GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING SERVICES AS A PANACEA TO THE MENACE OF STREET TRADING BY JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING SERVICES AS A PANACEA TO THE MENACE OF STREET TRADING BY JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Children are regarded as an important element of development. Therefore, their welfare in society is an index of social and economic development of that society. As such, child welfare is included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, 2015). Involving children in trading goods in the street is an emerging trend in Nigeria and an issue of concern. This trend is refer to as; child street trading (Ashimolowo, 2010), child trading (Mathias & Dada, 2013), juvenile street trading (Udoh& Joseph, 2012) and child street vendor (Ugochukwu & Edokwe, 2014). Children are refered to adult in trading goods because; they are less criminal and a cheap labour to the employer (Aluede&Arhedo, 2011; Anumaka, 2012).This led to increase in the number of children who roam the street daily trading goods while those of their age are in school. Studies identified the age bracket of these children to fall between 10 and 19 years. (Ashimolowo, 2010; Michiel, &Awa, 2012; Ugochukwu, 2014). Most of this children hawk before going to school in morning and continue after until late night. Street trading has left many children out of school as they drop out, withdrawn by their parent or not enroll. School age children estimated to be 10.5 million are out of school in Nigeria (The Guardian, 2013). Though, this is not surprising, giving thatmajority of the population are living below the poverty line couple with the factthese children are being engaged in income generating activities to contribute to the sustenance of the family, however, it is embarrassing to a country with abundant natural resources like Nigeria. Until this is addressed, achieving education millennium development goal remains an illusion.Children are referred to all individuals who are under eighteen (18) years of age. Anyakaoha (2012) and Shailong and Igbo (2013) defined children as all human beings under the age of 18 years. Chigbu and Souzey (2014), observed that’s the declaration signed by heads of state at the world submit for children in 1990 described a child as any person under the age of eighteen. Children they say is the future of any nation, therefore there is the need to take appropriate of children. Recently, children all over the world are receiving special focus on the improvement of their welfare by UNICEF. The federal and state governments have created ministry of women affairs to make policies that will the welfare of children in Nigeria. In spite of all efforts, most families are increasingly not showing any encouraging attitude in the area of proper upbringing ofchildren. Children are seen trading in major streets, highways buses and from houses to houses in order to contribute own up-keep and that of their families. Street tradingis one of the commonest forms of child labor in Nigeria and deed sub Saharan Africa, child trading involves the selling of things along and from one place to the other by children below 18 years.

Children who engage in street trading more often than not are deprived among other things of the opportunity of being in school completely or partially because of the long hours they are expected to work. According to the ILO, child labour is defined as the work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development”. Globally, million children under 15 years were reported to be in hazardous work in 2006. As at 2016, it was estimated that 168 million children were engaged in some formof child labour with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for theconcern  especially considering the negative effect on the future of the child.

In Nigeria, Ebigbo identified that aside from sexual abuse and child abandonment, street trading by children was a commonly reported form of child abuse and neglect. These children engage in street trading on a regular basis with the aim of earning a livelihood for themselves or their families.

Statement of the Problem

In the developing countries, especially in Nigeria society where there it ineffective machinery to enforce child welfare, a majority of the children in such society find it difficult to survive as a result of the economic status of parent. In coping with these, some of the children engage in various kinds-activities to survive. Some of these activities which include street begging, etc. are sometimes hazardous to the health and education of the child. Several states in the country have promulgated laws in regards to street trading especially  by children who are supposed to be in school as a result of an increase in the rate of abuse of such children. Some parents, however, feel thatgovernment is just trying to deprive them of those services that theirchildren can offer them without weighing the implication of their children’sHealth and education. Differences in academic achievement and social adjustment of children from poor and rich background have been established (Ndipe, 2014). Some students are in the habit of sleeping in the classroom their mind will be far away from what they are being taught.

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Updated: 28th March 2021 — 7:52 pm