on the danger of child abuse.
Background to the Study
Nigerian children are faced with many problems. Many of them suffer abuse in various forms such as neglect, abandonment and starvation. Some of them are victims of broken homes and conflict laden families. As a result of this, many of them are brought up in either single parent homes to by guardians.
Nigerians have positive attitudes to having and rearing the children (Oyebanre, 1991). This is because, they are considered as continuation of the family generation. Thus, according to Oyebanre (1991), is the reason why the extended family system serves to safeguard the welfare of its members.
Another reason for having children was to complement the family labour force. Garuba (1998) stated that Africans and Nigerians in particular have many children in order to use them for farming. She pointed out that in olden days, the larger your family members, the larger your extra hands to work in the farm and the healthy the individual would be in. thus, children in traditional society are taken to the farm at very tender age to cultivate the land.
It is also part of the child-rearing pattern to see children in the family as part of economic aspect. This was related by Oyebanre (1991) in two categories.
The first category is an aspect of socialization, she explained this method is a way of socializing children into the commercial activities. Thus, children are sent out to hawk commodities like cigarette, Kola, Water, groundnuts, etc. This is meant to teach the child how to count money, giving and collecting change.
The second category as noted by Oyebanre (1991) are the parents affected by economic recession in order to find alternative source of income, they engage their children to hawk commodities so that they (the children) could raise money to support the family. Others send them out as householders or as a child labourer called errand child (omo onise). In whatever form, the purpose is to work in order to raise money for the family sustenance.
In all enumerated practices, the children could be exposed to abuse, neglect and danger which could have adverse effect on the development of the children. Nwaomu (1990) asserted that many parents in Bendel State engaged their children in child labour and refuse to send them to school. This, according to her was because of the monetary gains which might not be used for the child’s benefit.
Many of these children that were engaged in this form of labour experienced different form of abuse, some were physically abused. Example of this form of abuse was a house mistress who poured kerosene on a house girl was beaten to the extent of being unconscious for alleged neglect of a baby put under her care.
Daroven (1995) reported that many children had been exposed to work harzard of various forms, children who are sent to engage in street trading have been found to meet with one form of accident or the other. He explained that some of them have been attack by thieves, beaten and money realized from hawking stolen away. Others, particularly girls, have been exposed to danger of sexual abuse leading to unwanted pregnancies and unclaimed child.
One of the growing concerns in the society seems to be the contribution of child abuse on the behavioural, emotional and living problems of children. All these, according to Gill (1999) are not without adverse effect of child’s development. These include juvenile delinquency, hooliganism, drug abuse, theft, teenage pregnancies, drop out and mass failure in school examinations.
Adegbite (1991) reported that poor academic performance of children could be attributed to the child’s background. This refers to the home in which the child is raised. He reported studies which found children of professionals, executives and clerics who receive parental support to be as advantage and academically performed better than children who are abused by their parents.
Personal experience has also shown that children who are abused could find it difficult to adjust to school situation. He could, therefore, found to be habitual late comers, to be always sleeping in the class while others are learning, to always be in short supply of needed school materials and to be among the backward students in the class. It is also the researcher’s opinion that children in this category need assistance in coping with their situations. This is the area of concern for the study.
Statement of the Problem
Child abuse as one of the social problems plaguing the society could have far reaching effect and constitute block to children’s development. This is because the forms in which most of these children have been abused have prevented them from pursuing normal developmental trends as their colleagues. Thus they face the problem of under development in many areas. (Mustapha, 2002).
Many secondary school children who were abused face many problems including insufficient time for schooling, destruction from the normal academic programme, insufficient time for rest and denial of opportunity of enjoy as other children. All these could have negative effect on the school going and academic performance of secondary school students. This is why, these researchers deem it fit to investigate the effects of child abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of child abuse on students academic performance in Ilorin. I also sought to compare differences between academic performance of students on the basis of sex, age, family type and parental education.
What is the influence of child abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin.
The following hypotheses will be tested in the study:
H01: There is no significant relationship between the influence of child-abuse on the academic performance of secondary school students.