The major aim of this study was to investigate the Impact Of Insecurity On Academic Performances Of Secondary School Students In Benue State, Nigeria. 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. Four 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.
Insecurity in schools has been studied in diverse ways in the literature. For instance, in most sub-Saharan African countries, insecurity in schools has been studied at the state level, especially where the state uses its repressive mechanisms to quell student rioters and put student leaders in prison under torture (O’Malley 2007). On the other hand, in Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Palestine, focus has been on attacks on educators as well as how wars can stop children from getting an education (O’Malley 2007). For example in countries like Afghanistan and Palestine, statistics have recounted numbers of teachers killed as a result of violent conflict and abductions (Human Rights Watch 2006). In North America and Europe, the interest in schools and insecurity has mostly been directed at war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Iraq. In these countries, O’Malley writes, “schools, places that should be safe for children, have increasingly become the prime target of attacks by armed parties” (2007, 7).
Insecurity has been identified as being an anathema to education patronage and development. (Hausler, Urban & McCorquodale, 2011; The World Bank, 2011; Abdulrasheed, Onuselogu & Obioma, 2015) as neighbourhood become insecure (Abdulrasheed, Onuselogu & Obioma, 2015); and schools and colleges are looted, destroyed and abandoned, teachers assassinated, scholars threatened, and students recruited as child soldiers (Hausler, Urban & McCorquodale, 2012; Jones & Naylon, 2014).
The 2011 World Bank Development Report found that people in fragile and conflict-affected states are more than three times as likely to be unable to send their children to school as those in other developing countries. Access to education has been identified as the panacea to the ‘persistent challenges of insecurity facing Nigeria’ (Ndoma-Egba, 2014). In the same vein, falling education coupled with illiteracy have been identified as the main cause of insecurity in the northeastern part of Nigeria (Asaolu, 2012; 2015, Murray-Bruce, 2013). Although Nigeria has the world’s worst record of having some 10 million children out of school, with nine out of these ten millions coming from the North (Nyesom Wike quoted in Naij.com, 2015), data on prevailing literacy level in Northeastern Nigeria suggest that basic education has been experiencing serious problems in the region before the insurgences. For instance, basic education in Borno State were shown to had shortage of classes for teaching and learning, shortage of instructional materials and teachers (NUT, 2007); teachers’ salaries were not paid, leading to frequent strike by basic school teachers (NUT, 2008). As at 2013, Yobe and Borno have the highest illiteracy levels in the country. A whopping 83.3% of boys over 6 and adult men in Yobe state have no formal Western education. The figure for Borno which is number two on the list is 63.6%.
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, Iyenger (1977) 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 & Nwanma, 2015).
Also Ojukwu and Nwanma (2015) reported that in a school environment characterized by insecurity, lateness is the norm in school and students are allowed to freely use handsets and phones. Annually, the external results of the school are always bad as a result of poor teaching climate of the school as having been shown by 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 WAEC results cited above. Other instances of insecurity of the school environment include that sometimes female staff and students complain of being raped or impregnated leading to school dropout (Ojukwu & Nwanma, 2015). Also, parents complain that their children are bullied and injured and the classrooms are overcrowded, poorly ventilated and lit (Ghazi, Shahzada, Tariq & Khan, 2013). The above painted school environment may most likely affect students’ academic performance.
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 Benue state 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 effect 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 effect 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 insecurity, 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 effect of the insecurity of the school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Benue state
Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were to:
1. Determine the factors that constitute insecurity of the school environment that may influence academic performance.
2. Determine the effect of insecurity on the academic performance of secondary school students in Benue state.
3. Determine the statistical significance of the difference between the environment of insecurity of rural and urban secondary schools in Benue state.
4. Investigate the statistical significance of the difference between male and female students academic performance due to insecurity of the school environment in Benue state.
The following research questions were raised to guide the study.
1. What are the factors that constitute insecurity of the school environment t in Benue state?
2. What effect does school environment have on academic performance of secondary school students in Benue state?
3. what are Determine the statistical significance of the difference between the environment of insecurity of rural and urban secondary schools in Benue state?.
4. What are the statistical significance of the difference between male and female students academic performance due to insecurity of the school environment in Benue state?
Insecurity of does not significantly affect the academic performance of secondary school students in Benue state.
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the insecurity of the school environment between secondary schools in rural and urban areas in Benue state.
Ho2: There is no significant difference between male and female students’ academic performance due to the insecurity of school environment in Benue state.
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 effect of insecurity on the academic performance of secondary school students. Also, given the wide ranging effects of students’ poor academic performance and its concomitant social and destructive emotional effects on the students, parents, society and the nation It is appropriate and should be a welcome development to investigate the effect 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.
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