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Background to the Study

Education has been viewed by scholars based on their perception of what education is Castle (2005) sees education as what happened to us from the day we are born to the day we die. Yoloye (2000) defines education as a weapon for combating ignorance, poverty, and disease, as a bridge between confusion and comprehension, as a dam for conserving man’s store of civilization and for generating the power to move to greater civilization, as a means for transporting man from a state of intellectual subservience to a state of intellectual sovereignty.

In a nutshell, education is an all round development of an individual, intellectually, morally, and mentally, so that he will be useful to himself and the society he belongs.

It is assumed that a broken home retard the progress of those children from such background in that both parents are not on a ground to direct and guide the child towards the achievement of educational goals. It is arguable or believed that children form broken homes are more likely prone to poor academic performance. A child may become a victim of broken home as a result of divorce or separation of the parents. When this happens, the child is entrusted to other people that are different form his parents. This person is expected to play the role of a surrogate parents despite his/her commitment to his/her own children. Without any empirical evidence, it is very clear that nobody will treat a child who is entrusted to his care the way he/she will treat his/her own child. By this token, the child is always confused and frustrated under the leadership style of step fathers or step mothers. The frustration of a child knows no bound. At home under surrogate parents he is discriminated and suffers some psychological deprivations. He carries the same emotional frustration to the school. Instead of listening to the teacher and taking down notes, he is more often occupied with the intimidation, discrimination and deprivation he/she is facing at home. As such, he has little or no interest in the learning materials, as classes are ought to be attended and comprehensible in the course of subject taught or presented at school.

Apart from the frustration, discrimination, discouragement and deprivation, the child may also be malnourished and segregated by surrogate parents (i.e mother) who feel that she is wasting the family resources on the child she did not give birth to. The child may lack the necessary school materials and in most cases, may grudgingly allow the child to be attending school while the child may not be given the necessary things that are vital for acquisition of knowledge since he know that he will be punished by the teacher for lack of learning materials, he may result to play truancy.

Single parenthood has been found to adversely affect the learning situation of human being particularly the children. That is to say, children who are reared in homes where parents are separated or divorced are most likely to be faced with sleep disturbance in class while learning and become irritable, fearful, aggressive and withdrawn (Cole and Cole, 2003; Vander-Zanden, 2000). Studies further confirm that children in one parent’s household not only do or perform poorly in school because they tend to lack self-control; but also become disruptive in the classrooms, instead of paying attention to what is being taught in class, they are busy disturbing others ready to learn. In addition, it is also reported that two years immediately after mother’s marriage break up, the mother exercise less control over her children than she did before (Hetherington, Cox and Cos, 2002).

The problems children from broken homes are facing with the resultant failure in school is a serious affair that calls for the attention of all and sundry including the government.

Statement of Problem

In Nigeria, divorce is becoming a common phenomenon. Mallon (2008) noted that it is common to see and hear of divorce cases here and there. In Ekpoma, this is a common trend among those who lives as married couples, to file divorce suite on the other. This is usually associated among the educated elites, this bad trend should be noted by teachers and school heads both public and private at the secondary school levels, as it has bear its ugly toll on the psychological, social and most importantly academics performance of school children, who turns out to miscreants “street boys” Products of the society. The popular Lagos weekend and Lagos life reported at least three to four cases of marital disruption weekly in Lagos and its environment. Also in Kwara State, Ministry of Information Youth, Sports and Social development recorded 53,697 marriages were registered for both the churches and registry from 2001 to 2013. Also given in Edo State the issue of divorce was recorded in child welfare centres.

A total of 97,505 marriages were recorded between 2000 to 2013 and 42,345 out of the total marriages were divorced. Further observation shows the negative effects on our wards. The local government needs to find practical solutions or to minimize the problems.

Ekpoma, Esan West local government area of Edo State shares cultural, religious and language values with her neighboring local government areas namely. Esan South, Esan North, Esan Central Local Government Area. What this implies, is that if divorce is a problem in Ekpoma West local government areas it, is likely to be a problem in those neighboring local government areas.

This study was set up to examine the effects of broken homes on academic performance in secondary schools and to find answers to important questions

Research Questions

The following are research question for the study

  1. What do student in secondary schools in (Esan West local government areas) perceives to be the effects of broken homes?
  2. Does the student perception of the effects of broken homes affect their academic performance?
  • What is the difference of students from broken homes with those from non-divorced homes?
  1. What is the performance ratio of students from broken home with those from non broken homes?

A good understanding of what students perceive to be the effects of broken home will surely help secondary school teachers approach marital problems with more data facts and understanding.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to find out:

  1. The perception of students in Esan West local government areas on the effects of broken homes
  2. How the students’ perception of the effects of broken homes affect their academic performance.
  • The differences of students from broken homes with those from non-broken homes
  1. The performance ratio of students from broken home with those from non-broken homes


Based on the finding from this chapter, the following hypothesis will be tested to guide the conduct of the study.

  1. There is no significant difference between the older married couples and the younger married couple.
  2. There is no significant difference between male and female married couple in their perception of effects of broken homes.
  • There is no significant difference among married home of different villages in their perception of effects of broken homes
  1. There is no significant difference among couples with different years of marital experience in their perception of effects of broken homes



Significance of the Study

The family is the basic unit of the society. Modem communities value the family for the contribution it adds to the social life, especially in the socialization of children and adults on the entire population. Earlier studies on marital instability, such as Olusanya (2009) have shown that educational status has positively associated with marital stability. The standard of educational status as a factor of marital stability needs do be clarified.

Danya (2006), observed that divorce rate is on the increase by the day, that many articles has littered the newspapers stand and other bookselling outfits.

This shows how concerned the public is with respect to divorce issues.

This study will thus provide relevant and valuable information to family members, marriage advisers and counselors on how to obtain appropriate solutions to marital problems. It will assist them to be able to render needed help to couples, parents of those children to adjust better in their respective homes for reconciliation. The student will be made aware of the importance of marital stability and factors that leads to marital instability.

This study is thus, reaching out to this school environment, to the family, unmarried males and females, to those intending couples, so as to be able to discover those social ills that are retarding to the achievements of the aims of education and the academic performance of the learners.

Scope of the Study

The study was limited to some selected secondary school students in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. It covers the students in Ujoelen grammar school, Ihumudumu secondary school, Ujemen secondary school, Eguare secondary school and Emaudo Secondary School, all in Esan West local government area of Edo State. This study involves only student from divorced/broken homes in the five secondary schools. This is because they are the ones that have experienced with such and so could respond to the instrument appropriately.

Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined as they are to be used for the purpose of this study.

Marriage: It is the legal relationship between a husband and wife

Marital Instability: Strain and stress in marital relationship, constant quarrelling and fighting. Marital disruption or disharmony between married couples caused by interaction of the spouse.

Learning: A relatively pertinent to permanent change in the behaviour of an individual as a result of learning

Legal Divorce: This is a case where a marriage is totally broken by a court of low or religious order and the two parties (spouse) and free to remarry, if those documents and tendered for rectification.

Broken Home: A home is said to be broken when it lacks stability, fervency, Joy, Zest Excitement that characterized a happy relationship.

Separation: A situation in which a married couple lives apart and operate separately in marriage without being divorced, very often separation leads to divorce.

Married Couples: – These are husband and wife who are legally in a marriage relationship legally contracted under the traditional, religious or court order.

Performance: This is the ability to successfully carry out a given task.



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