EFFECTS OF BROKEN HOMES ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS (A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SCHOOLS IN ABEOKUTA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE).
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education has been viewed by scholars based on their perceptions of what education is about. Castle (1995) sees education as what happened to us from the day we were born to the day we die. Nwachi (2000) defines education as a weapon for combating ignorance, poverty, and disease, as a bridge between confusion and comprehension, like a dam for conserving man’s store of civilization and for generating the power to move to greater civilization, as a means for transporting man from a state of intellectual subservience to a state of intellectual sovereignty. In a nutshell, education is the all-around development of an individual, intellectually, morally, and mentally, so that he will be useful to himself and the society to which he belongs.
It is assumed that broken homes retard the progress of those children from such background in that both parents are not on the ground to direct and guide the child towards the achievement of educational goals. It is agreeable or believed that children from broken homes are more likely prone to poor academic performance. A child may become a victim of a broken home as a result of divorce or separation of the parents. When this happens, this child is entrusted to other people that are different from his parents. This person is expected to play the role of surrogate parents despite his/her commitment to his/her own children without any empirical evidence, it is very clear that nobody will treat a child who is entrusted to his care the way he/she will treat his/her own child. By this token, the child is always confused and frustrated under the leadership style of step-father or stepmother. The frustration of such a child knows no bound. At home under surrogate parents he is discriminated against and suffers some psychological deprivations, he carried the same emotional frustration to the school. Instead of listening to the teacher and taking down notes, he is more often occupied with the intimidation, discrimination, and deprivation he/she is facing at home. As such, he has little or no interest in the learning materials, as classes are ought to be attended and comprehensible in the course of the subject taught and presented at school.
Apart from frustration, discouragement, and deprivations, the child may also be malnourished and segregated by the surrogate parent (i.e. mother) who feel that she is wasting the family resources in the child she did not give birth to; the child may lack the necessary school materials and in most cases, may grudgingly allow the child to be attending school while that child may not be given the necessary things that are vital for acquisition of knowledge since he knows that, He will be punished by the teacher for lack of learning materials, hence, the child may resort to playing truancy.
Since parenthood has been found to adversely affect the learning situation of a human being particularly the children, that is to say, children who are reared in homes where parents are separated or divorced are most likely to be faced with sleep disturbance in class while learning become irritable, fearful, aggressive and withdrawn (Cole and Cole 1993, Van der Zanden 1980). Studies further confirm that children in the one-parent household not only do or perform poorly in school because they tend to lack self-control but also become disruptive in the classrooms, instead of paying attention to what is being taught in class, they are busy disturbing others who are ready to learn. In addition, it is also reported that two years immediately after a mother’s marriage breaks up, the mother exercises less control over her children than she did before (Hetherington, Cox and Cos, 1982).
The problems children from broken homes are facing with the resultant failure in school is a serious affair that calls for the attention of all and sundry including the government.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The family has an enormous amount of influence on the education of the child both directly and indirectly. In the preschool or formative years of the child, the home transmits culture and knowledge to the child correcting him where he goes wrong and directing him in other various aspects of his life in society.
However, broken homes are very common ranging. From voluntary separation, desertion, ejection, divorce, etc. the problem, therefore, is that broken homes have really caused a setback in the education of the children born into these families, thereby affecting the academic performance of these students.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study is to examine the problems associated with broken homes and how it affects the education of children from such homes, it is hoped and believed that this study will enlighten teachers of the problems children from broken homes have to contend with, with a view to helping them adjust properly to the learning situation.
The study is equally aimed at highlighting the unstable homes and their adverse effect on the education of children from such homes and to intimates parents with the problems associated with broken homes in order to minimize separation and divorces.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
i. To what extent does a broken home affect the academic achievement of students?
ii. How does maltreatment from step-parents contribute to the students’ academic performance in school?
iii. What are the significant differences in the average academic performance of students from broken homes and students from unbroken homes?
iv. What are the problems associated with broken homes?
v. How can these problems be minimized?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Due to financial and time constraints the study is limited to selected schools in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun state, the study is also limited to material resources available to the researcher during the course of the study.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that the research work would serve as a reference to those who may carry out similar research in the future. The rate of marriage failure is on the increase in our modern society. As the saying goes “when two elephants fight on the grass, it is the grass that suffers? What becomes of children born to such a family is nobody’s concern. It is therefore pertinent that a timely study is carried out in order to give useful suggestions and recommendation to teachers on how to help such unfortunate children to learn properly in school so that they can come out with a good academic performance in school for themselves and be useful to the society as well.
As a matter of fact, institution s like UNICEF, Ford Foundation, and others have shown genuine interest and concern for Western Children in similar conditions like those in Africa. The impact of these aforementioned organizations has not been felt in most parts of Nigeria as a nation. It is, therefore, necessary that a radically guided research of this nature be carried out in this part of the world.
This dearth of search is also rational for this study in order to expose the problems of broken homes and a resultant consequence of the education of children from such homes. It will help in finding solutions to problems identified.
Lastly, it will expose teachers to the problems discussed and their effects on education, with a view to working out the modality of helping students from such backgrounds to learn better.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Marriage: it is the legal relationship between a husband and wife
Home: the house or apartment that one lives in, especially with your family
Learning: a relatively pertinent to a permanent change in the behavior of an individual as result the learning.
Performance: This is the ability to successfully carry out a given task following instructions.
Standard: This concept is used in the research to mean the expected level of quality or a specified level of academic excellence and its attainment in the system..