The standard of education in Nigeria is frequently brought to focus by stake holders in the education industry. This is obviously due to the emphasis placed on education by every nation as a means of economic, social and political development. The purpose of this study was to find out how crime, aggressive behaviour and truancy as determine the academic performance of secondary school students in Ijebu North Local Government area of Ogun state. Therefore, related literature which dealt with variables of the study, were also reviewed as part of this study.
The study employed a descriptive survey. The instruments used for this study were all adopted scales, the instruments were used in this research to measure crime scale, aggressive behaviour scale and truancy scale among students; Using simple random sampling technique, two hundred and fifty (250)questionnaires were distributed to students from ten secondary school in Ijebu North Local Government. The data collected were thus analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and multiple regression analysis at the 0.05 level of significance.
There is no significant relationship between crime and academic performance, there is no significant relationship between aggressive behaviour and academic performance, there is a significant relationship between truancy and academic performance and there is a significant joint contribution among crime, aggressive behavior and truant in predicting academic performance of secondary school students.
It was concluded that it is evident from the findings of this study that exposure of young people to uncensored media contents (aggressive games, internet cultism and gangterism) without parental monitoring predisposes young people to aggressive and truancy behaviours.
The study therefore recommended that Parents should put more effort to ensure that their children are adequately provided for and morally groomed.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The standard of education in Nigeria is frequently brought to focus by stake holders in the education industry. This is obviously due to the emphasis placed on education by every nation as a means of economic, social and political development (Dimkpa, Inegbu & Buloubomere et.al, 2013). The public outcry of the dilapidating scenario arouses researchers’ curiosity to uncover the root cause of the problem. For example, Imogie (2002) expresses great concern as regards the declining quality of education of Nigerian graduates with little technical know-how. This was considered as a serious setback in the industrial development of Nigeria.
The term academic performance has no one acceptable definition based on the broad nature of it. According to Mac-Farlane (2002), poor academic performance is the inability of students to cope with their studies as well as how various tasks assigned to them by their instructors are unaccomplished. He went further to express it as the inability to study and remember facts and to be unable to express such knowledge gained either verbally or in writing. While Aremu (2003) describes poor academic performance as a performance that is adjudged by the examiner as falling below an expected standard, Adesemowo (2005) decries the poor academic performance in specialized basic sciences such as Mathematics and English especially in tertiary institutions.
Considerable research evidence abound, (Bowles, 1974; Odebunmi, 1981; Funkunle, 1983; Onocha & Okpala, 1988, Soyibo, 1986; Odebunmi, 1988; Ajayi, 1988; and Bakare, (1986) to show that poor academic performance at the secondary level of education is a product of the teacher, school and home environment. Tata & Rabiu (2014) posited that it is disheartening to note that the poor performance of students in public examinations in recent times has been explained as a major cause of decline in the general academic performance and standard of education in Nigeria. Abdullahi, (2003), Sa’ad, (2007), Abdulganiyu, (2010) and Usman, (2012) were of the view that provision of enough instructional media/materials, qualified teachers as well as conducive classrooms will assist a lot in improving the performance of secondary school students.
Clemens and Oelke (2007) and Emeke (2004) identified two factors that cause poor academic performance as the combination of personal and institutional factors. Personal factors relate to the individual’s intelligence, knowledge, attitude, behaviour and ability. While institutional factors are family or parental influences, societal influences, institutional influences, and school related factors- student/teacher rapport, teacher related factors, accommodation and living condition. In the same vein, Wiseman (2003), Sogbetan (2001) and Hassan (2003) among others have examined the causes of poor academic performance among secondary school students. Some of the factors identified are intellectual ability, poor study habit, achievement motivation, lack of vocational goals, low self- concept, low socio-economic status of the family, truancy, poor family structure and anxiety. The consequences of these include indiscipline in schools and low level of educational standard. Boroffice (2004) further saying factors such as biological, social, view of self, attitudes, beliefs, sense of his future etc., are some of the factors that predispose adolescents to poor academic performance.The gradual development of these problems till its full manifestation directly affects the emotions of growing children especially young adolescents and can adversely disrupt the level of concentration and learning abilities of these children in school (Yara & Yara, 2010). Morakinyo (2003) believe that the falling level of academic achievement is attributable to teacher’s non-use of verbal reinforcement strategy. The students are also a major cause of the problems attributed to poor academic performance ranging from different factors.
It is worthy note to understand that one of the factor to which the student cause academic failure is aggressive behaviour. Aggressive behaviour is a behaviour directed towards causing harm to others (Fraczek and Zumkley 1992). Dowd, Singer and Wilson (2006) defined aggression as behaviour (verbal or physical) that (a) is intended to harm another individual; (b) is expected by the perpetrator to have some chance of actually harming that individual; and (c) is believed by the perpetrator to be something that the target individual wishes to avoid. Physical aggression is conceived as existing along a severity continuum ranging from mild (e.g., a weak slap) to severe (e.g., shooting); and that violence (or violent behaviour) refers to physical aggression towards the severe end of this continuum (Anderson & Huesmann, 2003). It is a behavioural trait characterised by hostile attack, usually upon someone or something else (Bruno 1992). Aggressive behaviour is a pervasive problem for students. It is at times expressed in the most unlikely places under unexpected and unsettling conditions. It is usually expressed at home, school, in the neighborhood or in the community. In the secondary school system the expression of aggressive behavior is evidenced in the numerous and untold cruelties that some children inflict on their fellow learners (Irozuru & Eno, 2015). Over the years, a lot of blood lettings, massacre, maiming and killings have been observed in secondary schools (Kingsley, 2005). At different-occasions students have been observed damaging school property, harassing their fellow students, threatening teachers who try stop them, especially in cases of examination (Ukoha , 2002). Ukoha (2002) considered the actions explained above as confrontational and distractive. He further stated that, they could hinder individuals in a group from meeting up with the demands of their goals. Again such actions could potentially make the learning environment threatening and unconducive to learning, which, according to Denga & Denga (1998), could limit the learning performance of students. It could be argued that when students perceive threat arising from one form of aggression or the other, they may become destabilized as they would tend to spend the time meant for studying in finding ways to cope with the perceived threats. Clearly, any form of distraction within a learning setting is counter-productive. Nigeria as a nation understands and appreciates the fact that education is a precursor to nation building (National Policy on Education, 2004), and therefore considers education to be a catalyst for all aspects of development. In view of this, and in acknowledgment of the fact that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, a great deal of resources has been directed toward providing education at the secondary school level much as it is done at the primary school levels. But rather than students of secondary schools devoting their times to learning, there is a tendency for many to spend their energy on the perpetuation of violence. Nwokoroku (2001), noted that the nation's institutions of learning have been turned into battle fields by students. She reported that in the campuses, students engage in aggressive acts towards one another and even towards teachers and non-teaching staff. Students have been observed to engage in such acts of aggression as violence, rape, extortion, burglary, killing, maiming and sexual harassment.
Another factor to which the students cause academic failure is truancy. Okwakpam & Okwakpam (2012) defines truancy as the act of deliberately missing one or more classes. According to Rozumah (2003), movement of students from one class to another class provides some of the students the opportunity not to go to the class and these movements from one class to another class make them dare to play truant. Globally, truancy has been regarded as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the educational programmes and has caused a lot of setbacks for secondary school students in their educational pursuits. It has caused serious problems to the smooth running of the school system, the progress of the students and also the overall education programme.
Truancy is the first symptom of one intending to withdraw from school. More often children play truants in order to draw attention to parents and teachers of their wish to withdraw from school. This prompt Hoskins (2014) to believe that Parents’ roles in the family environment have primarily been to prepare children for adulthood through rules and discipline. He went further by positing that during adolescence, the influence of peers serves as an important socialization agent. Despite this new sphere of influence, research has clearly demonstrated that parenting accounts for more variance in externalizing behaviors in adolescence than any other one factor.
Another factor in which the students causes poor academic performance is crime. Crime is an age long problem in the Nigerian secondary school system. Evidence suggests that family environments constitute the basic ecology where children’s behavior is manifested, learned, encouraged, and suppressed. Involvement of adolescents in crime is on the increase in Nigeria. Following the perception of Okorodudu (2010) who believes that the last two decades witnessed crimes ranging from minor stealing to major robbery and killing perpetuated by teens. There has been increasing concern of the Police and the general public on the seriousness of adolescent crime and conduct problems (Wu, Chia, Lee & Lee 1998). Eke, (2004) notes that there are two main categories of delinquent behaviors Nigerian adolescents are engaged in: criminal and status offences. The criminal offences include stealing, arson, rape, drug offences and murder, burglary, pick pocket, and armed robbery. However, she listed status offences to include: running away from home, malingering, truancy etc.
In Nigeria secondary schools, according to Okosun (2010), aggression and truancy are high and have become a source of worry for teachers, parents, school authorities, and society at large, not leaving out criminal behaviour from the list. posited that acts of indiscipline had rendered schools unsafe for normal academic processes.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The consequences of not addressing the problems of students’ academic performance are many. Students by nature do get involved in very many activities outside their studies. When students lose interest in their studies, high rate of failure is inevitable. They may engage in very many unlawful acts like cultism, robbery, prostitution, unhealthy behaviour and tyranny, among other vices.When failure becomes persistent, students may withdraw from school (Adeyemi & Adeyemi, 2014). Research finding has shown that low academic achievement could lead to joblessness after the student has graduated. Hence, the students may find it hard to compete with colleagues who have good grades.
Truancy,crime and aggressive behaviour could be regarded as an educational, social and law enforcement problem. Truancy among students jeopardizes their chances of achieving any educational goals (Siziya, Tuula & Rudatsikira, 2007).The school has been established as the agent of the society to mould the habits, interest, attitudes and feelings of children and transmit the societal norms, culture, values and traditions from one generation to another. Despite this, some students still do not attend school classes. Fear of youth deviant behavior and unhealthy behaviour is a constant concern for millions of people all over the World. Youth violence/crime is a phenomenon in all countries, and increase in youth deviant behavior have been of considerable concern over the past twenty years all over the world (Wiarimu, 2013). Many of our students now run engage in different kinds of activities that could cause more havoc to their academic performance. The problem of crime, unhealthy behaviour and truancy in our schools is not a thing to be overlooked else it will become more worrisome what it has been in the past. It is evident that secondary school learners' behaviour stems from different factors. It is necessary to undertake an investigation in order to gain more information and clarity on the aspects related to crime, aggressive behaviour and truancy among secondary school students using Ijebu North Local Government as a case study.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following are the research questions formulated to guide this study;
1. Is there a significant relationship between crime and academic performance of students?
2. Is there a significant relationship between aggressive behaviour and academic performance of students?
3. Is there a significant relationship between truancy and academic performance of students?
4. Is there a significant joint contribution among crime, aggressive behavior and truant in predicting academic performance of secondary school students?.