Myriads Of Insecurity And Influence On Students’ Academic Performance In Senior Secondary Schools
This study was examined the myriads of insecurity and influence on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Amac FCT, Abuja. A total of 1000 made up of 500 each of male and female students responded to a self-structured validated questionnaire designed for the study. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Means and standard deviations were calculated to answer the research questions and independent samples t-tests were used for testing the hypotheses. Major findings revealed that insecurity of school environment significantly affects the academic performance of secondary school students while students’ gangsterism, smoking of Indian hemp, abusing other hard drugs, cult and related violent activities were some of the factors that constituted insecurity of the school environment which eventually cause boys to leave school and join trading while leading girls to drop out and settle for marriage. Based on the findings, it was recommended that owners of schools and other stakeholders in education should take bold steps to fence and protect school environments from intruders to ensure safety of the students.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education goes beyond literacy alone because for an individual, education means the provision of opportunity for him to realize his potentials, goals, and abilities in life. Education includes the acquisition of functional skills, moral identity, and ambition to succeed in life and thereby improve the society. Eunice and Zita, (2013), see education as having two ideas implicit in the world. One is that leading out into new knowledge and experience, the other is that of feeding and thereby growing and developing.
Education is the fulcrum that propels meaningful development to any nation. There is no nation that can achieve any development when the type of education given to the people at all levels especially at the higher level is that which makes the individual become a nuisance not only to himself but also to the society. This is because education is seen as the key factor for national development and empowering the citizens to master their environment in order to compete for survival, (Mbachu, 2013). Mbachu (2013) agrees that education has to be a powerful instrument and of good quality to enable the recipient grow into a functional member of his family and of his nation. It is obvious that several third world countries are enmeshed in poverty, disease infestation, unemployment, and harsh economic conditions.
The importance of education has been adequately discussed in many fora and in different literature (Nwanne-Nzewunwa, 2009; Ojukwu and Nwanma, 2015 and Ojukwu and Onuoha, 2016; Ossat, 2012). It is in realization of the importance of education of the child that the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its 1999 constitution made a declaration of the right of every Nigerian child to education, irrespective of gender, tribe, religion or race. It makes sense to state that the lofty vision of education as enunciated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would be realized in a serene and conducive school environment. According to Lehr (2004), the noble goals of education can never be achieved in a vacuum. They would be achieved in a conducive and peaceful school environment. If there is a feeling of insecurity within and outside the school environment, both students and teachers are likely to be deterred and this may inhibit academic performance of the students.
Matters of insecurity are topical issues in today’s Nigeria education. Insecurity in tertiary institutions is a social problem that cannot be over-emphasized because of its far-reaching implications and dire consequences on education, the economy and society in general. It is an issue that should be seriously tackled as Nigerians endeavour to forge a strong, just, democratic and egalitarian society. Although the issue of insecurity has attracted much public interest over the years, interest in solving the insecurity equation appears to be waning and even when the issue is addressed, little emphasis seems to be paid on the gory socio-economic, political and spiritual implications. (Blomberg, Hess and Orphanides (2004).
Insecurity according to Abubakar, 2004; Ezeoha, 2011 Akinola, 2006; Ndoma-Egba, 2014) is a major challenge confronting humanity today. Challenges of insecurity are so pervasive that it dominates the news items in every mass communication media throughout the world. For instance, the whole of the Arab world has known no peace since the Al-Qaida group led by Osama Bin Ladin bombed the United States of America’s World Trade Centre on the 11th of September 2001, wars and threats of wars are common features in most of the developing nations of the world. The pervading threats of wars are not limited to international level but also manifests in various forms of intra-national wars.
Although insecurity has manifested in Nigeria since the colonial era, reaching a very high pitch during the nation’s civil war between 1967 and 1970, the level of insecurity being experienced in the country since 1999 is not only unprecedented in the history of the nation, but takes diverse forms. For example, in Southwestern Nigeria, insecurity manifests in form of armed robbery, kidnapping for rituals, communal clashes and armed struggles between members of the National Union of Road Transports Workers (NURTW). In the South-south and Southeast regions, insecurity manifests in form of oil bunkering, pipe-line vandalization, kidnapping for ransom, communal clashes and armed struggles for political independence (via Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra [MASSOB]). Insecurity in the three northern regions of the country manifests mostly in form of ethno-religious clashes, the most prominent of which is the activities of a religious fundamentalist group generally known as ‘Boko Haram’ (Western Education is forbidden).
The concept of insecurity connotes the state or quality of being insecure. Security in simple terms means protection of lives and properties from destruction. According to Onifode, Imhonopl and Uorim (2013) security is the dynamic condition which involves the relative ability of a state to counter threats to its core values and interest and their primary beneficiaries are the citizens. In addition, sharing the view Abraham Maslow, Onifode, Imhonopl and Uorim (2013) stated that an insecure person perceives the world as a life-threatening jungle, feels unsafe, unhappy, rejected, hostile, and pessimistic, shows a sign of tension, conflict and guilt, and tends to be neurotic and generally egocentric. It therefore seems that when a student studies in an environment that is characterized by insecurity, the student may suffer socially, mentally and emotionally and it makes sense hypothetically to state that all these are likely to affect not only his behavior and psychosocial adjustment but may also affect his academic performance.
According to Ojukwu and Nwanma (2015), insecure school environment, including the dilapidated conditions and teachers’ negative attitude to condone and accept the emotional needs of students, which will lead to undue influences and clashes of a local community interfering with school business. Also, they stated that in insecure school environments the psychological problems of the students are never met or carelessly handled, there are always segregations in the school community along religions, tribal and sectarian lines as students may ignore teachers’ directives and may also challenge the teachers on certain concepts and school properties may likely be deliberately damaged by the students to show their disapproval of managements decisions (Ojukwu and Nwanma, 2015).
Academic performance entails that students are required to maintain a satisfactory academic record and meet the obligations of the courses they are enrolled (Ojukwu, and Nwanma 2015). Academic performance is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student achieved the educational goals. Put in another way, good academic performance is the personal comportment and commitment of the student to actualize his/her academic purposes which may include concentrating on one’s studies, having confidence to success oriented academic activities in school and so in other to maximally actualize his life career or dream (Olofintoye, 2005).
Good or bad academic performance can make or mar the goals of a student’s life as well as the national goals and development. A good academic performance would bring about the motivation and enthusiasm the student needs to attain a high academic standing when compared with his/her mates. It brings about resilience and makes the student success-oriented (Morgan, 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Recently major stakeholders in Education such as government, industries, communities, parents, schools even students and many others have been lamenting over the poor quality of Nigerian students in both learning and character suggesting a poor academic performance. Researchers and authors have speculated reasons for the failure on the part of the Nigerian students in secondary schools including those in Amac FCT, Abuja to acquire the necessary social, psychological and academic skills to cope with demands of life and living in and outside the school. Their findings and suggestions tend to point at those issues which tend to waste students’ time and then have false notions about true life situations. Others have focused on teaching and learning materials as well as students themselves. An area that seems to have been neglected by past researchers is the influence insecurity of school environment will have on the academic performance of the secondary school students. Educators have long emphasized that many students perform poorly in their academic work not because they do not possess the mental ability to do well. An area that seems to have been neglected by researchers is the issue of insecurity of the school environment and the influence it could have on the academic performance of the secondary school students.
According to Ojukwu and Nwanma (2015), since the inception of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, insecurity has become a major issue of concern to every citizen. On a daily basis the media has continued to highlight and discuss incessant cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, bombings, abductions, rape, cultic activities and a high rise in ethnic and communal clashes, which have become regular occurrences and have characterized life in Nigeria (Nwangwa, 2014). Media report are awash with the number of lives lost as a result of terrorist, insurgent and other attacks that seem to be alarming. As if some places in the country can be walled off from the negative impact of violence, our academic (schools) institutions have also become hot spots where cases of insecurity are recorded (Ojukwu & Nwanma, 2015). The main interest, motivation and problem of this study therefor is to investigate the influence of the insecurity of the school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Amac FCT, Abuja.
Considerable attempts may have been made at researching on some variables or factors affecting students’ academic performance but little or none has focused on the myriads of insecurity and influence on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Amac FCT, Abuja. Also, given the wide-ranging influences of students’ poor academic performance and its concomitant social and destructive emotional influences on the students, parents, society and the nation It is appropriate and should be a welcome development to investigate the influence of insecurity of the school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students with the view of proffering solutions for a better performance by students.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study was to examine the myriads of insecurity and influence on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Amac FCT, Abuja.
The specific objectives of the study were to:
- Determine the factors that constitute insecurity of the school environment that may influence academic performance.
- Determine the influence of insecurity of the school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Amac FCT, Abuja.
- Determine the statistical significance of the difference between the environment of insecurity of public and private secondary schools in Amac FCT, Abuja.
- Investigate the statistical significance of the difference between male and female students’ academic performance due to insecurity of the school environment in Amac FCT, Abuja.
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions were raised to guide the study.
- What are the factors that constitute insecurity of the school environment t in Amac FCT, Abuja?
- What influence does school environment have on academic performance of secondary school students in Amac FCT, Abuja?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
Insecurity of school environment does not significantly affect the academic performance of secondary school students in Amac FCT, Abuja.
- Ho1: There is no significant difference in the insecurity of the school environment between secondary schools in public and private areas in Amac FCT, Abuja.
- Ho2: There is no significant difference between male and female students’ academic performance due to the insecurity of school environment in Amac FCT, Abuja.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Considerable attempts may have been made at researching on some variables or factors affecting students’ academic performance but little or none has focused on the influence of insecurity on the academic performance of secondary school students. Also, given the wide-ranginginfluences of students’ poor academic performance and its concomitant social and destructive emotional influences on the students, parents, society and the nation It is appropriate and should be a welcome development to investigate the influence of insecurity of the school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students with the view of proffering solutions for a better performance by students.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was carried out on the myriads of insecurity and influence on students’ academic performance. The study focused on the senior secondary schools in Amac FCT, Abuja.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
A study of this nature would not be complete without discussing some of the problems encountered by the researcher. The various problems that limit the outcome of this research work are therefore discussed below;
This research depends mainly on the responds of the students and teacher/counselors. The time set aside for this study was too short; as a result, the researcher had no opportunity to make all intensive and extensive study on the topic.
Again, there was period of long holiday for teachers and students in the local government area used as a case study of this research work.
Finally, teachers, students and counselors could not return all the questionnaires distributed to the researcher.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In conclusion, the results from this study have extended and called for more research regarding insecurity and the school environment vis-a-vis students’ academic performance. Students’ poor academic performance has for some time been attributed to factors such as teacher’s ineffectiveness, poor intelligent quotient of the students, and poor mental alertness of the students among others with less or no reference to the influence of insecurity of the school environment and its related factors. However, in the global search for the poor academic performance of Nigerian secondary school students, educators and psychologists have realized that many students perform poorly in their academic work not because they do not possess the mental ability to do well but because they have been affected by other factors. Hence, this study investigated the influence of insecurity of school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Amac FCT, Abuja.
Major findings showed that insecurity of the school environment significantly affects the academic performance of secondary school students while smoking of Indian hemp, hard drugs, student’s, cult, violent activities, kidnapping, armed robbery, parents confrontation of teachers, sexual harassment, rape, using of guns and bullying of junior by senior students among others are major factors that constitute insecurity of the school environment. As a result of the insecurity of the school environment, students become afraid of school as they feel insecure and hence they skip school, miss lessons which eventually affect them during examinations. Besides, they lose interest in school and academic activities which eventually lead to truancy and boys leaving school to take up trading while girl’s dropout and settle for marriage. It was also revealed that there is a significant difference in insecurity of the school environment between schools located in private and public areas while insecurity of the school environment has significant influence on the academic performance of male and female students.
Based on the findings of this study, efforts should be made by owners of schools as well as stake holders in education to ensure that school environments are fenced and protected to ward off intruders from the school premises so that students can have a sense of security which will allow them to concentrate and improve on their academic performance.
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