FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE RATE OF SECONDARY school DROPOUT
1.1 THE STUDY'S BACKGROUND
Secondary education is the transitional period between primary and secondary education. It aims to prepare children for productive lives in society while also preparing them for higher education. The national education policy (1981) divides secondary school into junior secondary (JSS) and senior secondary (SSS), with each stage lasting three years.
Junior secondary school lasts three years and is similar to primary school in that it is both vocational and academic. The senior secondary school curriculum, on the other hand, is diverse. Students at this level, according to Ehiametaler E. T et al (1989), are divided into science inclined, art inclined, commercial subjects oriented teacher, training inclined, and technical subjects oriented.
Despite the numerous career opportunities available to students in the senior secondary school program, students are dropping out, particularly in Evboesi areas of Edo State. Secondary schools are being closed due to environmental concerns.
Statistics on student environments in defunct Bendel state post primary schools, which are entirely available at the ministry of education, show that the population of students in senior secondary school is declining. Another sign of deterioration in the senior secondary school environment is the recent method adopted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), in which schools with a large number of students for the senior school certificate examinations are grouped together to form a single centre.
Many students who had applied for admission to senior secondary school had withdrawn prematurely and dropped out before graduation for one or two reasons. Concerns about interests are among the factors responsible for this untimely withdrawal.
To begin with, the country's current economic lesson has left many graduates but from secondary school and institutions of higher learning unemployed. According to Gerald Bernbanu (1979), for those who had previously looked to educational expansion to reduce social and economic inequalities and improve economic performance, going to school was still regarded as the most certain way to gainfully employ, particularly in the public sector.
Because most of our graduates are unemployed at all levels of our educational institutions, current senior secondary students see school as a waste of time. The point being made here is that because school leavers and graduates of higher institutions do not earn a living in the public or private sectors of the economy, students are no longer motivated to continue their education past the senior secondary level (SSS).
The government also contributes to the dropout rate from secondary school by charging tuition fees, which many parents cannot afford in light of the country's current economic crisis. Even when many of them have struggled to pay tuition, final housing fees are frequently unaffordable. Early marriage is another factor that causes students to drop out of senior secondary school.
It has been suggested that many girls dropped out of school because their parents wanted them to marry, while others dropped out due to unexpected pregnancies that forced them into early marriage. Some students who had originally enrolled in the senior secondary class had dropped out due to a shift in career objectives. Carpentry, tailoring, hairdressing, and other types of vocational training have been pursued by some.
Parental attitudes, level of education, family size, and socioeconomic status all contribute to the rate of senior secondary school dropout. According to Oraemesi J. L (1987), parents no longer encourage their children to pursue secondary education. One reason for this is that education no longer yields economic benefits, whereas investing the same number of years and funds budgeted for education in trade or business yields a greater profit.
A significant number of students drop out of senior secondary school due to their parents' low socioeconomic status. The country's severe economic crisis has impoverished many families, leaving them unable to afford school fees, uniforms, and books for their children.
These and other issues confronting students and parents have left them disillusioned with what formal education can offer them, prompting them to drop out of senior secondary school.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Dropout from senior secondary school is an example of educational waste and should be addressed as a problem in secondary school and education in general.
As stated in the previous section of this chapter, senior secondary school classes are often empty due to high dropout rates.
It has also been established in the context of the problem that institutional administrators, educational planners, policymakers at both the state and national levels, students, and guidance and counselors have reacted differently, times to the rate at which secondary schools, particularly in rural areas, are depopulated.
However, the issue of interest – this study is to determine the relationship between the rate of dropout from senior secondary schools in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State and the following factors:
Graduate unemployment, early marriage, unexpected pregnancy, financial difficulties, shift in career goals, parental attitude, educational levels, socioeconomic status, and family size are all factors to consider.
The study also wants to know what other factors might be related to dropout rates.
1.3 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The following research questions have been developed to guide the investigator:
1. Does the current trend of graduate unemployment contribute to the rate of school dropout?
2. Are early marriage and unexpected pregnancy factors in dropping out of senior secondary school?
3. What is the relationship between financial difficulties and senior secondary school dropout?
4. Do students drop out of senior secondary school as their career goals change?
5. Do parental attitudes and educational levels influence dropout from senior secondary school?
6. Do parents' socioeconomic status and family size influence the rate of dropout from senior secondary school?
7. What other factors contribute to senior secondary school dropouts?
1.4 GENERAL ASSUMPTIONS
The following were the major assumptions made in this study:
1. The lack of employment opportunities for school leavers and graduates of higher education causes students to drop out of senior secondary school.
2. For both parents and students, the ultimate goal of education is to secure gainful employment in either the public or private sectors.
3. Students drop out of senior secondary school due to early marriage and unexpected pregnancy.
4. A student drops out of senior secondary school due to financial difficulties.
5. Changes in career goals cause students to drop out of senior secondary school.
6. Children from low-income families are more likely to drop out of school.
1.5 THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The goal of this study was to identify the primary factor responsible for the high rate of school dropout in the Orhionmwon local government.
The study looked at how factors like graduate unemployment, early marriage, unexpected pregnancy, student financial difficulties and educational levels, socioeconomic status, and family size affected the rate of school dropout.
It also sought to identify other pertinent issues concerning the rate of school dropout.
1.6 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Dropping out frequently results in wasteful spending. They imply that society has abdicated its responsibility to provide equal educational opportunities to its citizens. As a result, this study is being conducted with the firm belief that it will make significant contributions to how government administrators and parents can find long-term solutions to the problems of child retention in schools in general, and particularly in senior secondary schools.
The study would reveal the effect of unemployment on children's school attendance and completion. Our government policymakers at the federal, state, and local state levels would benefit from any recommendations made.
Finally, this study's findings would be beneficial to guidance and counseling professionals. They could use them to detect and prevent such symptoms, which are likely to lead to school dropout in the selected subjects.
1.7 STUDY OBJECTIVES
The research is limited to the Orhionmwon Local Government Area. Ten different secondary schools were utilized. We used 100 identified dropouts from five towns in the local government area.
The population sample is not a complete representation of the area's senior secondary school dropouts. As a result, the extent to which the study can be generalized is limited.
The sample is thought to be adequate because subjects are drawn from towns in the local government where dropouts can be identified.
1.8 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Drop out: For the purposes of this study, the term “dropout” refers to students who intended to obtain the senior school certificate S.S.C. but dropped out before graduation. The term encompasses all those who have left other trades.
Senior Secondary School (S.S.S.): This refers to classes 1 to 3 following the completion of junior secondary school and graduates of higher education institutions.
A polygamous family has a large family size. A family with more than four children is also referred to as a large family.
Unexpected pregnancy: This refers to a teen pregnancy that occurs while the teen is still in school and has not married.
Junior secondary school (J.S.S.): The first level of secondary school. It is for a three-year period.
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FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE RATE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL DROPOUT