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INTRODUCTION 1.1      Background to the Study

Dropping out of school is a well documented social problem and often present daunting circumstances for adolescents. Dropping out is also associated with delinquency, and low school achievements. One of the major reasons for children being kept out of school was the lack of education of parents.

The issue of school dropout in Nigeria has been with us for a very long time. Fafunwa (2008) noted that dropout is one of the most serious problems that have continued to bedevil our educational system since independence in 1960 from the colonial administration. Even before our independence, the problem of dropout has already established its grip on our educational system. This can be buttressed with the remark made by Nuffied foundations in 1953 that in the West coast of Africa, a considerable proportion of student’s dropout of school each year. It was found that parents’ attitudes towards education have a major effect on education. It seems that when either of the parents is literate or especially when women are literate, they are more willing to send their children, especially girls, to the school.

“The huge dropout rates, however, indicate that children, girls more often than boys, are needed for other activities such as looking after other siblings, domestic work and help with farm work. Parents play a crucial role in keeping young people in school.

This study has come at a time when there is high rate of insecurity in the country as a result of criminal activities.

Survey by both the print and electronic media tends to indicate that over 85°!o of the criminal activities perpetuated in Nigeria are done by youths who dropped out of school. This development has become a cause of serious concern to all well meaning Nigerians. This tends to suggest that our educational system is in trouble and thus needs a very serious attention in refocusing it and restructuring it for the attainment of national goals.

De Cos (2005), commenting on the importance of graduation from high school noted that with the economy changing from a dependence on manufacturing towards more reliance on technology, services, and a “knowledge economy”, the need for education beyond high school has grown. In Nigeria of today, Senior School Certificate is considered as the minimum required for most jobs and status positions. This development has serious implications for the economic well being of dropouts and the society at large. In this era of global economic meltdown and global economic competitiveness, Nigeria as a nation that has vision must make concerted efforts to raise the educational attainment of all its youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. The degree and nature of family support are determined by such factors as a stressful/unstable home life, socio-economic status, minority membership, siblings’ completion of high school, single parent household, poor education of parents and primary language other than English” (Horn, 2010). The girls who are denied educational opportunities disproportionately as compared to boys suggests a clear cut discrimination in household behaviour. Parental and social attitudes in most Indian cultural context tend to perpetuate the stereotypes of girls being transient members of families on their journey to marriage and boys being the mainstay of support to ageing parents.

Education, which has rightly been conceived as a preparation for life, is a productive activity and an investment in human resources. A progressive and welfare state (country) would never ignore its indisputable need for socialisation of its masses of which education is considered to be the chief organ for this purpose. Education is an important component of economic and social development and contributes significantly to a country’s progress. It is considered to be the investment in human capital as it builds human capabilities, which is a vital nation-building ingredient. Without spread of literacy, the dream of socioeconomic development of the country can never be realized (Abdul, 2011).

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