Background to the Study
The word marriage is a common feature practiced universally. That is to say all societies throughout the world practice marriage. Although marriage is universal, it is not easily defined as a result of various cultural practices involved in what constitute marriage. Every society look at it according to their culture, customs values and belief systems attached to the word. Igbo (2003pp.43), has given us a working definition of marriage saying, it is a “union between a man and woman such that children born to the woman are recognized as legitimate offspring of both parents”. Utulu (2010) viewed marriage as ties or unions between individuals and group. Among its functions are child bearing, child rearing and sexual satisfaction. Early marriage among the youths has become so rampant today such that, the phenomenon is causing a lot of concern to the general public. The researcher just like anyone else who caters for the development and progress of his country would also feel concerned to take a clear look at the problem in order to ascertain its impact on the educational attainment of learners observation in Burku Local government area indicate that, the act is backed up with the reasons such as love for one another, sexual satisfaction, desire to be publicly recognized as responsible person, procreation, need for one’s assistance either in the farm or other activities. According to Utulu (2010), early marriage has become a problem in the area under study especially among the youths. Problems such as leadership issue between complexes as in who will rule the house since they are of the same age-range, the inability of the young husband to cater for the needs of his family, school abandonment and other social problems. It is pertinent to note that primary school occupies a sensitive position in the development of pupils by uplifting their performances and preparing them for higher educational standards. (Akoja 2003). It is based on this reason that the researcher deems it necessary to investigate the impact of early marriage among the youths as on academic performance of pupils’ in primary schools in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State. The main areas of focus are: impact of early marriage on pupils’ attendance to school, pupils’ learning, pupils’ performance in examination and pupils’ access to learning materials. 1.2
Statement of the Problems
The early marriage among the youths has become problematic in our society and has resulted in low enrolment in our primary school pupils. According to Igbo and Egbe (2007), this has affected the standard of pupils academic performances in our primary schools. Some of the problems could be identified as school, which can hinder the desire to pursue further education attainment of the youths. As the girl-child is still valuable and submissive, she can be subjected to the atrocities of domestic violence and education abandonment. Most girls are not fully developed before they are given into marriage. This causes difficulties in labour during delivery and it could consequently lead to premature death of the young mother and the infant. High level of primary school dropout due to inability of the young parents to pay the children’s school fees. Inadequate parental care and non-availability of counseling services is another obstacle. This denial of personal development and educational attainment due to this problem has hampered the situation in the sector. High level of illiteracy among the youths and the myths and misconception about early marriage are contributory factors which have negative impact on the academic performance of primary school pupils. Due to the practice of forceful early marriage, some girls are forced within human treatment and consequently die at youthful age. Confronting the above problems, Oguche (2011), in his special report on problems of early marriage said, “the society is to fully appreciate the...
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