CAUSES OF PUPILS’ TRUANCY IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND ITS EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATION
Background to the Study
The attention and the feelings of school heads, classroom teachers, parents/guidance, educational administrators, the governments and National Universities Commission (NUC) have been drawn towards the irregular school attendance coupled with continuous poor academic performance of secondary school students. A major problem facing primary schools is that of irregular school attendance and continuous poor academic performance of primary school pupils. In
the United States, each state and District of Columbia have enacted compulsory school attendance laws that date from the earliest adoption in Massachusetts in 1852 to the latest in Alaska in 1929. Students who choose not to attend school regularly are in violation of the law and are, therefore, the focus of many public school systems. The question now is, is irregular school attendance the violent destruction of academic performance? Irregular school attendance is regarded by Psychologists and Psychiatrists as a sign of disturbance in students. The assumption is that assessment should be given to the students by professionals. Truancy will be viewed from sociological perspectives. Here it is based on individual response to occurrences in the school or society. There is no really specific definition of truancy. Truancy, according to Oxford Dictionary “is the practice of staying away from school without permission. A child who absents himself from school without good reason is playing truant. Some writers see truancy as all absentees irrespective of their reasons.
According to Manroe (1998) “the pupil who plays truancy is generally difficult, anxious and highly sensitive person who need to escape from reality. He also has a low status in class and has difficulties in dealing with other people there. He wanders away from these difficulties and in at least half the cases dris into delinquency”. Marklund (2002) “the typical persistent truant is unhappy at home, unpopular at school and unsuccessful in his class work. He is rarely an articulate
critic of contemporary society and its educational values. He is usually a child failing to cope satisfactory with his difficulties and in need of help”.