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Keywords: PERCEPTION OF STREET CHILDREN AND THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY IN SUPPORTING THEIR ACCESS TO EDUCATION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION
2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.3 EMPIRICAL REVIEW
2.4 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.2 AREA OF STUDY
3.3 POPULATION OF THE STUDY
3.4 RESEARCH SAMPLE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE
3.5 INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION
3.6 VALIDITY OF THE INSTRUMENT
3.7 METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION
3.8 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
4.0 DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
5.0 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1 SUMMARY
1.1 Background to the Study
The street children phenomenon is called a worldwide challenge because, no nation across the world is exempted from the challenge of children neglect and parental un-readiness that results in abandonment and outright lack of care that drives such children unto the street to find ways and means of fending for themselves. Street children are a common eye sore in major cities across the world but the problem is more prominent and rampant in developing and underdeveloped nations „street children‟ challenge has gradually become an index capable of being used to measure the level of development in nations across the globe. In other words there are more „street children‟ in poor, underdeveloped and developing countries whereas, t control as a result of the citizens welfare system of developed nations which at all times cater for and give attention and support to such children and their parents.
Ahiante (2004) expressed that the sight of the street children sometimes infuriates and frightens, but their plight invokes sympathy and compassion. They are all over, in the markets, at bus stops, car parks, garages, street corners, under the bridges and other public places across the nation’s major cities. UNICEF (1996a) estimated that by the year 2000, half of the world’s population was less than 25 years of age and living in cities with a significant number of these living in poverty. By the end of the century, there were about 250 million more urban children in the 5 to 19 years of age cohort than there were in the mid – 1980s. More than 90 percent of these youths were living in developing nations, and many of these children were living on the streets (UNICEF 1996b).
Estimating the statistical data of „street children‟ across the world, in continents or even within nations, has been an uphill task over the last two and a half decades. Between 1989 and 2005, UNICEF estimated the numbers of street children or homeless children as running into tens of million across the world but quoted in each case a figure of 100million (UNICEF 1989, 2002 and 2005).
Considering a more feasible and realistic growth in statistical data, a deteriorating level of economic and financial situation around the world in the last decade with great intensity in underdeveloped and developing countries; which resultantly worsened the incidence of extreme poverty and hunger in developing countries, it is only logical to expect that a worsening poverty incidence across the developing world will definitely stimulate an increase in the menace of parental irresponsibility resulting in an increase in the number of street children particularly in developing countries. In concurrence with the claims of authors, sociologists and development analysts on the subject, a conservative estimate of between 100 million in UNICEF‟s estimate of 1989 and a projection of 150million “street children” by various authorities between year 2004 and 2006, statistically sounds realistic considering the worsening level of poverty and deteriorating living standards in developing countries, and various effects of war and disasters across the world, particularly in developing countries in the last 2 decades, which further worsened the fragile economics of family units.
Education is a fundamental human right that allows all children to develop towards their potentials. A lack of education has dire consequences for the child and negative consequences for the society as a whole. These children have many needs and offer special challenges. Some of these can be addressed through education with a value based educational approach (ALIVE, 2013). The lack of education and educational opportunities makes street children vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other STIs, while education prevention programs are conducted in a formal school setting (CSC, 2009). With no education or marketable skills, the only source of income is to run and use the streets as a way of improving the condition and getting away from abuse. And most of these children use the earnings to pay for their own needs, including school fees, or support their families (Buske, 2011). Street children, once they attend to school, they may be developmentally delayed or school phobic and express fear of parental abandonment. Their organizational skills are poor as is their ability to conceptualize and finish tasks. However, they also feel ashamed of where they reside, they are often teased by peers (Epstein, 1996).
Some of the street children had attended primary school to some extent before they left home to the streets (Niboye, 2013). However, those who had never attended primary schools find it difficult to commence schooling as they consider themselves grownups. Lack of education even at basic level, is very detrimental to these children as they will lack elementary knowledge and fundamental skills with which 11 to manage their lives (ibid). But children who living on the streets are not likely to be failures in the society. Usually will have opportunity to reform and become good citizens within the society (Christle et al, 2002). Street children like any other children are gifted and talented in different areas (Niboye, 2013). Some of these street children will have great history and life story to tell. They are less violent from the violence from which they arise. However, people in the world have experienced many instances in which street children have end up to become very powerful people in the society (Christle et al, 2002).Through education they rebuild their lives again on how to be asset to the society and to be the prime contributor to the economic growth of the country. Onta-Bhatta (1996), says that school is viewed as the proper place for the development of good citizens. Those who not in school become potentially dangerous for their own future and for the society. Meda (2010), therefore, identifying street children strongly influences the self-representation children have about themselves, affecting them at the identity level, marking it hard for them to perceive themselves as something. Moreover, preventing them from engaging in successful rehabilitation processes. In line with various research studies in the past, this study investigates perceptions of street children and the role of community in supporting their access to education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The high rate of street children is increasingly becoming a problem to the Nigeria Society and especially in the urban areas. This is mainly caused by poverty in some of households which fail to provide basic needs such as food and clothes, incidences of divorce that leads to decreased care of the children, orphans due to death of one or both parents caused by various causes including HIV/AIDS, rural – urban migration, and uncontrolled family sizes.
Unfortunately, the family, which was traditionally, the primary agent of socialization for children, is gradually losing its strength, especially in the area of child upbringing. King (2003) opined that one could even say that the degree to which the family is factionalized, to that degree it is weakened and dissolved. This is because family life increasingly manifests the strains that came from inhabiting an inhospitable environment due to the dynamics of technological society. Hence, the family has lost many of its functions to some other social institutions in the society. Therefore, King (2003) expressed that, it is generally true that an individual in traditional society spent much of his/her time within his/her family and under the care of his/her family. In technological society, most of the functions once associated with family life are transferred to the realm of mass institutions, such as school and religion. The consequences of this according to King (2003) are the isolation of the conjugal family, which appears to weaken the family. Also the nuclear family life tends to be unable to carry the heavy burden for personal and emotional support that the technological society lays upon it. Thus, there is weakened relationship between parents and children. As family functions are attenuated and emotional support becomes the basis for the family relationship, the bond between parents and children grows fragile.
Although there are many programs emerging for the support of street children in Nigeria. These programs include the provision of support in the area of feeding, clothing, housing, medical care and education. The Nigerian national assembly also promulgated a Child Rights Act in 2003. These events marked significant landmarks in ameliorating the problems of street children in the country. The extent to which these measures were effective is not yet known. Therefore the focus of this study is examine the perception of street children and the role of community in supporting street children access to education.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to find out the perception of street children and the role of community in supporting street children access to education, specifically the study intends to:
1. To find out the perception of street children concerning the factors that influence the increasing rate of street children in Nigeria
2. Find out the challenges faced by street children in Nigeria
3. Examine the role of the community support for street children so they can have access education
4. Analyze the effect of education on the reduction of street children in Nigeria
5. Investigate the role of government to reduce the increasing rate of street children in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
1. What is the perception of street children concerning the factors that influence the increasing rate of street children in Nigeria?
2. What are the challenges faced by street children in Nigeria?
3. What is the role of the community support for street children so they can have access education?
4. Is there any significant effect of education on the reduction of street children in Nigeria?
5. Does the government plays any role of government to reduce the increasing rate of street children in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Keywords: PERCEPTION OF STREET CHILDREN AND THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY IN SUPPORTING THEIR ACCESS TO EDUCATION