THE CAUSES AND EFFECT OF HIGH RATE OF SCHOOL FEES ON THE EDUCATION OF POOR STUDENTS (A CASE STUDY OF ZARIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE)
1.1 Background to the Study
In developing country contexts research shows that students from poorer backgrounds are disadvantaged concerning their development, learning and attaining potential (Bradley and Corwyn, 2002, Kamper and Mampuru, 2007, Kamper, 2008, Powers, 1996, Zorn and Noga, 2004). Kay (2000) suggests that ‘students are simply much more likely to achieve success if they come from a certain type of family’ (p. 151).
There seem to be three main reasons provided for this assumption. First, that poor parents have a limited amount of time to spend with their students, partly due to the lack of financial resources and the need to deal with day-to-day basic survival issues (Bradley, Rock, Caldwell, Harris, & Hamrick, 1987; Coleman, 1969; Gottfried, Gottfried, Bathurst, & Guerin, 1994; Murphy, 1986; Robinson, Lanzi, Weinberg, Ramey, & Ramey, 2002; Rosenbaum, Kuliek, &Rubinowitz, 1987; Sampson, 2002). This lack of time heightened by the inability of poor parents to provide support owing to their own levels of attainment hampers nurturing from within families. Indeed this is found to be the case around the growth of reading trajectories in a longitudinal study in the US carried out with young students from kindergarten to 3rd grade (Aikens&Barbarin, 2008). Second,
poverty impacts negatively on students’s motivation. A study from Zimbabwe with students from poor families aged 9–12 years shows that personal beliefs about capabilities influences their motivation and learning (Gwirayi&Shumba, 2007).
Student’s personal beliefs about their own capacity and self-esteem have been shown to impact greatly on motivation and hence learning in school. Studies from South African townships with undergraduates show correlations between hope and motivation (Maree, Maree, & Collins, 2008). Poverty cultivates inequalities in aspirations with higher proportions of poor students believing they are unable to achieve academic excellence due financial problems. A study from nine provinces in South Africa with 4409 young people between the ages of 12 to 22 years, shows that marginalized groups lack confidence in their futures being unable to achieve the objectives and goals they set themselves (Leoschut, 2009). In some poor context girls rate themselves more motivated than boys possibly owing to the need to assert their position in a traditionally male dominated society (Furnham&Akande, 2004).
Third the attitudes of the schooling community (at both primary and secondary levels) towards students living in poverty where schoolteachers have become de motivated, are typically absent and have removed themselves from their educationalist roles and responsibilities, allows students to be left in teacher-less classrooms to idle the day away without learning (Chireshe&Shumba, 2011; Dixon, Humble., &Counihan, 2015; Dixon, 2012, Frasier, 1987, Humble, 2015, Iyer and Nayak, 2009; Kremer, Muralidharan, Chaudhury, Hammer, &Halsey Rogers, 2006; Tooley, 2009). Poverty then impacts on effect of high rate of school fees to the education of poor students, students’s motivation and learning in school. The consequences therefore are of disadvantage. According to Bloom (1985) there is:
‘strong evidence that no matter what the initial characteristics (or gifts) of the individuals, unless there is a long and intensive process of encouragement, nurturance, education and training, the individuals will not attain extreme levels of capability’ (Bloom, 1985; p. 3).
The beliefs of teachers, families and students themselves around capabilities and ability are far reaching. There are a number of studies that show students throughout the age range (4–18 years) from poor backgrounds are greatly underrepresented when it comes to extra curricula or enrichment programmes (Bernal, 2002; Lee, Matthews, &Olszewski-Kubilius, 2008; Worrell, 2007, Wyner et al., 2007). Teacher nomination tends to focus on students who are good readers with good comprehension skills, memory and advanced vocabulary. Students from illiterate homes are thus disadvantaged (Hernández-Torrano, Prieto, Ferrándiz, Bermejo, &Sáinz, 2013; Hodge & Kemp, 2006; Siegle, Moore, Mann, & Wilson, 2010). Card and Giuliano (2013) state that when the identification process for potential giftedness within the elementary school system in the US changed to a universal screening programme the impact on racial equity was large. 130 per cent and 80 per cent more Hispanic and Black students respectively were entering gifted programmes in the third grade. According to Card and Giuliano their ‘study suggests that there is a lot of talent out there that people are missing’ (2013, p. 23).
Poor students encountered lack of nurturing at school, and also the parent cannot afford their schools especially in private school where the qualified teachers and the teachers ready to teach the student unlike Government schools. And the inability of illiterate parents to support their child, underachievement (failure to develop or utilse latent potential) may ensue. That is students will fail to self actualize (Reis &McCoach, 2000). This can translate into poor student encountered many problems of school fess (UNESCO, 2011). UNESCO (2011) state that in Tanzania graduation is low and examination pass rates are dropping at both the primary and O-Level standards. According to BEST.1 (Basic Education Statistics Tanzania) around 60 per cent of students made the transition from primary to secondary education passing the Primary School Leaving Exam. However, only 23 per cent complete the last grade of the secondary school cycle.
Where teachers support students within their classroom environment it has been shown that this can lead to improved academic and social outcomes for the child including poverty, fertility and maternal and child health. This in turn leads to better consequences around employment and achievement potential (Baker, Grant, &Morlock, 2008; O’Connor, Dearing, & Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstrong, & Essex, 2005).
When activities and opportunities arrive within schools and peers are involved in the nomination process these are often associated with mutual beneficial goals and friendship links (Heyman&Dweck, 1998). However, peer and teacher nominations do show statistically significant correlation suggesting students and teachers alike have preconceived ideas and belief structures around capabilities and ability (Blackshear, 1979, Kaya, 2013).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The focus of this study is the causes and effect of high rate of school fees to the education of poor students in private secondary school in Kaduna state (a case study of some selected secondary schools in Zaria). It is really lamentable to see a country that was given the title the “giant of Africa” becoming an “ant of Africa”. Besides, it is sorrowful to see a country such as Nigeria with abundant natural resources and copious human capital, but with 70 percent of its people living below the Ismail Hussein Amzataa Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Management, Planning & Policy, University of Malaya, Malaysia. A Corresponding author:
Poverty line and surviving on less than $1 a day. Poverty has ripped the process of education apart and deprived people from getting proper access to education. Poverty has become the ‘boss’ with the help of corruption determining who should go to school and who should not. Poverty determines students’s faith. Huge numbers of boys are dropping out of school, loaded with evil intention and sophisticated weapons--declaring a war of robbery while girls fail to complete their studies and end up with early pregnancy. Some of them are so victimized by poverty that they have to sell their bodies on campus as a mean of survival. The impact of poverty on education is of great significance and it is tormenting to see students struggling and battling the hardship to study without any support from the government or their parents. It is depressing to see our graduates unemployed after all the hardships of studies and poverty. This has led to the development greater population of poor people in the country. The Nigerian government has turned a deaf ear to the people’s agony and blinded their eyes to the flood of poverty eroding our integrity and existence. Some programmes were launched which were supposed to alleviate poverty in the country but the efforts were in vain due to self-interest and corruption. The Nigerian government has failed to realize perhaps realized but ignored the power of education on country development and providing an excellent human capital for the society. It is high time that the Nigerian government took onboard” the importance of education since it has been accepted worldwide that education plays a huge role in a country’s development and economy. The Nigerian government should rid their bodies of the virus of corruption and download the latest software of development and anti-poverty programmes to combat the poverty to allow every citizen to have access to education. The Nigerian government has failed to provide a good infrastructure, there is a lack of teaching and learning material while you could see some lecturers at the universities continue using their 10 year-old teaching materials while 10-20 year-old equipment/instruments still survive in our lab.
1.3 Objectives of theStudy
⦁ To explore the causes of high rate of school fees to the education of poor students in private school
⦁ To identify the effect of high rate of school fees to the education of poor student
⦁ To investigate how education process and accessibility could alleviate in the education of poor students in private school
1.4 Scope of the Study
This study is a quantitative survey that will cover five secondary schools selected in Zaria Local government area of Kaduna state. Students shall be used as subjects to get information on the teaching and learning in private schools through a self-report instrument (questionnaire).
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research will be of help to policy makers in education, in review of curriculum development and implementation, proper repositioning of private school directors, training program and also be of help to government of Kaduna state as it will expose areas where the poor parent need to put assistant from the government by providing jobs opportunity for both educated and non education and also to provide qualified and adequate teachers in the government school so that their students will not go to private school but they will receive the same things. It will further help government in employing better techniques and methods of teaching to the best understanding of the students in government school. In addition, the findings of this research will help to go to school although their parent are poor.
More so, the study will facilitate teaching and learning in schoolsdetermines means to provide for individual differences devising plans to stimulate and improve teaching methods and procedures in government from where many people are escaping.
1.6 Definition of Terms
⦁ Causes: a reason for an action or condition.Something that brings about an effect or a result.
⦁ Effect: Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result: The government's action had little effect on the tradeimbalance.
⦁ High rate of school fee: A student fee is a fee charged to students at a school, college, university or other place of learning that is in addition to any matriculation and/or tuition fees.
⦁ Education: Education is the process of teaching, training and learning knowledge and skills, which a child develop mentally, physically, emotionally and morally to be able to live happier in life.
⦁ Students: A student is primarily a person enrolled in a ⦁ school or other ⦁ educational institution who attends classes in a course to attain the appropriate level of mastery of a subject under the guidance of an instructor and who devotes time outside class to do whatever activities the instructor assigns that are necessary either for class preparation or to submit evidence of progress towards that mastery.
⦁ Private school:Private schools, also known to many as ⦁ independent schools, ⦁ non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, are not administered by local, state or national ⦁ governments. Students who attend private schools may be there because of wealth of their parents, and may be selected for their academic prowess, or prowess in other fields, or sometimes their religious background.
1.7 Research Question
1. How does the poverty affect education of poor students?
2. What are the programmes that should beintroduced; suggestions and solutions in alleviating poverty to the education of poor students?
3. How can these suggestions and programmesrevamp the process of education in Nigeria?.