This paper examines the effect of insecurity on the secondary
schools in the north central states in Nigeria with particular focus on the
students’ emotional behaviour. In the last decade, Nigeria has witnessed
various potholes of insecurity and some kind of religious or political war that
has greatly influenced the sensibility of every sane individual across the
globe. The effect of this, especially on the female gender, children and the aged
had been grievous and devastating. Recently, the abduction of over 200 school
girls from a government college in Chibok, Borno state, Nigeria by a religious
fundamentalists group gave terrorism and other criminal violence a new
dimension and trend in Nigeria. It also portrays a great danger not only to
Nigerian child but to all humanity residing in Nigeria. Unfortunately, instead
of the situation to mitigate, it is rather worsening and the psychological
effect on genders can only but imagined – from loss of life, displacement of
persons, mental stress amongst others. The paper calls for a holistic approach
including building a synergy amongst security agencies, enhance security
awareness within the society, partnering with foreign forces and using concerted
dialogue to end the menace amongst others as way forward in tackling the menace
of political violence and war in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In any education system, peace
and tranquillity is an antidote for a successful teaching and learning. In
recent times, however, millions of school children in Nigeria are caught up in
conflicts that result to insecurity not only of their school attendance but to
their lives and property. Regular school attendance is crucial to education and
development of school children in any country. There is always negative impact
on the educational development of the child, the school and the community when
children do not attend school regularly.
Because of this, there are laws
in many countries that require a child to attend school until eighteen years of
age. A child who attends school regularly is likely to learn more and become
more successful in school than those who do not. Parents who make regular
school attendance a priority also are helping their children to learn. In
addition, regular school attendance is an important ingredient for academic
success and a successful life.
School attendance habit is
formed early in life. A child who develops good attendance habit in the early
years of education is more likely to continue throughout the school career. In
addition, a child who misses school has missed a carefully planned sequences of
instruction. Patrick (2012) observes that such a child misses active learning
experiences and class participation, the opportunity to ask questions and is
more likely to fall behind and drop out of the school. It is in the light of
this that Fafunwa (1983) notes in the early 1980s that dropout was one of the
most serious problems that have continued to bedevil the Nigerian educational
system from the colonial administration up to independence in 1960 and even
beyond. Different organizations and governments have advanced a variety of
definitions of human security. The United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP)
defines human security as freedom from fear and wants (Okorie, 2011). Japanese
foreign policy’s view on human security may include all the menaces that
threaten human survival, daily life and dignity – for example, environmental
degradation, violations of human rights, transnational organized crime in
illicit drugs, refugees, poverty, anti-personnel land mines and other
infectious diseases such as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
There are no agreed definitions
of what precisely insecurity is, but there is a general agreement that
insecurity is linked to chronic threats of disease, hunger, terrorism and
poverty. Therefore, insecurity and poverty cannot be divorced from each other.
Severe levels of poverty may expose people to all kinds of security threats.
Poor people in developing countries frequently face relatively high risks from
such things as domestic violence, crime, sickness and unemployment (McCawley,
2004). Nigeria in our current democratic dispensation is faced with different
kinds of threats such as armed robbery, kidnapping, political thugs,
ethno-religious conflicts, organized violent groups, economic based violence,
gender-based violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and recently the menace of
Boko Haram (Ibrahim, 2002).
In recent times, Yobe State and
Damaturu Metropolis in particular and some parts of northern Nigeria have been
experiencing security threats because of the activities of Boko Haram, which
means ‘western education is sin’. The activities of this group alone have
forced many children of formal education to abandon school in an already
ill-educated and disadvantaged region. Eric (2012) reports that it is not just
the pupils or students at the targeted schools that end up being affected,
teachers and others are also affected. As a result of insecurity, school
enrolment in the region has gone down by 28 percent more than any other region
in the country (Bwala, 2012). According to the Nigerian Education Data Survey
(NEDS, 2010) as cited in Saleh (2011) constant attacks makes it even harder for
teachers and other stakeholders to persuade parents to allow their children
stay on at school. The issue of insecurity in northern Nigeria has compelled
school children to drop out of the school. Fafunwa (1983) notes that dropout is
one of the most serious problems that have continued to bedevil the Nigerian
educational system from the colonial administration up to independence in 1960
and even beyond. This view is supported by Patrick (2012) who observes that in
the west coast of Africa, a considerable proportion of student dropout of
schools each year. The effects of insecurity on school attendance in northern
Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Survey by both the print and electronic media
indicates that over 85% of the school children in Borno State do not attend
school due to insecurity in the State (Bwala, 2012). Criminal activities
perpetuated in Nigeria are always attributed to youths who dropped out of
school. Sadly, the dropouts of schools in Damaturu metropolis of Yobe State are
on the increase daily because of insecurity in the State. Scenario tends to
suggest that the future of the Nigerian child especially in the north and
Damaturu in particular who drop out of school is in serious danger and thus,
need a very serious attention.
Apart from negative impact of
insecurity on school attendance leading to school dropout as well as economic
and social problems it has caused the nation, Okorie (2011) observes that
Nigerians are constantly bedevilled with fears of one attack by one extremist
group or the other. Hostage taking, bomb throwing (explosion) and violent
crimes are now part of the daily life of Nigerians (Fasan, 2011). It is in
light of the above that Okpaga,
Chijioke and Innocent (2012)
observe that Nigeria as a nation must make concerted efforts to raise the
educational attainment of all its youths who are the leaders of tomorrow
especially those that are deprived of regular school attendance because of
insecurity and conflicts. The hope for the country seems to be grim if children
cannot go to school.
There has been a lot of worry
over the present insecurity in the country and its effect on the emotional
behaviour of secondary schools in the north central states, Nigeria in
particular. No one can deny the fact that economic activities, movement of
people, goods and services have been seriously hampered by the activities of
terrorist from 2009 to date. The worst of it all is that pupils of school age
in their millions are out of school in the State due to insecurity situation.
This is due to frequent bombing, killing of young and old, male and female
including school pupils, burning of worship places, schools, and sound of
gunshots. The effects of insecurity in the State seem to be enormous not only
on parents, the school and the society but especially on the school pupils.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Studies have shown that
insecurity on the emotional behaviour of secondary schools and war have
negative effects on the children, and these include heightened aggression and
violence, revenge seeking, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, sleep disorder,
fear and panic, poor school performance and involvement in criminal violence
(Sagi-Swartz, Seginer & Adeen, 2008; Quota, Runmaki & El-Sarraj, 2008).
More so, children are found to be victimized by or witness to different kinds
of political violence and war especially in the community where the family
lives (Richters & Martinez, 1993b). In most African countries like Liberia,
Congo, Sierra Leone, Algeria,
Angola, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sudan, Uganda etc. children are seen to have been
recruited into militant camps and actually carry gun to kill their fellow
citizens. About a third of world’s children soldiers are found in Africa. It is
important to understand that child soldering which is rampant in Africa is a
result of war, insurgency, insecurity, and others. Parents have the hard task
of monitoring the behaviour and activities of children to avoid the risk of
anti-social behaviour during moments of insecurity and war (Mazefsky&
Farrel, 2005; Okolie, 2005). The risks in which children, women and the aged
are exposed to and the effects can be long lasting in the society. It is
against this background that the study seeks to ascertain the effect of
insecurity on emotional behaviour of secondary schools in the north central
states of Nigeria and to proffer possible solutions to curbing insecurity.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Survey by the print and
electronic media on insecurity in the State has showed insignificant empirical
evidence. Based on this knowledge gap therefore, the study raised the following
1. What is the level of school
attendance under the crisis situation in the north?
2. Do Parents and teachers
significantly differ on impact of insecurity on attendance of school pupils?
This question was amenable to hypothesis testing.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The effect of insecurity on the
emotional behaviour of secondary schools in the north central states of Nigeria
is significant in the following ways:
The study would assist the
government to be proactive in tackling insecurity and insurgency in Nigeria as
The study would be of immense
benefit to the secondary schools student in the north central states of Nigeria
to be very conscious of their environment and to report any security challenges
to the appropriate security personnel.
The study would be of immense
benefit to the various stakeholders in security matters for policy making.
The study would also be of
immense benefit to the scholars who want to carry for research on the same
subject matter in the nearest future.
1.6 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESES
The following hypothetical
statement were tested for the purpose of this study.
and teachers do not significantly differ on the effect of insecurity on
secondary school in the north central states of Nigeria
Ha: Parents and teachers
significantly differ on the effect of insecurity on secondary school in the
north central states of Nigeria
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Insecurity- is a feeling of uncertainty, a lack of confidence or anxiety about
Emotion- ‘‘is a complex psychological state involves three distinct
components; a subjective experience, a physiological response and a behavioural
or expressive response’’
Insurgency- a usually violent attempt to take control of a government or a
rebellion or uprising.
Terrorism- is unlawful use of force or violence against persons or
property to intimidate or coerce a government or its citizens to further
certain political or social objectives.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY
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