TEENAGE PREGNANCY AND ITS EFFECTS ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FEMALE STUDENTS: A CASE STUDY OF IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

One of the salient responsibilities of women is procreation as ordained by God. However, there are conditions to be met before a woman could start procreating. In African context, the act of procreation is a responsibility of grown up young adults who have been found to be physically, economically, emotionally, spiritually and at large psychologically matured; that is why marriage act is highly contracted and celebrated in our present societies.

According to Sambo (2009), “teenage pregnancy refers to pregnancies which occur when the girl child is below the age of 18 years, unwanted, unplanned and out of wedlock”. Teenage pregnancy may occur as a result of early maturity with good physical features, sometimes coupled with the onset of menstruation that varies from person to person, especially exposing a young girl to peer’s influence (Ede, 2011). Ede (2011) observed that a well mature adolescent girl knows that she can be attractive to opposite sex. Her image and self-esteem are in wholesome. It, in turn, enables her to venture out to get the different sex attracted. Ede (2011) further stated that such well-matured girls without adequate social training and self-discipline usually see sex as a means of social, economic and emotional gratification and hastily go into it and become pregnant. He added that it is indeed an over-pressing problem because of the enormous demands that sexual issues make on young persons. Sometimes, teenage pregnancy occurs as a result of sexual abuse that is rampant in our society today. Given the above factors, Nweke (2012) stated that it is evident for a child abused at a very early to fulfill an adult or older siblings need the rest of her life with the feelings which he had to give too much of himself. The result of sexual abuse, however, is not restricted to problems in one’s sexual life; they impair the development of themselves as an autonomous personality.

It is an unwelcome phenomenon which ensues amongst academically and financially challengedfemales (Undiyaundeye, Agba&Mandeun, 2015). In Nigeria, a report by the Demographicand Health Survey establishes that about 23% of females aged between 15-19 years are bearingchildren while 10 percent of adolescents residing in rural areas are already bearing childrencompared to the 32 percent of adolescents in urban locations (DHS, 2013). Thus, indicating thatteenage pregnancy is on the rise in the country (Egbule, &Ugoji, 2014).

Several factors seem to have been accountable for the growth of an infant or teenage pregnancy in developing and other developed nations of the world which varies in time and places. Eke (2011) highlighted that efforts had been put in place to reduce high pregnancy rate on teenagers including other related social problem and the rapid increase in the population of the third world and Africa, in particular, had also increased the level of unemployment, poverty, hunger and poor education (Nwafor, 2013).

In some cases, teenage pregnancy occurs as a result of inadequate information about reproduction health and contraception within the context of early marriage. Dealing with unplanned pregnancy among teenagers is confusing and scary. A victim of unplanned pregnancy is likely to suffer or experience depression, frustration, fear and other emotional problems. Hence, the heightened risk for educational issues and injuries with children of adolescent parents is associated not with the influence of young age but the confounding influences of associated socio-demographic factors. Most teenagers become pregnant after they have hooked-up with their partners because of aggressiveness and curiosity of having sex. Odo (2012) claims: Our sexuality influences our attitudes, the way we think and feel. The need for sex education is emphasising because many adolescents have experienced failure in the area of sex resulting in teenage pregnancy, School dropout, rape, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STD) and HIV/AIDS; as a cause of improper instructions on how to manage.

Anderson (2017) stated that children are sexually un-educated and the mothers in their view have just not done their job, such that we need professionals to do the right things. He further stated that teaching sex education to young children and adolescents will reduce the number of teenage pregnancies. Teenage parents often seem not to have financial resources to take care of their babies. And owing to this fiscal constraint, teen mothers appear to be at high risk. According to Igba (2015), “the financial strain and psychological trauma to which some single parents are subjected to could impede their capabilities to cater for their children’s well-being adequately” .

Furthermore, both parents and business people seem to give more attention to acquiring wealth than they do to their parental duties towards moral upbringing of their children. And as a result of this, many female teenagers have been led astray by the influence of the peers at school, and the resultant effect is the pregnancy that is not important. Egbo (2019) observed that the get-rich-quick syndrome had affected the all-important need by youths to get through the tripartite education system. The problem that often comes to mind is, “why do adolescents have an unwanted pregnancy? Is sex simply an answer?” It is clear that sex is the means through which higher and lower animals perpetuate their kind and an expression of love but when put in wrong use, it can quickly create a social problem. Sex had become fun; sadly, such fun leads to teenage pregnancy. The quest for sex among teenagers seems to be high and uncontrollable. Iman (2014) summarized this experience in the Northern part of Nigeria and concluded that it has become impossible for parents to control the youths from indulging in sexual activities. He reported this, having an average of one request for one month from parents to abort the pregnancy of their daughters still in school. The action of parents goes to confirm that teenage pregnancy is now rampant in our society and if not correctly checked will undoubtedly amount to an unhealthy increase in the population of many school drop-outs.

Teenage pregnancy of the Girl-Child attracts enormous implications since children born to adolescent parents are less fit to receive proper nutrition, wellness care, cognitive and social stimulation. Most pregnant teenagers are expelled from their places of study and may not have the opportunity of being reabsorbed to the school system. This break in academic pursuit could hinder the future development opportunity as well as the quantity of life of the young person. In many societies, people stigmatize the pregnant teens. This act has to do with feelings of shame, guilt, anger, denial and depression. Teenage pregnancy can be a contributing factor in cold self-esteem. Teens are often afraid to tell friends, parents or other family members about their pregnancies which can lead to further anxiety, grief and aberration in the society. Consequently, teenage pregnancy can lead to adverse emotional and psychological effects including resentment or anger which can be severe.

Teenage mothers appear to be at high risk of experiencing birth complications, toxaemia, anaemia and even death. Williams (2009) added that influence of adolescent pregnancy is not only pointed towards the health of the mother and baby but also to the health of teenage girls. These teenagers are more likely to end up sick and have their children grow up in abject poverty. From the above, it is therefore imperative that teenagers should refrain from pre-marital sex as the only means of getting unplanned pregnancy coupled with considerable diversity in outcomes of teenage pregnancy. Also, the necessity to have teenagers make the right decision at the time of pregnancy ought to be a priority. Pregnant teens seem to undergo controversy and confusion on either to keep the pregnancy or to abort it.

In his view, Okolie (2015) emphasised that sex education should not be paid lip-service to make headway against this ugly situation and lessen the rate of teenage pregnancy. According to him, Sex-educated teens often appear to be safe from the consequences of early pregnancy and other marathon adolescent complications. Adolescent pregnancies have become a public health issue because of their observed adverse effects on fetal outcomes and long-term morbidity. The community of young maternal age and long-term morbidity is usually mixed, however, by the high currency of poverty, low level of education, and single marital status among teenage mothers. Thus; there is a need for education as the process of self-discovery by which an individual discovers his or her innate lying talents, capabilities, and potentials for the benefit of the individual in his or her immediate environment, the society and of the world at large (Okoye, 2001). Most teenagers who were a victim of unplanned pregnancy had attempted aborting the pregnancy. Abortion among the teenagers should be discouraged to a great extent by the health workers in various hospitals to save lives and rescue the infected teenager from the complications.

According to Efiong (2016) asserted that most teenage abortion is intentional. When abortion is intentional, it can cause a problem for the woman and if a couple is unable to have a child, and then abortion can cause unhappiness. Reports revealed cases of maternal morbidity and mortality during such years are due primarily to unsafe abortion because of infections and illnesses. The Pedagogic emphasis as could be deducted from the citation is that both induced and intentional abortion is detrimental to health. Unsafe abortion, however, is a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy, carried out either by a person lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform minimal medical standards, or both (WHO, 2010). The abortion rate among teenagers’ records shows that out of every ten girls, seven have committed an abortion at one time or the other (WHO, 2010). And following the risk involved in abortion, many of the teenagers have lost their lives in the act.

Statement of the Problem

Teenage pregnancy would cause a drastic reduction in the academic performance of the Girl-Child. Most teenagers have been withdrawn from school by their parents or relations on the ground of unplanned pregnancy and the teenage boys are being taken to police and courts for complicity.Meanwhile, both the school system and the home have blame to share for their inability to impart sex education to the youth.

The ethical foundation of sex education both in school and at home is essential. The broader societies have not escaped from having its part of the blame. The community has failed to create an atmosphere that nurtures sexual promiscuity and abandoning her traditional role of collective responsibility in instilling moral discipline to the teenagers. The Social Welfare Department swan daily with pregnant teenagers trying to force the paternity of their pregnancy on the unwilling young men for complicity. The long-term consequences of teenage births for parents and their children result in illegal marriages, kidnapping, murder and other related crimes as a result of frustration which have serious effects on teenagers academic performance. Hence, there is need for this study to examine teenage pregnancy and its effects on academic performance of secondary school female students: A case study in IkereLocal Government Area of Ekiti State.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine teenage pregnancy and its effects on academic performance of secondary schools female students: A case study in IkereLocal Government Area of Ekiti State. The study specifically sought to:

  1. Find out factors responsible for the teenage pregnancyand its effect on academic performance of female students in the study area.
  2. Ascertain the implications of teenage pregnancy among secondary school female students in the study area.
  • Find out ways of reducing teenage pregnancy among secondary school female students in the study area.

Significance of the Study

The study is significant as it will highlight the causes of teenage pregnancy, its impact in school, home and society, with a particular interest in its influence on Girl-Child academic performance insecondary schools. The findings of the study will direct the educational sector on how to handle adolescents without contributing to their frustration. It will also enable educational planners to incorporate sex education into the school curriculum to achieve solutions to social problems.

The findings will expose parents not to see sex as a taboo that must never discuss with children. It will also encourage parents to observe some developmental changes in the body of their children to avoid being misled by peers. The findings of the study will motivate the school administrators to organise moral instruction on weekly bases to inculcate morality on the students.

The findings of the study will further be beneficial to the teenagers on their part to control their sexuality and thereby adjust to positive way towards their educational attainment. To the infected teenagers, it will expose them on dangers of abortion and equally instill in them the determination and courage to continue their academic pursuit even at the point of pregnancy despite the shame and social stigma involved.

Pertinently, the finding of the study will contribute to the general health of the society by inculcating in the people how best to reduce teenage pregnancy and to manage the phenomenon to encourage the infected teens educationally. The full community will further understand the primary motive of sex which is for procreation and not for fun and thereby improve in perception and attitude.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. What are the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy among female secondary school students in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?
  2. What are the effects of teenage pregnancy on academic performance of secondary school female students in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State?
  • What are the possible ways of reducing teenage pregnancy among secondary school female students in the study area?

Scope of Study

The study is will be limited to female students in senior secondary schools in IkereLocal Government Area of Ekiti State. The researcher will employ questionnaire to gather information. The context scope of this study is limited to examine teenage pregnancy and its effects on academic performance of secondary school female students.

Definition of Terms

Family: In the context of human society, a family is a group of people affiliated either by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage or other relationship), or co-residence (as implied by the etymology of the English word “family”) or some combination of these

Implication: The conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated.

Child Upbringing: Child upbringing is not an easy task. Both husband and wife have important role to play in the home front so as to raise good children that will be useful to the family and society at large.

Parent: The term parent as used in this study includes, in addition to a natural parent a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis, such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for a child’s welfare

Parenting style: – The overall emotional climate of the parent-child relationship – an effective context of sorts that sets the tone for the parent’s interactions with the child.

Parental Involvement: – Any form of verbal or non-verbal communication or assistance in references to a child’s homework.

 

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