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Parental Perception on Factors Responsible for Low Enrollment of Students in Public Schools in Edati Local Government Area of Niger State

Parental Perception on Factors Responsible for Low Enrollment of Students in Public Schools in Edati Local Government Area of Niger State

Parental Perception on Factors Responsible for Low Enrollment of Students in Public Schools in Edati Local Government Area of Niger State



Main Objective

The main objective of this research was to find out Parental perception on factors responsible for low enrollment of students in public schools in Edati local Government Area of Niger State.

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the study were;

  1. To identify the trends in enrolments, attendance and retention since 2002.
  2. To identify analyse the factors that affect enrolment, attendance and retention of students in schools.
  3. To examine the opinions of parents/caregivers in Edati local Government Area on the factors affecting enrolment and attendance.



Education and Development

Education can be defined as a systematic process through which a child or an adult acquires knowledge, experience, skill and sound attitude. It makes an individual civilized, refined, cultured and educated. For a civilized and socialized society, education is the only means. Its goal is to make an individual perfect. Every society gives importance to education because it is considered a solution to the various problems facing the society.

Education can play an integral role in development and economic growth internationally. Many studies have shown that an increase in education can result in higher productivity and earnings, as well as decreased crime and infant mortality.

According to Ozturk, (2001) Education in every sense is one of the fundamental factors of development. No country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital. Education enriches people’s understanding of themselves and the world. It improves the quality of their lives and leads to broad social benefits to individuals and society. Education raises people’s productivity and creativity and promotes entrepreneurship and technological advances. In addition it plays a very crucial role in securing economic and social progress and improving income distribution.

Further on Ozturk tried to show the role of education in economic development and the effect of education on labour productivity, poverty, trade, technology, health, income distribution and family structure. He noted that Education provides a foundation for development, the groundwork on which much of our economic and social well being is built. It is the key to increasing economic efficiency and social consistency. By increasing the value and efficiency of their labour, it helps to raise the poor from poverty. It increases the overall productivity and intellectual flexibility of the labour force. It helps to ensure that a country is competitive in world markets now characterized by changing technologies and production methods. By increasing a child’s integration with dissimilar social or ethnic groups early in life, education contributes significantly to nation building and interpersonal tolerance.

Córdoba & Ripoll (2007) stated that the provision of education around the world has three salient features. First, public education is the predominant form of education. It accounts on average for 85percent and 78percent of primary and secondary enrolment respectively. Second, richer countries invest significantly more resources in education per student than poor countries. According to their sample, for example, the US invests 200 times more resources per student a year than the average of the 5 poorest countries .This investment rate differs substantially across countries and increases with income. The third feature is: schooling attainment also increases with income and differs substantially across countries.

Education in Africa

Kwapong (1988) stated that at the time of their independence, African nations inherited systems of education which were inadequate to meet their needs for self-governance and rapid economic growth. From this disadvantaged starting point, Africa achieved a remarkable progress in the development of its educational system. The impressive nature of this progress is particularly reflected in the quantitative expansion registered since the 1960s. Between 1960 and 1983, the number of students enrolled in African institutions at all levels quintupled to about 63 million students. Significantly Kwapong stated that enrolment increased about 9 per cent annually between 1970 and 1980, double the rate in Asia and triple that in Latin America. The substantial expansion of education after independence increased the participation of some groups who had had little or no access to formal education.

Education in Africa has not been able to escape the crisis afflicting the continent. The main challenge of education in Africa is developing human resources that will ensure accelerated development and modernization without compromising its cultural identity. Education must expand the knowledge base of Africans and allow Africa to undertake the socio-economic, cultural, and political transformation necessary to achieve development.




This chapter discusses the research design and research methods that were used in data collection, processing and analysis. It includes the Research design, sampling procedure, target population, methods of data collection, data collection procedure, data processing and analysis and the site description.

Research Design

The study was a survey research aimed at getting information on the factors affecting enrolment in Edati local Government Area under the free education. Data was collected by asking a set of pre formulated questions in a predetermined sequence in a structured questionnaire to a sample of individuals drawn to be representative of the defined population.

The research sought to gather information on the trends in enrolment, attendance and retention since 2002, factors that affect enrolment, attendance, retention of students, and what opinions the parents/caregivers in Edati local Government Area have towards the factors affecting enrolment, attendance and drop outs.

Site Description

Edati is a Local Government Area in Niger State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Enagi in the west of the area on the A124 highway at9°08′00″N 5°33′00″E. The LGA consists of two areas, separated by the Kaduna River. It has an area of 1,752 km2 and a population of 160,321 at the 2006 census.

Target Population

The Target population of the study comprised of all school age children who are in school and those not in schools, the teachers in the schools, Parents and education officials.




In this chapter findings from the respondents are presented, analysed and discussed. The main objective of the data presented in this chapter was to identify the factors that affect enrolment, attendance and retention of primary school children in Edati local Government Area. The data analysed is organized into four sections namely;

  • Demographic data
  • Trends in enrolment in Edati local Government Area
  • Factors affecting education in Edati local Government Area
  • Opinion of Parents on factors affecting education

Demographic data

Data covered under demographic include age of the students, age of the parents, number of children per parent, and education level of the parents.

Age of the students

One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of education is to ensure that by this year children everywhere that is boys and girls alike will be able to complete their primary education. With this in mind the government of Nigeria introduced the free schooling in 2003 in a bid to universalize access to primary education and increase educational attainment in the country. It is therefore expected that every school age child should go to school and at the right age. The research established the ages of the students interviewed.

Age of Class 5 students

The ideal age for one to join class one is either 6 or 7 years. With this being the ideal age for joining class one, the expected age for a standard 5 student is 10 or 11 years.



This chapter summarizes the main findings of the research including the main conclusions and recommendations derived from the findings of the study

Summary of findings

This research sought to find out the Parental perception on factors responsible for low enrollment of students in public schools in Edati local Government Area of Niger State.

The findings from the research revealed that primary school enrolment Edati local Government Area increased after the free schooling was introduced in 2003.However the increment wasn’t constant; the enrolment kept on reducing and increasing. This trend showed that there are factors beyond the ability to pay fees that affect enrolment of children.

The study was also able to establish that the schools still charge other levies apart from the school fees and these levies are charged to the parents. Thus from the interviews with the respondents it was established that the main factor affecting education in Edati local Government Area even with the introduction of free schooling is the inability of the parents to afford the levies charged by the schools. Most of the parents stated that poverty was the main problem affecting education of children in Edati local Government Area, and the aspect of poverty that affects the education of the children was the inability of the parents to afford the levies required.

From the interviews conducted with the parents, children, teachers and education officials the researcher was able to establish that the other main factors affecting education in Edati local Government Area were;

Parent’s level of Education

Findings of the research revealed that 80.5 percent of the parents in rural areas have no formal education and the rest 19.5 have primary school education. In the urban areas 17 percent have no formal education, 46.6 percent have primary school education, 27.3 have secondary school education and the last 9.1 percent have tertiary level of education.

Thus with this being the education level of most of the parents, the education of the children especially from the rural areas where most of the parents don’t have formal education, is likely to be affected as a result of this.

The education levels of most of the families may play a major role in determining whether the children will be enrolled in schools or not, most of the parents in rural areas may have not been to school or may have just attained the minimum level of education thus they don’t see the need to educate their children more than themselves.

Lack of knowledge on the importance of education

As a result of the low level of education of most of the parents, the research established that this may result in most of the parents not valuing education in their lives and most especially in their children’s lives.

If the household sees that school cannot provide their children with the basic skills they require in life they may decide that the small return is not worth the investment in education.

This goes to show that if the family doesn’t see the importance of taking their children to school as they don’t think the school will help provide the children with the basic skills required for life, then they might make a decision not to take the children to school.


Truancy is any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory schooling. This can also refer to absences caused by students of their own free will and not caused by poor medical conditions. Truancy was also identified and established as a major challenge affecting education of children by the parents. A total of 20.9 percent of the parents and 37.6 percent of the children sighted this as a challenge. The key informants also emphasised this. Most of the respondents stated that truancy comes about as most of the children are indiscipline thus they choose to be absent from school for no good reason.

Lack of monitoring

Monitoring in school can refer to the act of keeping watch over; supervising the children in school specifically to scrutinize or check systematically with a view to collecting certain specified categories of data on the child of record keeping, reporting, and decision making. It’s very important for the teachers and parents to monitor the children and their progress in school activities this will help to keep track of student learning for purposes of making instructional decisions and providing feedback to students on their progress.

However most of the respondents were of the opinion that there is no monitoring of the children both in schools and at home and thus the lack of it becomes a challenge.


From the trends in Enrolment in Edati local Government Area it can be concluded there are factors beyond the school fees that affect enrolment of students and findings from the research confirmed this to be true.

From the research findings it can also be concluded that the main factor affecting education in Edati local Government Area even with the introduction of free schooling is Poverty and in most cases it entails the inability of the parents to afford the levies charged by the schools.

It can also be concluded that there is a Gap in the implementation of the free schooling policy as it’s not clear to most parents what aspect of free schooling exists. The study established that the parents were not involved in the implementation of free schooling in schools to a large extent.

The free education was introduced in 2003, but until now it’s still not clear to most of the parents what it entails as the research findings revealed that most of them were under the impression that every thing in the schools would be free and they won’t be charged for anything. From the responses of the parents it was  clear that they were not communicated to or advised on how free the education will be and how it will be implemented , showing that there is a gap in the implementation of this policy which can be said to be the reason why its not been fully embraced by the parents.


  1. There is need to look into the issue of levies in school yet it meant to be free education. If this is resolved then it will assist the children from very poor families who do not attend school because they cannot afford the levies.
  2. The research also recommends sensitization of importance of education to the community. The community should be sensitized on the importance of education for them as a whole and for their children. Once the community as a whole understands and internalizes the importance of education, the other problems like truancy, deviancy and lack of monitoring will also be tackled as result of this.

Suggested areas for further research

The research recommends further research to be conducted on the below topics;

  • The rate of transition from primary to secondary schools
  • Numbers of overaged students in primary who succeed to proceed to other levels of education.


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