1.1 Background to the Study
Education remains a potent and dynamic instrument for national development and social transformation and also a tool in measuring development index globally. It is in recognition of this importance that governments all over the world have made commitments for its citizens to have access to education. Since it remains the only tool through which any nation can grow and develop technically and overcome poverty and other factors associated with under-development. Learning is an important activity which humans engage in. For children to perform in class, they must learn otherwise teaching will be an effort in futility. It is in this light, that Zimmerman and Schunk (2001) revealed by using the three types of learning; behaviourist, cognitive and social learning theories to explain how children are taught and how learning is expected to take place. They conclude that abused children therefore do not learn effectively hence they often record poor academic performance in school.
Academic performance as a fundamental objective of educational system has become a source of concern to researchers, especially as the academic performance of the students is declining. Academic performance is defined or regarded as participants’ examination grades at the end of a given duration (term, semester, programme). It could also be seen as the level of performance in a particular field of study (Egbule, 2004:34). Similarly, Ricarda (2014) posited that academic performance represents achievement outcome that indicates the extent to which a student has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college and university.
Children that have been victimized by one or more form(s) of physical abuse exhibit some behaviours different from other children in school with attendant effects on their academic performance. Shonk and Cicchetti (2001) revealed that physical abuse generally delays students’ progress academically, because there is always lack of trust in people because they have been disappointed and abused by those that ought to be source of joy, trust, defense and security to them, they believe nowhere is safe and nobody is to be trusted. This leads to changes in behaviour such as emotional pain, physical pain, withdrawal from opposite sex, poor social relationship, anxiety, mental stress, depression, difficulty in socializing, sadness, hooliganism, thuggery, rebellious, malnourishment, anger, scars on body parts, addictions, sexual difficulties, unhealthy appearance and clothing. These traits lead to poor academic performance by the child as concentration becomes a problem. Street hawking is a form of selling goods along the road from one place to the other. It also extends to activities that includes but not restricted to canvassing for patronage of goods and sale of items carried by a hawker along the street, from house to house or in the public space (Ikechukwu Joe, 2008).
The phenomenon of children street hawking or vending in developing cities and towns is attracting a rising interest amongst researchers (Olutunde, 2013; Ugochukwu, Okeke, Onubogu and Edokwe 2012), due to the various health, social, and economic implications for the children who engage in such activities.
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