1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is an instrument for developing the nation. It is also
an instrument for developing hidden talents in an individual. It is the
only means of eliminating illiteracy in any society. The importance of
education to the development of individual and the nation as a whole
cannot be over emphasized. It is a great investment any country can
make for accelerating development of its technology, economic and human
resources. Isife and Ogakwe (2012) explained that education is a
powerful tool or weapon that can be used to eradicate ignorance,
poverty, and diseases and produce individual that can function
effectively in the society. Onwuka (2012) pointed out that education is
the instrument that is used to free people from incapacitation and
exclusion. When an individual is freed from incapacitation and
exclusion or illiteracy, there is usually a change in that person’s
behaviour. This change influences the person’s attitude and his whole
life (Apebende, 2013).
School dropout in its simplest meaning is the
untimely withdrawal from school. These students who withdraw from school
prematurely end up not obtaining any certificate of graduation. The
issue of school dropout is a global problem confronting the education
industry round the world. Researchers like; Mohsin, Aslam and Bashir
(2004); De Cos (2005); Bridgeland, Dilulio, and Morison (2006), and
Oghuvbu (2008) have since buttressed this fact.
The issue of school dropout in Nigeria has been
with us for a very long time. Fafunwa (1983) noted that dropout is one
of the most serious problems that have continued to bedevil our
educational system since independence in 1960 from the colonial
administration. Even before our independence, the problem of dropout
has already established its grip on our educational system. This can be
buttressed with the remark made by Nuffied foundations in 1953 that in
the West coast of Africa, a considerable proportion of student’s
dropout of school each year.
This study has come at a time when there is high
rate of insecurity in the country as a result of criminal activities.
Survey by both the print and electronic media tends to indicate that
over 85% of the criminal activities perpetuated in Nigeria are done by
youths who dropped out of school. This development has become a cause of
serious concern to all well meaning Nigerians. This tends to suggest
that our educational system is in trouble and thus needs a very serious
attention in refocusing it and restructuring it for the attainment of
De Cos (2005) commenting on the importance of
graduation from higher institution noted that; with the economy
changing from a dependence on manufacturing towards more reliance on
technology, services, and a “knowledge economy”, the need for education
up to tertiary level has grown. In Nigeria of today, Bachelor or
Diploma degree from tertiary institution is considered as the minimum
required for most jobs and status positions. This development has
serious implications for the economic well being of dropouts and the
society at large. In this era of global economic meltdown and global
economic competitiveness, Nigeria as a nation that has vision must make
concerted efforts to raise the educational attainment of all its
youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. Globally, reasons why students
dropout from school can be categorized into four clusters. These
include; School related, Job related, family related, and community
Study by Frendenberg and Ruglls (2007) identified
twenty four factors under family cluster; three factors under
community cluster and twelve factors under school cluster. The factors
identified under family cluster include; low family socioeconomic
status, racial or ethnic groups, male, special education status, low
family support for education, low parental education, residential
mobility, low social conformity, low acceptance of adult authority,
high level of social isolation, disruptive behaviour conduct, being
held back in school, poor academic achievement, academic problems in
early grades, not liking school, feelings of “not fitting in” and of
not belonging, perceptions of unfair or harsh disciplines, feeling
unsafe in school, not engaged in school, being suspended or expelled,
conflicts between work and school, having to work and school, having to
work or support family, substance use and pregnancy. In community
cluster, the following factors were indentified: living in a low income
neighborhood, having peers with low educational aspirations and having
friends or siblings who are dropouts. Under school related cluster,
these factors were identified; low socioeconomic status of school
population, high level of racial or ethnic segregation of students,
high proportion of students of colour in school, high proportion of
students enrolled in special education, location in central city, large
school district, school safety and disciplinary policies, high-stakes
testing, high student –to- teacher ratio, academic tracking, discrepancy
between the racial or ethnic composition of students and faculty, and
lack of programmes and support for transition into next level. While
job related cluster entails: those students who could not work and
school at the same time, those who had to do a job to survive and those
who found job.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study was carried out to correct the imbalance in research
efforts on our knowledge of school dropout. Most of the researches on
dropout have been centered on causes, effects and remedies. Most if not
all the researches in Nigeria on the same subject matter followed the
same pattern with case studies on primary and secondary school. No
studies to my knowledge in Nigeria studied dropout problems using the
tertiary institutions. This study is therefore very timely and
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the causes of drop out among undergraduates in Lagos State.
- To examine the effects of drop out among undergraduates in Lagos State.
- To identify the solution to the issue of drop out among undergraduate in Lagos State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the causes of drop out among undergraduates in Lagos State?
- What are the effects of drop out among undergraduates in Lagos State?
- What is the solution to the issue of drop out among undergraduate in Lagos State?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The results from this study will educate the undergraduates
and the general public on the causes and effects of drop out among
undergraduates. This study will also reveal the solutions to the issues
of drop out among undergraduates.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature
in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic
performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future
research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the causes and effects of drop out among
undergraduates in Lagos State. It will also cover the solutions to the
menace of school drop-out in Lagos State.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to
impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant
materials, literature or information and in the process of data
collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This
consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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