Abstract: This study was on absenteeism and academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students in Ikono Local Government Area. To achieve the general objectives of this study, two specific objectives and two hypotheses were formulated by the researcher. The related literature was reviewed as a guide in establishing principles for the study. The population for the study comprised of all senior secondary two (SS2) students in public secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area. A sample size of one hundred and twenty senior secondary two (SS2) students was selected through simple random sampling technique from four public secondary schools. Researcher-developed instruments used were questionnaire entitled “Questionnaire on Absenteeism of Students (QTIS)” and thereafter past result of the students in Economics in 2016/2017 second terminal examination for data collection.
The instrument was tested for reliability by result collected being correlated with the first terminal examination result in Economics in 2016/2017 academic session using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC). Independent t-test was used to test the hypotheses. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that there is a significant difference between academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students who attend classes regularly and those who absent themselves from class in Ikono Local Government Area. Also there is a significant difference in academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students who come to class early and those who come to class late in Ikono Local Government Area.
Absenteeism And Academic Achievement In Economics Among Secondary School Students
1.1 Background of the study
Being always present in class is one determinant of student’s success. Most students tend to view schooling as a form of punishment while others attend classes just to please their parent and guardians. Students who skip schooling will most likely be unable to meet up with the curriculum set for them by the school. Thus, the overall scoring and performance of these students tend to be low (Boga (2013) educational performance of secondary school students. Similarly, wheat (1998) argued that the relationship between attendance and performance could be grasped merely through common sense as student’s who do not attend class struggle to comprehend what is taught in school.
The united Department of education (2006) also affirms that a student who misses school face learning difficulties. Thus, high absenteeism rate affect the general performance in school, slowing the rate of instruction which having all students as it could also be an early warning for educational failure. Students with high absenteeism rate have the lowest academic performance rates, and are more likely to drop out of school, which indicate that there is a relationship between students attendance and students performance. Students with low attendance often end up dropping out of school and put themselves at a long-term disadvantage in becoming productive citizens. They are more likely to be welfare recipients, earn low salaries and live less productive life. It is believe that when student intentionally absent themselves from school the find it very difficult to meet up with their counterpart in terms of studies and these students hardly engage themselves in class-work and assignment, which inversely affect their academic performance Williams and Ruther (1986), according to the data they collected from their study. High school and beyond on student’s dropout predictors, concluded that low expectations and low grades combined with disciplinary issues and students exiting school. Though some think that going to school is to please their parent/guardians, therefore staying back from school is the only way to make their parent feel bad.
Dekalb (2009) also affirms that absenteeism increase the possibility of a student expelled from school. This could be related to the fact that such a student records low grades which may prompt him/her to leave school. Boga (2013) also found that absenteeism contribute to higher rates of dropout among secondary schools students.
George (2013) in his research discovered that absentees, due to their absence from school usually repeat classes and even when they are repeating, they do not feel better because they feel they are over qualified or too accomplished for such class. Through, few of them (absentees) manage to struggle through school, majority of some usually dropout of school if some form of intervention are not taken. Then concluded by saying their level of performance is generally low because of their lack of interest in learning.
Absenteeism refers to the staying away from school without the permission from parent, teacher or school administrators. These encompass students staying away from a particular class or attending the class late may be after a particular process that makes the student to stay outside the class has been exhausted by teacher. This will therefore, make the student to miss the lesson of the day when it comes in the examination questions he/she will not be able to answer the question thereby failing in the examination at last. Absenteeism is one of the major antisocial discipline problems among secondary school students in Nigeria. Staying outside the classroom during school hours by students may result in various behavioural disorders like stealing, violence, drug abuse; examination malpractice, and sexual abuse which have so undermined effective teaching-learning processes that some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of imparting knowledge to the learners (King, 2013).
However, Ma’aruf (2009) asserted that some of the factors responsible for absenteeism in school include: Poor relationship between children and parents; poor physical conditions at home; use of corporal punishment in the house; as well as lack of parental interest in the child’s welfare. Other causes of absenteeism according to Obe (2008) include a boring and boredom classes where the teacher is unable to manage the class or is not using relevant instructional materials during lessons thereby engaging the students in abstraction lessons, harsh teachers who are difficult to approach by the students, an unconducive school environment, lack of writing materials such as pens exercise books, lack of recommended textbooks, and lack of other materials such as correct uniform and stockings.
The issue is that students who stay away from class without permission will be left behind in the learning process as they will miss the lesson of the day and will not understand the concept of Economics as they ought to they which may probably end them in failing their examinations and may lead to drop-out which the students may resolve to drug abuse, gangsterism, alcohol consumption, free sex, gambling and loitering as they may associate with people who are gangsters in the outside the school.
Moreover, so many studies have been conducted concerning the causes of absenteeism in secondary school but little attention has been given on the influence of absenteeism on academic achievement of students. It is against this background that this study intends to investigate the influence of absenteeism on academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students in Ikono Local Government Area with the aim of proffering some recommendations that could lead to improvement in the educational system.
1.2 Statement to the problem
Educational goal of discipline is to produce students who will be responsible adults who should be able to take decisions and accept the consequences of these decisions. Students who should be able to form their own image and not just moving in people shadow (Ekanem, 2006). This discipline role is carried out by the members of the school administration. The aim according to Ekanem is to create conducive environment for learning which could be evidenced in the academic achievement of students in external and internal examinations.
Many researchers have sought to fine out the reason for the downward trend in the performance of students. It was on this background that the researcher was interested to ascertain the influence of absenteeism on academic achievement of students with a view of providing recommendations.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study was to investigate absenteeism and academic achievement in Economics among secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area. Specifically, the study intends to:
- Investigate effect of absenteeism from class on academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students in Ikono Local Government Area;
- Investigate lateness to class and academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students in Ikono Local Government Area.
Absenteeism And Academic Achievement In Economics Among Secondary School Students
1.4 Significance of the study
It is hoped that the findings of this study will be useful to the following:
- To school administrators: this study will examine and conclude on the effect of absenteeism on students’ learning thereby making recommendations which will help them as a vital instrument for effective school administration.
- To parents: the study will give them an insight on how and why their wards engage in absenteeism.
- The study will also be of immense value to graduate and undergraduate students who are studying educational administration as it will give them an insight on how to handle to handle absentees students.
- To counselors: the study will help them in discovery of the fundamental aspects of absenteeism that is mostly found among students thereby helping them in providing proper guidance and counseling to the students.
- To teachers: the study will help them in evaluating themselves and making necessary modifications with regards to their relationships with their students.
- To students: the study will help them understand the effect of their absent behaviours on their academic achievement thereby helping them in adjusting or amending their ways.
- The study will serve as a source of data for future researchers on related topics.