EFFECTS OF LARGE FAMILY SIZE ON THE EDUCATION OF THE CHILD IN VANDEIKYA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BENUE STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is a veritable tool for the survival and continuity of a people as a distinct group capable of asserting their identity according to Akume, G.T (2004). Orhungur (1990) maintained, the task of education belongs to the entire community where certain agencies are charged with the responsibility.
Before the advent of Western education, the traditional society educational role was mainly handled by the home and family. However, modern civilization has changed the status quo by formalizing and institutionalizing the process of education.
The school now serves as an institution established with the primary responsibility of educating the society members.
UNICEF reports (2004) pointed out, education enhances development. According to UNICEF, as enrollment in schools increases, so does the gross domestic product per capital, Government having recognized this fact that the child is a tomorrow, leader, places high premium on the Nigerian child. If the youths are not properly groomed, the nation is potentially at the verge of doom. And for the plight of the child to be properly catered for, the commitment for the child is formally enshrined in the convention on the rights of the child (CRC) and the document abhors all forms of discrimination/deprivation and promotes equality of opportunity, irrespective of sex in all spheres of life including education.
The article 28 of (CRC) prescribes that the “child has a right to education and the state’s duty is to ensure that education is free and compulsory”.
Despite the declaration, and the endorsement of the convention of the rights of the child (CRC) by various member states (Nigeria inclusive) also attempts to make educational opportunities accessible, the Nigerian child has continued to be deprived of their opportunity which holds key to human development.
The status and role of the family constantly thwarts government efforts, hence the family plays an important role in the education of the child.
Parents have large and un-manageable family sizes thereby rationing educational opportunities among the children. This result in the deprivation of other children access to education which is a violation of the child’s right.
In Vandeikya Local Government area of Benue state, large family sizes have continued to frustrate government efforts and deprive the child access to education.
For the Nigerian child to realize her full potentials and be equipped for tomorrow’s responsibility, irrespective of his/her family status should adopt small family size so as to be economically capable of meeting their children educational needs.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE STUDY AREA
Vandeikya local government area was formally part of Gboko local government but was carked out of Gboko Local Govt. and established it’s independence in 1976. This was for the convenience of administrative purposes following the occasion of more states in Nigerian.
The local government shared by some boundaries as follows; it is bounded in the North by Ushongu local government; in the South by Cross River State; in the East by Kwande and West by Konshisha local government area respectively.
It is made up of 12 council wards namely;
12. Vandeikya town council.
The total population of Vandeikya local government based on the 2006 census is 230120. The area is very fertile and productive. The main product from Agriculture includes yams, rice, soya-beans, maize and kola nuts ground nuts etc.
The local government is one of educationally advanced area. There are 83 senior secondary schools and 24 junior secondary schools.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The universal declaration of the right of the child as contained in CRC 1 aimed at removing all abstracts to the deprivation of the child to attaining his full potentials. One of the instruments achieving this goal is the education of the child (Nigeria child in specific terms). Yet the Nigerian child still faces a lot of deprivation in the area of good and a quality education, compounded by the large family sizes.
Attempt by government to ensure the education of her child by introduction of educational policies aimed at boosting children enrolment in school is constantly being frustrated by the child’s family. The size of the family significantly determines the extent to which the child is educated. Children from large families suffer a lot of setbacks i.e. very few of them are sent to school with the least of school materials and attention they require affecting their education.
The little family income has to be shared between other needs, education receiving least attention as it is considered not to yield immediate economic benefits.
It is in view of the above therefore that the researcher is spurred to investigate to the effects of large size on the education of the child in Vandeikya local government.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research used the following research question;
1. What is the number of children preferred by husband and wives?
2. Do spouse discuss with each other on the number of children to have?
3. Which of the sexes of children do husbands and wives prefer?
4. Who makes decision as to the number of children to have?
5. Are there other motives for the number of children in a family?
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The research work is aimed of the following;
1. To identify those factors that favor large family size in Vandeikya local government area.
2. To identify the effects of large family on the education of the Vandeikya child.
3. To identify measures that can ensure the smooth education of the child from a large family size.
4. To make recommendations and suggestions on the effects of large family size on education in Vandeikya local government area.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study on the effects of large family size on the education of the child in Vandeikya is significant in the following ways;
It will help parents and educators to identify the effects of large family size on education of the child in the study area and beyond with the aim of correcting the phenomenon.
It will also expose the parents and the society, the rights of the Nigerian child the need to respect them.
The study will discourage large family size from potential parents for the effective education of the child.
Last but not the least, it will avail teacher of techniques and strategies that would encourage students from large families towards education.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
The research work covered all the (12) twelve council wards in Vandeikya local government area. These wards are;
1. Vandeikya township
In each of these council wards, the researcher visited ten families. The selected families cut a cross large and small size families for a balance result.
The researcher was however constrained by the time factor under which the work was to be completed. This accounted for the few number of families visited. Also, finance and lack of co-operation from respondents in answering oral interview and the completion of the questionnaires are some of the major problems on encountered.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of this study, the researcher used the following terms;
1. Family; this is the number of children per family (nuclear family)
2. Family; this is a group of people related to one another by blood ties, or adoption, living together or not and sharing some sources.
3. Education; this is the process by which the society inculcates desirable skills, attitudes, beliefs and behaivour to its younger ones.
4. Drop-out; this is the number of students who for one reason or another cannot complete a course of study upon enrollment for a specified period of time. They either withdraw willingly or are forced to leave school before completion.
5. Spouses; this refers to a man and woman who live together as husband and wife (legally married couple)
6. Child’s rights; these are basic needs of the child; he or she is morally as well as legally entitled to, when not satisfactorily met or deprived or amount to violation.
7. Reproductive health; it is that which ensures that people are able to have a satisfying ans safe life, freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so