1.1 Background of the Study
In recent times, education has been recognized globally as one of the universal ways of survival and improvement of the well-being of individuals and society. The advent of formal education is considered as the foundation for national development as well as the surest way of making all long life achievements. For these reasons, families and citizens especially the youth and children now pay more attention to education. Consequently no nation, government, organization or family makes effective impact and lasting successes in their daily affairs without having educated citizens, officers, workers who had clearer understanding of their obligations, functions or responsibilities, observe the laws, apply policies and co-operate in its affairs. The 6-3-3-4 System of Education established in 1982 was aimed at providing Universal Basic Education for the citizens in order to breed species of individuals with compassion for our great Nation, having National consciousness with the right attitude to life, properties and values required to move national development to the next level. (Ogbonna, Chinasa, and Onwuchekwa, 2009).
However, the effort invested by the federal government of Nigeria on education had over the years proven a fruitful and promising reward to national development posing a lively hope for the better in the immediate future. It is of no doubt that several factors have posed relentless restriction to the trend of the rapid development in education; for which truancy in both student and teachers in primary and secondary schools has been a cankerworm to education. This has raised several questions to the quality of education and educational administration in Nigerian Secondary Schools. (Huzinga & Thornberry, 2000).
Furthermore, the impact of truancy is very obvious and usually a negative one on Truants’ present and future life in education. Truancy results in loss of intellectual development and lack of improvement of individual. Also, it leads to poor academic performance at the end of the school periods, school terms and school year. Truancy as a threat to academic performances of the student is believed to reduce the quality of education the child receives. It reduces the standard of academic achievement of a child. It leads to the fall of educational standard in schools. It increases the rate of examination malpractices and poor examination results of both internal and external examinations. Truancy is also a factor that contributes to idealness, joblessness, unemployment and underemployment of most adults today, just because they engaged in the act of Truancy during their school days. Nevertheless, the aim of this work is to investigate the actual acts, causes, and the effects of Truancy in Secondary Schools visà-vis its effect on the academic performances of these truants. (Oehme and Franzke, 2002)
Truancy is one of the major antisocial discipline problems among secondary school students in Nigeria. The concept and acts of indiscipline have received a lot of attention by researchers. Peck (2003) opined that the various behavioural disorders like stealing, violence, drug abuse, examination malpractice, sexual abuse and truancy have so undermined effective teaching-learning processes that some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of impacting knowledge to the learners. (Huzinga & Thornberry, 2000).
Statement of the Problem
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. Many of our youths now run away from schools while in many of the cases, the parents believe they are attending school classes. While they are away from school, they exercise freedom in engaging in a lot of juvenile delinquencies like fighting and drug abuse. This situation in our schools is highly worrisome. Truancy is a problem because the absent students cannot benefit from the various programmes that the school offers. Effects of truancy have been reported to include lower academic achievements, delinquent and criminal activities. It has been established that truancy is cog in the wheel of teaching learning.