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1.1 Background of Study

Despite the fact that many governments around the world recognise and, to some extent, defend children’s rights through legislation and constitutions, child abuse and neglect are increasingly becoming universal phenomena in today’s world cultures. Maltreatment of children has the potential to have a substantial economic impact on Nigerian schools and students.

Even conservative estimates suggest that at least 8% of children in the United States are sexually assaulted before the age of 18, while 17% are physically abused and 18% are physically neglected (Flisher, Kramer, Hoven, & Greenwald, 2007). Childhood maltreatment, as well as bad parenting practises in general, might hinder students’ intellectual progress.

As a result, it may jeopardise schools’ ability to satisfy the No Child Left Behind Act’s (US Department of Education, 2005) school achievement standards, putting them at risk of losing federal subsidies.

It also has the potential to harm students’ economic outcomes in adulthood due to its impact on middle and high school achievement. Child abuse is defined by the African network for the prevention and protection of child abuse and neglect (ANPPCAN) as “deliberate and inadvertent acts that harm the child’s physical, mental, emotional, moral, and educational welfare.”

Hopper (2004) defines child abuse as “any act of maltreatment or submission that jeopardises a child’s physical, emotional, or health development.”

According to Gelles (2007), child abuse includes malnourishment, abandonment, neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and physical violence. Child abuse in Nigeria includes child assault, child labour, child abandonment, neglect, adolescent prostitution, early marriage, and forced marriage.

In Nigeria, emotional and sexual abuse are common. At the time of reporting, there were 625,024 babies born to teenage mothers in Nigeria, according to Oji (2006). Unwanted pregnancy has been identified as a significant source of child abuse in Nigeria. Many abused children were undesired to begin with, becoming a big burden on their emotionally unskilled or penniless parents.

Todd (2004) suggested that Nigeria, a famously corrupt African country, is on the verge of slipping into deadly poverty, with its teeming people without sufficient food for a healthy living. Oluwole (2002) expressed similar disappointment when investigating the conditions of minors employed as househelps.

Child abuse is one of the most serious impediments to achieving education for all (EFA), and as a result, the UN objective of universal primary education by 2015 has been pushed back. According to Onye (2004), child maltreatment is an indication of poverty. Aderinto and Okunola (2008) discovered that some children were forced to engage in street hawking in order to fund their families’ needs.

That means that children, even at an early age, are the breadwinners in their different homes. Children aged 6 to 16 are regularly seen as bus/taxi companions, hawking items, pushing trucks for money, or asking for money when they should be in the classroom learning in Nigeria’s major parks and streets.

All of this suggests that children are the most vulnerable to infections, exploitation, neglect, and violence. Despite the fact that child abuse has a significant potential impact, evidence of the causal impact of maltreatment on children’s long-term educational results is frequently insufficient.

The evidence suggesting a relationship between childhood maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse or neglect) and academic achievement is now limited to negative relationships.

On average, abused children have lower teacher ratings, perform worse on cognitive testing and standardised measures of academic attainment, obtain lower grades, and are more frequently suspended from school and retained in grade. Abused children have a more difficult time building new relationships with peers and adults, as well as complying to social norms.

The Ministry of Education’s primary goal is to promote children’s learning and remove obstacles to learning. Every year, Public Law 94/142 authorises millions of funds for this purpose. This education legislation protects every child’s entitlement to specialised education. This Act illustrates our dedication to eradicating educational barriers for all students.

The long-term effects of child abuse and neglect, on the other hand, are just as much of a barrier to learning as any perceptual difficulty. Educators are trained to detect and intervene when kids are unable to fully benefit from their educational chances.

As a result of this training, they are uniquely qualified to identify symptoms of child maltreatment. The only place where youngsters are observed on a daily basis is school. As a result, the education ministry will be able to notice changes in their appearance and behaviour.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Child abuse has an impact on the educational system, and the school may do a lot to help. Child abuse has long been a problem in Nigeria, and it has only gotten worse for the country as a whole. It can not be stressed that the history of child abuse in Edo State is as old as the phenomenon’s presence in Nigeria.

Recently the government terminated the principal and house master of Edo college for the maltreatment of students who were taking their National Examination Council ( NECO) final papers. Child abuse encompasses child brutality, child labor, child abandonment, and neglect, teenage prostitution, early marriage, and forced marriage, among other things.

In the majority of circumstances, parents are the primary source of all of these forms of social abuse. Although school, as a socialisation agent, promises to have a powerful and overwhelming impact on a child’s development, observation has indicated that the substance of education is likely to be lost if children are regularly forced to undergo the rigours of child labour.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The following are the study’s objectives:

To investigate if the Ministry of Education plays an important role in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools.
To investigate the Ministry of Education’s initiatives for combating child abuse in secondary schools.
To determine whether child abuse in secondary schools has decreased.
1.4 Research Issue

This study is guided by the following research questions:

Is the Ministry of Education involved in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools?
What are the Ministry of Education’s methods for combating child abuse in secondary schools?
Has there been a decrease in child abuse in secondary schools?

1.5 Significance  Of the Research

The study’s findings are critical because they will aid the ministry of education, parents, guardians, teachers, school administrators, and all other stakeholders in the educational system by providing them with more information on child abuse issues.

Such understanding may inhibit future instances of child exploitation, especially when the child is used as a source of revenue for the family. Hawking clearly exposes children to a number of cultural vices, therefore the study’s attempt to provide a paradigm for healthy child rearing in society justifies it.

This study will add to the existing literature in this field and will also serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students who may want to do future research on this or a related topic.

1.6 Scope of Study

The purpose of this research is to look into the Ministry of Education’s role in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools. The study will also investigate whether the Ministry of Education plays a significant role in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools,

the Ministry of Education’s strategies in the fight against child abuse in secondary schools, and whether child abuse in secondary schools has decreased. As a result, this study is restricted to Edo College in Edo State.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

The researchers faced financial constraints, insufficient materials, and a time constraint over the course of the investigation.

1.8 Terms Definition

Child Abuse: Child abuse occurs when someone causes injury, death, emotional harm, or the risk of serious harm to a child, whether via action or inaction.

Ministry of Education: The Federal Ministry of Education is one of Nigeria’s Federal Ministries in charge of education.




Our goal in this chapter is to critically review relevant literature that can help understand the research topic and to recognise the work of scholars who have already made significant contributions to similar research. The chapter’s goal is to deepen comprehension of the research and fill perceived gaps.

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