Compulsory School Attendance in Nigeria: What are the Reasons for Wastage amongst Pupils?
The study investigated reasons for wastage amongst primary and secondary school pupils in Nigeria, where free and compulsory school attendance policy is implemented. Five questions (four (4) answered and one (1) hypothesized) were raised to direct the thrust of study whose population comprised all the students in 1,831 schools (1516 primary schools and 315 junior secondary schools) in Edo State. Edo State was used as a case study because it is a typical microcosm of Nigeria. Collection of data for the study was done with a questionnaire named “School Children Reasons for Constituting Wastage to Schools Questionnaire, REDROQUE” administered on all the school pupils that constituted the study sample. Administration of the questionnaire lasted for thirteen (13) weeks (the entire first term of 2005/2006 school year) after which 27,054 pupils' responses (or 91.07 percent) out of 29,707 were found useable for analysis. The results of analysis show that the problems of inadequate teachers; teachers' poor attitude to work; poverty; bullying unstable school calendar; poor supervision of teaching and learning including parents' wish are the significant reasons for wastage. The findings revealed further that male, old, poor and urban - resident pupils rate the reasons for wastage significantly higher than other categories of pupils. Based on the findings, it was concluded that the problems of unstable school calendar; poor supervision of teaching and learning; inadequate teachers and facilities make the enforcement of free and compulsory school attendance policy in Nigeria to be impossible. It was therefore recommended among others that adequate teachers and learning facilities be provided in schools. Scholarships and bursary awards should also be provided to identify indigent students to mitigate their private cost of schooling.
LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research Vol. 5 2008: pp. 1-13