This study was designed to investigate the effect of truancy on the academic performance of students. Truancy is the practice of staying away from school without permission or an act of condition of being absent from school or lesson without permission. Six research questions were formulated, a total of one hundred and fifty (150) participants comprising of teachers and students from five secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos state were used for the study. The instrument was a four point scale structured questionnaire. Percentage and frequency were used for analysis. All the research questions were rejected based on the fact that the selected variables significantly influence teacher’s method of teaching and students’ act of truancy. Sequel to the findings of the study, recommendations were made on good home training, acceptance of the dignity of labour, value for time, other good and right values should be inculcated in children.     




Title Page                                                        i

Certification                                                    ii

Dedication                                                     iii

Acknowledgment                                              iv

Abstract                                                        v

Table of contents                                           vi

Chapter One

1.0    Introduction                                          1

l. l    Background to the study                         1-5

1.2   Statement of the problems                       6-8

1.3   Research Questions                                 9

1.4   Significance of the study                          10

1.5   Purpose of the study                                10

1.6    Scope/Delimination of the study              11

1.7   Limitation of study                                 11

1.8   Definition of terms                                 11-12

Chapter Two

2.1     The concept of Truancy                         14-16

2.2     Causes of Truancy                                17-33

2.3     Effect of Truancy on Academic  performance   35-40

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

3.1   Research Design                                                41-42

3.2   Population of the study                                      42

3.3   Sample and Sampling Procedure                       42

3.4   Research Instrument                                        43

3.5   Validation of Instrument                                    43

3.6   Reliability of the Instrument                              44

3.7   Procedure for Data Collection                            44-45

3.8   Procedure for Data Analysis                               45


Chapter IV: Analysis, Result and Discussion

4.0  Introduction                                                         46-73

Chapter V: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1   Summary                                                         74

5.2   Conclusion                                                      75

5.3   Recommendations                                           76-77

References                                                              78-82

Appendix (Sample Questionnaire)                         83-89





1.0   Introduction

1.1   Background to the study

        What is truancy?

Truancy is an act of indiscipline, act of defiance, but psychologists, sociologists, and educators see truancy as a behavioural problem which can be solved if the causes are found and properly tackled.

Truancy as it affects the school life stand as a conspicuous and serious stumbling block against academic performance, achievement and plan and purpose of government on education.

According to Advanced Learners Dictionary, a truant is a child who stays away from school without permission. Truancy is the practice of staying away from school without permission or an act of condition of being absent from school or lesson without permission.

A truant’s attendance in school is irregular, there are some students who may choose to be present in the morning and disappear in the afternoon.

Truancy may be abetted by others or it may be deliberate action, for example, when a truant’s parents decide that he should stay away from school in other to help him at home. This may not be deliberate the initial stage but when the truant himself decided to stay away from school and hide under the canopy of his parents. It is a deliberate act on his or her part. Infact, there are so many problems created by maladjusted students because adolescents appear to have difficulties in making adjustment to the world at large because the period of adolescence is a period of stress and strain and that is the time an –adolescent is undergoing a great change in many aspects of life.

In every class, there are certain students whose control present some problems, and those are known as problem children. These set of children may be habitual late comers, bullies and truants that this essay is meant to analyse. This made some teachers to teach more than two or three subjects. There was also an urgent need to fund schools properly so that they could provide necessary books, equipment, facilities needed to impact quality education.

Unfortunately, some people tend to attribute the blame of truancy anti-social behaviour of the truants themselves while others put the blame on the teacher and school authority, yet others emphasize the influence of the entire society, in line with these, this study will attempt to critically investigate the probable impact of truancy on academic performance of secondary schools students.

The choice of this topic “truancy” an act of indiscipline, a current problem in our schools, is a manifestation of the general awareness of the seemingly little acts of indiscipline which on the part of the students include lack of punctuality (lateness) and truancy (abnormal absence)  from school without official permission.

The problem of truancy is more peculiar in some areas than others especially in countries where education is compulsory and in cities parental approval and encouragement and sometimes without. A time it may be as a result of overcrowding in the classroom and the lack of instructional materials to teach some of the subjects.

Adejuyigbe (1978) stated that the success of any teaching method depends on the availability of instructional materials which in no small way help to arouse and sustain the interest of the students throughout the lesson. If the teacher makes the lesson interesting the students will not like to absent himself from school also as not to miss the lesson.

Ogunniyi (1983) observed that the presence of a functioning intellectual atmosphere may make teaching and learning effective. The importance of resources both human and materials in teaching cannot be overemphasized. To make teaching more meaningful and to stop or minimize truancy in schools qualified teachers should have adequate facilities which they would utilize effectively. Teaching resources include all forms of information carriers that can be used to promote and encourage effective teaching and learning activities. They could be in form of textbooks, reference books, journals, posters, charts, programmed texts, non-print materials such as films tapes, models, pictures, records, global maps, science apparatus and chemicals laboratories and so on. All these will arouse the interest of the students and it will minimize or reduce the number of truancy to bearest minimum. At this point, it is necessary to analyse some of the causes of truancy.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

        Public opinion seems to support the fact that the standard of education has fallen in Nigeria. This is evident in the poor performance of others in most external and internal examination.

In the last ten years, in Lagos state secondary schools analyses from teaching service commission (TESCOM) shows that about 12% of the students scored 40% and above in the promotion examination. Majority of them that fail was as a result of absenting themselves from school and failure to attend class regularly. Consequently, most secondary schools devised various methods to ensure that most students move on to the next class.

One of the major problems that makes students to absent themselves from school or that make them to become a truant is lack of adequate qualified teachers to teach many subjects and also attitude of government towards teaching profession. This implying that student needs to be taught to be able to perform. Dike (2000) highlighted the fact that there was a shortage of qualified teachers and so, half of the required teachers were employed to teach in the nation’s schools,

One of the factors that contribute to truancy in our secondary schools is overpopulation, classrooms are built to accommodate not more than fifty students yet in the urban centres, class size are high, teachers are overwhelmed and cannot function effectively. Library facilities are not available in some schools and where they exist, they harbour obsolete literature. Resources availability, allocation and utilization have been perceived and indicators or effectiveness in the school situation.

Since the students are of different background, other factors could be contributing to truancy among students.

This study is out to investigate the probable impact of truancy on the academic performance of students with a view to identifying the cases of truancy in secondary schools and to identify possible solution to reduce its effect on our school systems.

The study will therefore address itself to the following research questions:

  1. What are the major causes of truancy?
  2. Is the family background a major cause of truancy?
  3. To what extent does peer group contribute to act of truancy?
  4. Is the school playing adequate role in combating truancy among the students?
  5. What is the possible effect of truancy on the academic performance of the truants?


1.3   Research Questions

        The research questions for this study are as follows

  1. Does the family background have any effect on students’ truancy in school?
  2. Does the school location have influence as regard, student’s truancy in school?
  3. How much influence does teacher’s method have on students’ act of truancy?
  4. Does bullying affect other students that have any effect on student’s act of truancy?
  5. To what extent does distance from school and transportation problem affect truancy among secondary school students?
  6. To what extent does lack of interest in certain school subjects and hatred for certain teachers cause truancy?


1.4   significance of study

The study was designed to find out the causes of truancy and its impact on the academic performance of secondary school students. The findings of the research will be of tremendous help to parents and guardians, teachers, guidance counsellor’s school administrations, the entire society and the truants themselves. It is also believed that the combined efforts of the parents, teachers and other school administrators, would help in curbing some acts of defiance and indiscipline among students.

1.5   Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study therefore is to investigate the probable causes of truancy with a view of identifying the effect on the academic performance of secondary school students with special focus on some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.6   Scope /Delimination of the study

         The study was limited to randomly selected students and teachers in some selected secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.7   Limitation of study

        This study was limited to students within the sample frame owing to constraints of funds, time factor and personnel with which to carry out the study. Five schools were used for sampling out of twenty secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government. They are:

  1. Tomia Community Secondary School, Mosalasi B/Stop Alagbado, Lagos
  2. Alagbado Grammar School Mosalasi B/stop Alagbado, Lagos
  3. Tomia Community Secondary School Mosalasi B/stop Alagbado, Lagos
  4. Owoyele Community Grammar School, Alakuko B/Stop Alagbado Lagos.

One would have expected that the researcher should cover all the secondary schools for standard generalization but the selected five schools provided the researcher the necessary information.

1.8   Definition of Terms

The following terms are used in this study as defined below:

Anti social: Opposed to social law

Adolescent: Can be described as period of life just before maturity.

Mal-adjusted child: A child who is unable to meet the demand of society

Bully: One who intimidates and hurt weaker people

Truancy: A child who stay away from school without permission

Peer Group: Children of the same age group

Deviant Behaviour: Significant departure from established norms not accepted within the family unit, school or the larger society e.t.c.

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