The way that girls see their future beyond form four is a central influence on what subjects they choose to take at this pivotal decision point in their schooling. Previous studies indicate that girls are poorly represented in most careers that are considered prestigious and especially science-based careers. This study therefore sought to find out the impact of acquiring social values and occupational aspirations among social studies students in some selected secondary schools in Jos North L.G.A, Plateau State. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as the main tools for data collection. The study participants comprised of 320 secondary school girls, 8 principals, and 8 career masters who were selected from 8 secondary schools in Jos North L.G.A, Plateau state. Simple descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. These included means, percentages and frequency counts. The analysis results were presented in summary form using tables, frequency histograms and pie charts. The study established that   students aspired to go to university after completing form four. It was also established that the parents were involved in their children‘s welfare in school and wanted them to further their studies. The study revealed that socio-economic factors and cultural practices, to some extent have a negative influence on girls’ occupational aspirations. However, it was established that school-related factors positively influenced girls’ occupational aspirations. It was also established that individual factors like self efficacy had an influence on girls’ occupational aspirations. The study recommends that there is need for awareness campaigns targeting the community, parents, local leaders, administrators, teachers and students on the importance of education and the benefits of education especially of the girl child. This should be done through public barazas, seminars, school parents’ days and other community functions; the girls should also be empowered and encouraged to say no to those cultural practices that affect their educational aspirations. They should be educated on the dangers of female genital mutilation and early marriages. The Non-Governmental Organizations should be involved in this education. The school administrators should also organize trips outside the school for exposure. This will change the attitude of the girls gradually; among other recommendations.



1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria is a heterogeneous nation blessed with different people of different ideas, norms, beliefs, attitudes and values that can be of advantage if positively utilized for the benefit of the citizenry. Moral values in Nigeria are in a state of collapse where corruption, embezzlement, armed robbery, kidnapping, wanton destruction of lives and property, injustice, dishonesty, rape, child/ women abuse and trafficking, examination malpractices, drug abuse, cultism, internet and other forms of fraud are the order of the day. It is believed that Social Studies which has problem-solving approach to issues and societal problems, if its properly taught could go a long way to promote acquisition of moral values among students and the people of the nation in general.

Values are essential needs of individuals, family and the society at large. It is to be rated as the embodiment of good traits such as responsibility, reliability, honesty, obedience, faithfulness, truthfulness decency and discipline. Values are positive ways of life of people that promotes their qualities as individual and as a group. Nakpodia (2010) defined values as those aspects of cultural practices that are cherished with high esteem in the society. Ezegbe (2012) described values are the attitudes an individual or the society holds with respect to worth or desirability. Ezegbe (2012) also noted that values are those things which are considered important upon which weight may be placed. Adegbite (2014) asserted that the lost of positive values in human environment today have taken a worrisome dimension and if care is not taking, the long term effect on the entire human race will be more injurious than cancer. In the same vein, Okafor (2014) described values as what determines a whole lot of conducts, attitudes and predisposition of human being.

Okafor (2014) also stressed further that societal values influence and affect the total well-being of an individual and the nation. Omumi and Jerome (2009) described values as ideas which are shared by people about what is good or bad, right or wrong, desirable and undesirable. Olutayo and Akanle (2009) also agreed that values are the nexus that connects the past with the present and guides the future. Erinosho (2008) defined values as accepted principles or standards of a person. Hornby (2010) associated high integrity with strict moral values and upright in character. Ndubueze (2013) noted that values indicate a wide range of ideas about the end that human-beings should pursue in live. Egbue and Alawari (2013) posited that values reflect a person’s sense of right and wrong or what ought to be. Olayiwola (2013) submitted that values can be good or bad depending on what the society cares about. Olayiwola (2013) discovered that Nigerians lack right societal values as a result of poor leadership, lack of moral integrity, culture of mismanagement of wealth, indiscipline, materialism, corruption, selfishness, intolerance and uneven distribution of wealth.

Good value system ultimately produces good and sustainable development while bad value system produces bad, weak and unsustainable societies (Wikipedia 2012). Khilawala (2006) listed empathy, mutual respect, love, loyalty and honesty as the right societal value. Olayiwola (2013) encouraged Nigerians to discard ethnic loyalty, religious intolerance, indiscipline, corruption, selfishness, unfaithfulness and give way to right values for rapid national development. Nowadays, education plays a significant role in the future plans of young people. Higher levels of education have been associated with a higher prestigious profession, higher income and higher standard of living.