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The study was designed to investigate the causes and influence of street hawking and dropout on child of school age. The research instrument consists of a sample questionnaire. The sample used of 100 respondents selected from secondary school in Abeokuta South random sampling. In the data analysis, the following was discovered. The interest of the children is another factor. Parental level of financial well being is another important factor that influences the child street hawking business. Through these findings, hawking influences dropout, delinquency, under achievement and poor health. Based on the above findings, it was recommended that, parents should be regularly educated on the usefulness of education through mass media. Secondary schools should be made compulsory in Nigeria. children should be made to recognize the importance of education in their early age. School should pay more attention to parents/teachers meeting.
1.0 Background to the Study
Nigeria as a developing country needs people who are required for the political social and economic development of the country. This is necessary because Nigeria no longer need money bag citizens, rather she needs men and women and enough money for the people’s comfort. In order to achieve this, school or formal education for all in Nigeria is mandatory and necessary. It is not important that all Nigeria citizens in Benin city in particular get full formal education and not partial education which leads to school dropout and human wastage or attrition going by the National Policy on Education which recognizes that greater achievement are get and most explanted through formal education is essential to Nigerians and so have made primary education in government schools free for its citizens. Looking at the economic problems in Nigeria today many familiar most especially those in the low socio-economic classes engaged their children and weeds in various activities such as hawking.
Hawking according to the oxford advanced learner dictionary, 6th edition, means moving to sell things by going from place to place asking people to buy them. However, Olalere (2007) identified two main types of hawkers which are; the hawkers that carry their goods in wheels and the side walk hawkers who sit with their wares besides the road. According to Olalere, the capital outlay for types to trade is determined by nature of goods traded in the hawker build cart to suit his or her purpose. The hawker also employs different media of advertising their wares like; buy your sweet orange, the hawker may also decided to short the goods of their names in the manner peculiar and appealing to people.
Many of the hawkers sell different goods, which one might not go out ordinary to buy, except on impulse basic if we come across them on the way. For the side of the hawker, they sit by their goods and attend to those who come to them. The capital required is determined by the nature of the wares for instance, five hundred naira N500.00 would appear sufficient for a side hawker who is trading in orange while a provision seller who sells beverages would require higher outlay. The hawker business grows increasing by in many Nigerian citizens and towns. Hawking also take place in the rural areas but are mostly alone in the evenings when people are back from the farm, village markets or school. The situation is ever different in urban areas. Hawking goes on in the urban area from morning to evening on a daily basis.
This situation has no doubt affected the child’s schooling specifically another important aspect of the child’s developmental stage. Ajayi and Orphan and a year two student in the department of banking and finance of the University of Benin who sells new papers daily among the street says “we do this thing (hawking) everyday in order to survive in school and to help our younger siblings at home who are not even in schools. These developments are making life unbearable form as i have always withdrawn from school several times. Similarly, a child who shares the school time with street hawking is always late to school and he or she is bound to develop immaturities in school work which may include poor studying habits, lack of skills, low self esteem and low performance in class hence resulting in failure or total dropping out of school.
It has been heard of that some parent in towns and cities withdrawn their children from school in order to send them hawking so as to make more money for the family up keep. In some cases, some children are always dropped out from school for a term or even a whole year and when they get back to school (that if they go back to it all) they become too big for their cohort and they fall victims of name calling by younger classmates. This type of situation could have many negative effects on the children psychologically who became under achiever or might develop school phobia. Such children at the end of the day fail or drop out at the end of day.
The search for money to make ends meet in a depressed economy is obviously one of the major reasons for parent and guardians sending their children or wards to hawk. Most of the hawkers are either in primary/secondary school for the purpose of hawking and at each day sales the children becomes weak and tired that they are unable to concentrate, contribute to discussion or study on their own. Apparently, parents and guardians do not realize this and children do not know that the means by which the mental, moral, social and material inheritance of the socially can be passed from generation to generation is through formal education.
The majority of Nigerian parents believe that they are (children) God sent helpers both for economic purpose and otherwise. This is why many Nigerians want to have children until old age. Most average Nigerian do not consider street hawking by children and some other child labour practices are seen as part of the socialization process in the society. This brings the question to mind that, most of the parents whose children are participating in street hawking may have been street hawkers themselves in their life. Thus, the use of their value representation.
In Nigeria today, hawking by children of school age is not entirely new in society. Street hawking creates room for lack of seriousness and interest in school work, poor memory, learning difficulty and under achievement the problem of this study therefore is to investigate the relationship between street hawking and drop out.
1.2 Purpose of Study
The main purpose of this study is;
1.3 Research Questions
(1) Does parental level of financial well being influence children street hawking?
(2) Does street hawking influence the high rate of drop out, delinquency and truancy?
(3) Is it the parents that often provide the wares or articles of street hawking for their children?
(4) What is the level of academic achievement of children who indulge in hawking?
This study is meant to investigate into one of the causes of children inability to complete their formal education in urban areas.
The main aim of formal education is to prepare children for the future and to get ready for important responsibilities. This is in line with two out of the five main objectives of the Nigerian would develop citizens who are responsible, bright, united, strong and self-reliant.
It is crystal clear that children street hawking is a distraction and an exposure of children to bad habit and more danger.
From this study, parents would learn importance of formal education and so give it its right position while drawing the scale of preference for their children.
Similarly, parent would then set goals for their children and motivate children their academic work so that the children would put formal education which gives self-esteem, respect, prestige and good personality before money making venture.
From this research, children could learn to improve on the ideas they have about themselves as this could be a motivating factor for writing formal education. It would also bring their knowledge that divided loyalty might be an hindrance to better performance in school.
Divided loyalty in the sense that as street hawker one runs after formal education particularly; the students would also realize that school education prepares people to get the appropriate key to the doors of wealth.
In summary, this research will serve as guide to parents, teachers and even policy makers on now bets to develop children positively. In order for them to become more useful in the society.
As a result of inadequate and limited time, this study is limited to children in Benin City which is very large city the research therefore had to make use of this children from such as; Ring road, Uselu Lagos road, Sapele road and Akpakpala in Benin city, Edo state.
The scope of this study moves children of school age within seven to fifteen years of age are street hawkers, the result of the study may not necessarily be used as a standard of comparison in determining all school dropout but, the findings of this study is still useful.
In order to make the study clearer and to avoid confusion, the following term used is defined.
Cohort: These refer to a group of pupils who were admitted at the beginning of the school year and completed the programme in the same school.
Dropout: In line, so cannot continue or fall out of school. A student or pupil who terminates or stops school education before completing its full course of study.
Hawking: Carrying of wares or goods about for sale.
Phobia: Having excessive fear, some object or a particular situation in the absence of real danger.
Education: The all round training and development given to a person or a process by which any society passes on its culture (social, ethnic, intellectual, etc) to the young ones.
Socialization: A process where they comes to behave in manner demand appropriate by the society in which the person lives.
Under achievement: The inability of a child to perform up to the child measures aptitude for academic excellence.
Attrition: A process of making somebody especially your enemy to do roles.
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