THE EFFECTS OF CHILD LABOUR ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE. A CASE
STUDY IN MADINA.
Lots has been said about child labour and in these reports there are clearly stated concerns about the effects of child labour on children‘s academic performance and its long run impact on human capital development. Situations where children of school going age are engaged in active work, does it at the expense of school. The situation existed even before Ghana attained her independence in 1957. Generally, attendance rates for males are higher than that of females but the differences are minimal because they all are geared towards the downfall of society. Often there is a mismatch between school calendar or timetable and household duties (e.g. fetching water, collecting firewood, cooking, caring for younger siblings and sick family members) resulting in some children not being able to attend school. In Ghana the cooperative effort of the government, voluntary agencies and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have employed their resources into improving the lot of children especially in northern Ghana. The objectives of the UN‘s MDG compact, which are reflected in the original poverty reduction proposals of Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, included raising the access of all the nation‘s children and youth to a defined minimum of basic education, irrespective of the economic circumstances of their parents or guardians. Child labourers lack concentration in class, end up producing bad results which could lead to school drop outs. One of the immediate consequences is streetism, a spear header of E. Sutherland‘s Differential Association- a process whereby deviance or crime is learned from others. This negative phenomenon puts the Ghanaian society in a pathological state since the impact will be an astronomical increase in crime rate.
There is the need for further interventions if this problem of child labour would be reduced to the barest minimum in Ghana and especially in the study area. The impact of this phenomenon is diversified in nature and need multi-faceted solutions.
In light of the above issues the problem of child labour in the study area needs to be given more attention. Though a lot of studies have been conducted about the problem it still persists. In order to address it there is the need to have a clear understanding of the nature, causes and trends of child labour. The effects of child labour on children‘s academic performance calls for further investigations.
In view of the above discussion, four questions are posed which the study will seek to address: • What child labour is and how widespread is the phenomenon of child labour in Madina? • Which factors influence family‘s decision to subject the child to work in the study area? • How does child labour affect children‘s academic performance in the study area? • How can the problem be addressed by different stakeholders?
Objectives of the study
The broad objective of this study is to investigate and understand the dynamics of child labour, assess the extent to which it has affected children‘s academic performance in the study area and to propose policy recommendations to improve human capital development which is a key to national development.
The specific objectives of the study include the following:
• To examine what child labour is and how widespread the phenomenon of child labour is in Madina.
• Some factors that cause child labour in the study area.
• The effects of child labour on academic performance in the study area. • To give recommendations to inform policy to mitigate the activities of child labour.
The higher the engagement in child labour, the poorer you perform academically.
Theory on Child Labour
Over the years many theoretical perspectives of child labour have been propounded. Some of the more common models which try to explain child labour are the...
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Republic of Ghana (1992). The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
UNICEF, (2004). The State of the World 's Children New York.
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