BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Child labour is a global problem and its elimination is being called for in the world. According to a recent international labour organization (ILO) report, it was estimated that there are 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 years working in developing countries, 120 million are working full-time while 130 million are working part-time. Manual labour in children is widely spread in Nigeria. According to government figure, household census (1999) 1.7 million of Nigeria children age 5-7 years old are involved in some kind of work and may have to miss school to go out for work instead, while many are putting themselves in arms way. Manual labour is a productive work (especially physical work done for wages). Is also a physical work done by people, most especially in contrast to that done by machines and also to that done by working animals. Report survey published by an aid agency, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and AVSI Foundation (2006) showed that 15% of children in Northern Nigeria are involved in harsh, dangerous labour such as breaking stones, collecting firewood and prostitution.
Nigeria’s constitution (1999) chapter 1, article 34(4) provides for protection of a child from hazardous and exploitative work. In context of this project, policy is defined as a cause of action intentionally undertaken with specific purpose in mind (2005). In its simplest form, plicy refers to abroad statement that reflects future goals and aspirations and provides guidelines for carrying out those goals. The government constituted child labour law to guide the child from hazardous work that could otherwise interfere with their physical and mental development. However, the implementation of the child labour policy has attracted the interest of some academicians.
Academic performance is all the performance reflected on the education of the child. Meer (2007) stated that education performance reflects the total involvement of a child or youth in the school environment which includes social and emotional development, communication and participation in the classrooms as well as out of class activities. Poor performance means a child who do not conform to a required standards i.e. late arrival dodging lessons poor examination achievement. When the academic performance of pupils in Ovia North East was looked at it gave a sign for justification of existence poor performance among the pupils. It was viewed in terms of late arrival absenteeism examination from 2005 to 2010, merely 21 pupils passed in division 1, 176 in division 2 and 278 failed in division U. many of the school going age children are being seen by the road side either selling food items or loitering despite all the efforts being put by the government to combat manual labour or child labour. Edo State Government like every other state in Nigeria, has refused to put any social security policy in place to carter for the benefit of the child in matters on state aairs. When a child is deprived the basic social needs that makes life worth living by the society he/she belongs to the birth, such a child will become victim of transmitting life experience that oen leads to personal problem. Today, in Edo State, many female children are compelled to help situation in the society to willingly accede to the pressure of their parents to travel abroad on the sponsorship of some international cartel that specializes in recruiting under-age female children into prostitution.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Manual labour of the child is perceived to be a serious problem, as it is believed to be destructive to children’s intellectual and physical development especially that of young children. The danger is exacerbated for those children who work in hazardous industries. This is theory behind the child labour trap. If a child is employed and subsequently has low productivity as an adult. So child labours can directly contribute to adult unemployment in developing countries. A major covet is that there is very little treatment of such long term dynamic consequences of child labour, (Annabel, 2008).
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of manual labour on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. It also suggested the way to improve children’s welfare and academic performance in schools.