Statistical Analysis on the Rate of Students Withdrawal in Polytechnics
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the rate of student withdrawal in Polytechnics in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Objectives of the study
The following were the guiding objectives of the study:
- To determine the influence of families’ socio-economic backgrounds (culture, parental education, family economic status) on day secondary school students drop out in Port Harcourt
- To assess the factors related to peer pressure that influence students’ drop out in Polytechnics in Port Harcourt
- To examine the extent to which government policy on funding of education influence day secondary school students’ dropout rates in Port Harcourt
- To establish the institutional based factors influencing secondary school students’ dropout rates in Port Harcourt
- To come up with suggestions for mitigating students drop out among day secondary school students in Port Harcourt.
Family’s social – economic background and students’ dropout
Students dropping out of secondary school before completion have become a challenge for teachers and educational planners. In many polytechnics, students from low-income or ethnic minority families are highly dropping out something that has become problematic (Haycock & Huang, 2001) even as the nations’ general educational level has increased (Aillow, 2003). Family’s social-economic background may act against students’ continuation in school (Chugh, 2011). Households’ decisions to send the children to school or to discontinue their studies depend on the environmental, social and economic compulsions they are faced with (Chugh, 2011) as discussed.
Physical facilities in the household and students’ drop out
Basing on Chugh (2011) the students living in the slums are devoid of basic infrastructural facilities like toilet and drinking water. Inadequate and poor quality of infrastructural and physical facilities negatively influences education of the students. According to McNeal (1999); Rumbergez and Larson (1998); and Pong and Ju (2000) cited in Chugh (2011), due to non-availability of water in the individual household, the students are at many times given the responsibility of collecting water from the river, the tanker or any other source available and hence consuming time for schooling. In addition, poor housing facilities do not provide the space for students to study in peace. For instance, if the electricity connection is not available, it is not possible for students to study at home in the evening or late night. Globally, these factors pointed out could be some of the predictors to students’ drop out in polytechnics.
Influence of households’ monthly income on students’ drop out
The direct and indirect costs of schooling can exclude some children from school. One of the most important direct costs underlying the process of drop out is school fees where these are levied (Hunter & May, 2002 cited in Chugh, 2011). Lack of money to buy essential school materials for children’s schooling is likely to cause lack of enrolment in the first place and potentially high dropout at a larger stage (Ananga, 2011 cited in Chugh, 2011).
The social-economic status, most commonly measured by parental education and income, is a powerful prediction of school achievement and dropout behaviour of students (Bryk & Thum, 1989 cited in Chugh, 2011). High parental income allows them to provide more resources to support their children’s education, including access to better quality schools, private tuitions and more support for learning within home. During the financial crisis, schooling of the students becomes the first casualty in poor households. In most developing countries, Nigeria included, households pay for more than one quarter (28 percent) of the costs to send the students to polytechnics (UNESCO, 2010). This expenditure poses a very real barrier for students of poor families.
In Nigeria, the dropout rates among the children of economically vulnerable families have gone up due to lack of resources to pay for the costs of education for their children that are not covered by the fee free educational policy (Ackers et al, 2001 cited in UNESCO, 2010). In families whose wage earnings of parents are low, children may be called to supplement household income either by working or by taking on other household responsibilities to free up other household members for work (Chugh, 2011). This is likely to increase the risk that children drop out from education since completion rates are low in poor households. Family income is linked to the affordability of education and as a result has a direct impact on whether children attend education. If children attend education, changes in the financial situation of parents, as reflected by the volatility of family income, may push some children out of education (Chugh, 2011).
Educational attainment of parents and students’ drop out
The education level of parents also influences the continuation of students in school. Duryea and Ersado (2003) observe that parental education is one of the most consistent determinants of students’ education. Basing on empirical evidences from nations of the world, Nigeria included, higher parental education is associated with increased access to education, higher attendance rates and lower dropout rates (Grant& Hallman, 2006 cited Chugh, 2011). Parents, who have attained or certain educational level, might want their children to achieve at least the same level. Parents with low levels of education are more likely to have children who do not attend school. It they do, they tend to drop out in greater numbers and engage in more income generating activities than children of parents with high levels of education (Duryea & Ersado, 2003).
The study will adopt descriptive survey research design. According to Robson (2003), descriptive survey design presents people’s profile, events or situations. Best and Kahn (2006) also note that descriptive survey design seeks to determine people’s opinions, attitudes and ideas.
The study targeted will target 3 polytechnics in Port Harcourt in Rivers state with a total population of 126 lecturers and 26600 students (Port Harcourt Education Office, 2013). The study targeted only public Polytechnic because they are controlled by the government.
Sample size and sampling techniques
The credibility of this research study will be judged by the size of the sample. In choosing a sample size, this study focused on an optimum of at least 3 Polytechnic based on a confidence level of 95 percent and the significance level of 5 percent (Kothari, 2004). The section of students and lecturers based on simple random sampling technique to select 40 lecturers and 260 students Mugenda and Mugenda (1999). The lecturers included the form four class lecturers, the guidance and counseling lecturer and the deputy principal. Eighteen (18) students will also be selected per school.
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