INFLUENCE OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT COUNSELLING METHODS ON ABSENTEEISM AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN BAKORI LOCAL GOVERNMENT, KATSINA STATE, NIGERIA

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INFLUENCE OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT COUNSELLING METHODS ON ABSENTEEISM AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN BAKORI LOCAL GOVERNMENT, KATSINA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study examined the effect of positive reinforcement counselling technique on absenteeism among secondary school students in Bakori Local Government Katsina State, Nigeria. A quasi experimental design involving pre-test, post-test treatment group was adopted for the study. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting fifteen (15) samples out of the total number of (425) absentees identified using class attendance daily register to serve as the treatment group. The treatment group was exposed to the treatment programme using positive reinforcement counselling technique (praise and token) for the period of six weeks. The descriptive statistics were used to answer the research questions, and hypotheses were tested using paired t-test at 0.05 level of significance. The result showed that praise had significant effect in reducing habitual absenteeism among secondary school students (t= 6.619, p =0.003), That token had significant effect in reducing habitual absenteeism among secondary school students (t = 5.759, p = 0.005), That praise had significant effect in reducing terminal absenteeism among secondary school students (t= 8.621, p = 0.001), That token had significant effect in reducing terminal absenteeism among secondary school students (t= 4.621, p = 0.011).Positive reinforcement counselling technique (praise and token) has been found effective in treating Absenteeism behaviour among secondary school students. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that counsellors, psychologists, teachers and school administrators should employ positive reinforcement technique (praise and token) in reducing absenteeism among secondary school students irrespective of gender.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Secondary School education is considered in Nigeria as the basic level of education after Primary school which serves as stepping stone for students to qualify for higher institution, such as colleges, polytechnics and universities. Students at secondary levels are mostly adolescents engulf with many problems associated with their behaviour among which are: lateness to school, absenteeism, procrastination, bullying, dodging, truancy, exam-malpractice, drug abuse and the like.

Absenteeism simply means failure to attend school regularly during school activities/lesson, it leads to certain deficiencies in the attainment of goals and objectives of the institution. Absenteeism in secondary school is an ongoing phenomenon and one of the biggest behavioural problems that may lead to student‟s failure in their academic achievement and may also affect the standard of educational development. Absenteeism can be referred to an attitude of becoming away from school unnecessarily or unauthorized. For students, studying at school can either be fun or boring. It is fun if they can cope with the school rules and regulations. It is boring if students cannot even cope with the school rules and regulations.Daura (2013), affirmed that Absenteeism is the act of staying away from school for some few or many days without a genuine reason.

Absenteeism is also seen as a period of time when a student does not attend school for one reason or the other (Teasley, 2004). Students who do not attend school will generally fall behind their classmates in their academic success (Ford &Sutphen,

1996). They have fewer opportunities to learn the materials that will help them to succeed (Epstein & Sheldon, 2002). The focus of student absenteeism ranges from early schooling until adolescent years (Ford &Sutphen, 1996).

Absenteeism has been presented as a prevalent social problem resulting to school dropout, substance abuse, gang involvement and criminal activities, (Dantani, 2007). Absenteeism is defined as simply not attending school, with or without an excuse. The student‟s absenteeism status were classified into either habitual or terminal in most cases. The habitual absenteeism is determined when the percentage of student‟s attendance within a term is below 50%. While the terminal absenteeism is determined when the percentage of student‟s attendance within a term is above 50% but below the 75% of the criteria which have made as the minimum percentage before any student is entitled to seat for examination.

There are different types of techniques or interventions which can be applied in reducing Absenteeism in secondary schools. At its most general, positive reinforcement could be a method or technique for training, using a reward-based system, with an intention to change or reduce a negative behaviour of a student against absenteeism. Positive reinforcement “is one of the type of reinforcement, which concerns with offering of desirable effects or consequences for a behaviours with the intention of increasing the chance of that behaviour being repeated in the future, where it uses the technique of reward system, the encouragement and praising. (Huitt& Hummel, 1987).

Positive reinforcement as a method of training using a reward-based system, the technicalities of defining behaviour and its result have led to the meaning of positive reinforcement becoming rather confused. In most cases reinforcement refers to an enhancement of behaviour but this term may also refer to an enhancement of memory. One example of this effect is called post-training reinforcement where a stimulus (praises) given shortly after a training session enhances the learning,

(McLeod, 2007).  Positive reinforcement can be motivating to children of all ages. Positive reinforcement is a practice aimed at increasing the likelihood that behaviour will reoccur. The reinforcement takes place after the behaviour and can include both material and non-material rewards including, praise and recognition. Positive reinforcement has the potential to be more effective than punishment for managing behaviour in the school or classroom; however, depending on the circumstance there may be positive or negative effects. This stimulus can also be an emotional one.

Despite all efforts to reduce the problem of absenteeism by significant others such as researchers, principals and teachers, this problem of absenteeism especially among secondary school students still persist. Many works have been done by different individuals in the field of research in respect of absenteeism to school, among them includes Ahmed (2013), Effect of Positive Reinforcement on the Level of Absenteeism among Senior Secondary School in DauraZonal Inspectorate of Education of Katsina State. Adebayo (2010), carried out a study on Efficacy of Group Counselling (Reinforcement and Self Control) Techniques in Reducing Truancy among School going Adolescent in Ilorin Nigeria. Therefore, the background of this study is the researcher examined the effect of positive reinforcement as a counselling technique on absenteeism among secondary school students.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The problem of Absenteeism among students in secondary schools in Katsina State and Bakori local government in particular has been a major concern for teachers as well as school authorities. As its consequences may leads to poor performance and poor skills acquisition and the total setback which may cause the total failure in the academic achievement of student‟s educational activities, such as exams failure, inability to cope with school subjects, bad image to the school teachers and admin staff, student may however develop negative attitude towards learning activities. The behaviour of abstaining from school by secondary school students can lead to educational failure (suspension, expulsion, or dropout), social isolation, substance abuse, low self-esteem, unwanted pregnancy, unemployment, violence and adult

crime or prison.

Student‟s absenteeism status were classified into either habitual or terminal.

The habitual absenteeism is determined when the percentage of student‟s attendance is below 50%. While the terminal absenteeism is determined when the percentage of student‟s attendance is above 50% and below the 75% which is the average percentage every student must have before seating for examination.

Punctuality which has a bearing in mind on how much knowledge and skills a student acquired in a course of study.Today, is the problem which bedevilled the progress of education system, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. But in normal circumstance, students at secondary school level are expected to be more punctual and concentrate fully during the teaching and learning activities at all cost. But many of them are forming the habit of being absent to school. This negative behaviour/attitude if left untreated especially secondary school students, can lead to severe poor academic performance. This problem at most, might be related to student‟s difficulties of becoming punctual to school, which associated with some negligence that are originated to some factors, such as home training, parental background, community settings, school teachers training, and school policy. Hence the problem cut across many secondary schools in Katsina State and particularly in Bakori Local Government. Considering its negative trend in the students‟ academic performance, developing absenteeism among secondary school students may have a serious repercussion in the academic performance and educational development.

This problem and similar other ones can technically be addressed using one of the counselling techniques such as positive reinforcement (praises and tokens), which are used to reduce number of absenteeism in Bakori local government. Positive reinforcement could be said to be a method of training using a reward-based system. Positive reinforcement is a behavioural counselling technique which involves the addition of a gratifying experience in reaction to something which someone has done. Many students respond to praise and recognition. It is defined as anything which occur in conjunction with an act tends to increase the probability that the act will or will not occur again.

In this study, the researcher employed one of the counselling techniques, Positive Reinforcement (Praises and tokens) which examined its Effect on school absenteeism among Secondary School Students in Bakori Local Government, Katsina State.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were to determine the:

  1. Effect of praise on habitual absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.
  2. Effect of token on habitual absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.
  3. Effect of praise on terminal absenteeism among secondary school students in

BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

  1. Effect of token on terminal absenteeism among secondary school students in

BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

 

1.4 Research Questions

Based on the above objectives, the following research questions were raised:

  1. What is the effect of praise on habitual absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State? ii. What is the effect of token on habitual absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State? iii. What is the effect of praise on terminal absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State? iv. What is the effect of token on terminal absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State?

1.5 Hypotheses

The followings hypotheses were tested:

HO1: There is no significant effect of praise on habitual absenteeism among

Secondary School Students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

HO2: There is no significant effect of token on habitualabsenteeism among Secondary

School Students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

HO3: There is no significant effect of praise on terminal absenteeism among

Secondary School Students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

HO4: There is no significant effect of token on terminal absenteeism among

Secondary School Students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

1.6Basic Assumptions

The followings were the basic assumptions of the study:

  1. That praise may have an effect on habitual absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.
  2. That token may have an effect on habitual absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.
  3. That praise may have an effect on terminal absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.
  4. That token may have an effect on terminal absenteeism among secondary school students in BakoriLocal Government, Katsina State.

 

1.7 Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this study might be significant to school counsellors and psychologists, teachers, students, educational policy makers, researchers, parents and the entire community.

The school counsellors and psychologists for example, can use the treatment package of this study in reducing absenteeism among students. This can be done in either group or individual counselling by enlighten the students the negative consequences of absenteeism towards the academic performance.

Classroom teachers on the other hand might benefit from this study by identifying students who are always engaging themselves to absenteeism throughclass attendance daily register as shown in the study and adopt some strategies on how to handle such cases especially during the class hours.

The study might also be significant to students treated with treatment package used in this study. This might help them achieve maximally in their educational pursuit. Also, as it was stated in the national policy on education that only students with minimum of 75% of attendance will be allowed to sit for examination, this study will help the absentees to meet such requirement.

Furthermore, researchers are hoped to benefit from this study especially in the review of its literature as well as empirical studies. Also, various sources contacted while conducting this study might serve as a source of reference to conduct similar study.

Parents can also benefit from the findings of this study by motivating and encouraging their wards to change their attitude of not attending the school. The study might also play a vital role in enlighten parents the benefit of providing all necessary support which will assist their wards to become punctual to school.

Community members are hoped to use the findings of this study because absenteeism mostly results in engaging students to steal, smoke, rape young ones and the like. As such, students treated the positive reinforcement counselling technique as suggested by this study will be free from such evil acts and this will in one way or the other benefit the larger community.

 

 

 

 

1.8 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The scope of this study was to find out the effect of positive reinforcement counselling technique on absenteeism among secondary school students in Bakori Local Government, Katsina State, Nigeria.

This study was limited to BakoriLocal Government Area of Katsina State, Nigeria, and students in classes I and II of junior and senior secondary school in Government Day Secondary School Bakori. Students in class III of junior and senior secondary schools are excluded.

 

INFLUENCE OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT COUNSELLING METHODS ON ABSENTEEISM AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN BAKORI LOCAL GOVERNMENT, KATSINA STATE, NIGERIA

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