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The study examine the impact of child labour on school attendance and academic performance. The study Adopted a Survey research and a sample size of 359 from a population of 3500. Using  A structured questionnaire as instrument for data collection, mean  scores and t- test as the method of data analysis; The findings  showed that most of the respondents are fully aware of the negative impact of child labour on secondary school students. It was noted in the findings that factors like poverty in a family are major reasons for child labour. Findings also showed that  child labour affects academic performance of secondary school students. Based on these findings, the study recommends that Government should ensure sustainability development programme for all the citizens to enable each individual attain their needs and be able to adequately train their child’s in school, Parent/ guardian who forcefully subject their children to child labour due to their greed should be made to face the wrath of the law and Parent/ guardian should endeavour not to subject their ward to the harsh task of child labour but try their best to help their children concentrate more on academic pursuit.





Children are special link between the present and future generation, they are a pride of every parent. Childhood is a stage, every child goes through in life, where they are generally regarded as not able to make serious decisions, and legally must always be under the care of a responsible adult. According to Orazen (2003) childhood is a phase of life when a child is free from all tension, fun-loving, plays and learns new things. From researcher’s observation, not all children go through the beautiful stage of childhood; most children went through this period in full tension and burden, made to work to help in maintaining their families. This is called child labour. Child labour is a complex phenomenon, mostly common in rural areas of African. According to Ehiemere (2000), child labour constituted street hawking, farm work and domestic chores such as taking care of babies, fetching water and firewood, preparing and cooking food, individual cleanliness and washing. It is evident from most of the research that child’s labour age usually affect under fifteen to eighteen years of age and this has a great link in affecting the performance of a child academically.  Due to this, the study is focused on ascertaining the impact of child labour on school attendance and academic performance.

 Background of the study

Child labour can be traced to some dark realms of industrialisation. But a more detailed study of this heinous, shameful practice can reveal that child labour was there much before industrialisation in various forms like in child slavery. History showed that there was a custom for youths from the Mediterranean basin to serve as aides, charioteers and armed bearers to their adult counterparts. A few of such examples can be found in Bibles when David serves his King Soul.In Greece this practice of child labour  was considered to be an educational tradition and boys were considered to be an efficient fighting force. Hitler Youth was an official organisation in the Nazi Army. During the battle of Berlin, this youth force was a major part of the German Defences. In India, children used to help and accompany their parents in agricultural and other household activities in ancient times. Thus we see that child labour is not quite a new thing to the world. But during 1780 and 1840s, there was a massive increase in child exploitation. During the industrial revolution, it was very common to find children working in factories. In 1788, more than 60% of workers in textile mills of England and Scotland were children. Since industrialisation, children have been seen working in factories, mines, some having their own small business like selling food, flowers, polishing shoes, serving as waiters in restaurants and as domestic servants as well. The most controversial and worst forms of child labour and exploitation included military use of children, child trafficking, organised begging and child prostitution etc. So these are the various forms of child labour that are being present in today’s societies over the world.

Statement of the Problem

It has been alleged that there are cases of child labour, or the working child, which affects school attendance and academic performance. Researchers observed that with presence of  fertile land as a cherished asset, a number of the population is involved in agriculture with a few earning their living through fishing and other business.  According to Drusilla and Alan (2002) children are engaged in child labour because of new technology, household dynamics, culture, market, and political failure which determine the labour force participation rate and educational attainment of young children. The researcher’s experience in Minna revealed that parents engaged primary four (4), five (5), and six (6) pupils to work on their farms especially during the raining seasons. This situation adds to low school attendance of pupils and leading to poor academic performance in school. The International Labour Organization (ILO) (1998) estimated that 24.6% of children between the ages of ten and fourteen (10-14) in Nigeria were working outside home. This is not different from what the state is experiencing today among the young children in primary schools.

Adewale (2002) confirmed that children have low school attendance due to the requirements place on them by their parents to be economically active, which results to child’s late school attendance, poor academic performance and interrupted school attendance. This problem according to Applegate and Gunnarsson (2003) explained that children’s school attendance is important to their academic performance. The failure of children to attend school and perform better academically is of concern to the researcher due to their inability to combine school attendance with income generation activities. It is against this background that the researcher embarked on the impact of child labour on school attendance and academic performance.

 Purpose of the study

The main purpose of the study is to ascertain the impact of child labour on school attendance and academic. Other specific purposes are;

  1. To ascertain the causes for child labour.
  2. The impact of child labour on child’s school attendance
  3. The impact of child labour on a child academic performance.
  4. The different categories of child labour.

 Research Questions

To guide the study, the following research questions where posed as follows.

  1. What are the causes of child labour?
  2. What is the possible impact of child labour on a child’s school attendance?
  3. What is the impact of child labour on a child academic performance?
  4. What are the different categories of child labour?


 Significance of the study

The study is of benefit to parents, children the society, Government and researchers.  Parents will benefit from the study as the study will elucidate the possible impacts of child labour on a child school attendance and academic performance. The findings of the study will enable parents see the need of not allowing their children pass through child labour in other for their children to attain a sound academic performance. The study is also significant since it highlights the possible causes of child labour. Children and the society will benefit from the study as the study will enable them see the various dangerous impact of child labour on academic performance of a child. The finding of the study will make the government fully understand that child labour destroys the future leaders of our country hence, making the government to adequately punish anyone who in one way or the other subject any child to child labour. The bring to the knowledge of the government the need of making provisions for their citizens in other to prevent the causes of child labour while to  researchers, the finding of the study will serve as a source of references  material.


Scope of the study

The scope of the study covers the impact of child labour on school attendance and academic performance. In terms of geographical location, the study will cover the Awka North and  south Local government area of  Anambra state.

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were posed to test the findings of the study  at 0.05% level of significance.

  1. There is no significant difference in the mean rating of male female teachers in public school on the causes of child labour.
  2. There is no significant differences among the male and female teacher in Anambra state on the impact of child labour on a child’s school attendance and performance.

Definition of Terms

For clarity and easy understanding of terms used in this study, the following terms used are properly explained below.

Childhood :the early stage of once life usually from 10-18year of age.

Child exploitation: Benefiting unjustly from subjecting a child to undue labour.

Impact: This refers to the effect of a particular action.

Child: This refers to either a male or female sex between nine years (9) of age and fourteen (14) years of age, who is in the developmental stage of childhood and is ready to start his/her fundamental basic education.

Labour: Apply to the range of activities which children do like domestic work, to work in the household, farms, hawking or begging that deprived them to their rights to attend School and acquire their educational background

Child Labour: is any work that the child of between ages nine (9) and fourteen (14) is engaged in, that have effect on the child’s right to attend school or acquire the required educational standard.

School Attendance: is a vital and administrative record requirement used by school authority and parents to monitor and control annual school attendance. It is measured by multiplying the number of children divided by the number of days the school opens.

Academic Performance: is the pupil’s ability to study and remember fact, being able to communicate knowledge verbally or written down on a paper. The academic performance of a primary school entitles scores from continuous assessment and the examination of pupils for the academic session.


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