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BACKGROUND OF THE PROBLEM
In ancient societies, marriage of a youth was part of the responsibilities of his parents, where a man was made to marry a wife that was chosen or selected for him by his parents, the young man had no choice but to accept his wife with joy and thanks. All a time he could certainly not afford to keep a wife, all maintenance was burned of the parents.
According to Landis, H. P. (1977), in the past, marriage were a matter within the clan and its environments, parents were not anxious to see their sons getting married to girls from distant places or other tribes. Marriage were arranged by parents on basis of family friendship and such marriage hardly break up because of he close relationship between both parents.
Divorce in the ancient times was also very rare, because of penalties of proven infidelity and fear of offending with of both families.
In Nigeria, there are four clearly defined types of marriages, ewe have the church marriage conducted in the church or statutory marriages, court marriage is performed at the Moslem mosques and marriages contracted according to the native law and customs of any given ethnic group known as the traditional marriage.
In 1979, according to Fumilaya Davis, marriage was made for the purpose of having children so as to establish a family because marriage was ordained by God to serve this purpose, when these children are eventually born, they are seen as God’s blessing and as a gift to their parents as they are social and economic assets to their parents.
The family this time needs a home to live in and feel secured, thus home is a place where a family live and also a place where one secures love. It is a place which provides all individual need, in order to fit into the society successfully. A home provides for good physical, mental, psychological and spiritual development of its members. A home built on love, mutual understanding and good planning is able to met its goals and a home where love and understanding are lacking is bound to crack and in all direction, thus, broken homes are homes or families where either the father or the mother has cased to be member of such home or family through divorce, desertion to mention but a few.
Divorce therefore can be defined as a personal misfortune for either of the spouse in any society. But it is a universal escape for the inevitable tension of marriage.
Divorce as a mater of fact breaks through bonds which once united two individual and their family. Marriage is a step in life, in which a person plans as in a career or even business where one can either fail or succeed. This bond dissolution can occur as a result of extra – marital practices by either the partners, early marriages.
The objective of the family is the proper upbringing of children, which is very important to them than the happiness of the parents. This is because the early years of child’s life are for the information of personality and these are the years that are spent mainly in association with parents, sibling and the family. The home as the child’s immediate environment forms the basis for personality development, which accompanies the individual throughout life.
As a result of divorce or broken home, children fail to develop ties to one or few important persons in the family and when these ties are disrupted, children are taught to be impaired in developing close relationship in adulthood.
These children feel bitter and carry over the tension from home to school. As a result, they cannot think clearly or critically as a happy person and at the same time cannot concentrate on anything taught at school, when a mother is out of a home, leaving the children under the charity and mercy of step pother, these children are made to face many problems, like emotional disturbance (fear insecurity), not inspired to study malnutrition, sickness and disease, negligence, as such they are not likely to perform up to expectation at school.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Many problems are associated with divorce or broken home, which reflects on the performance of children in schools, some of these problems are;
1 It has been observed that children from broken homes suffer, some other problems e.g. non-provision of some basic necessities like, clothing, food, learning materials etc.
2 There is increase in domestic work and redistribution of household chairs which leaves the children with little or no time for their studies.
3 Insecurity: Step mother or step father do not show much love and affection to their step children which makes them suffer from mental retardation and miserable. They show behavioral responses like lying, stealing, playing, truant in school etc.
In view of this, the researcher is forced to wonder whether extra sexual relationship and finance problem could lead to broken homes and if really broken home is the cause of decrease on the academic performance of children in school. A close look at other turnout of secondary school graduates reveals a lot of “half cooked”, “half boiled” and “half baked” scholars both academically, socially and otherwise.
This goes to motivate the researchers’ fear that divorce may have negative effect on the academic performance of students
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The researcher is interested in the study of the effects of divorce or broken homes on the academic performance of students in secondary school.
In view of this, the study is geared towards identifying the cause and problems of broken homes and the effects on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
The researcher also hopes to education married couples and the general public of the consequences of divorce or broken home on the children and to encourage them to live harmoniously in order to bring up children who will successfully fit into the society and become useful to themselves and the society.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study will give the researcher a deep insight into how divorce affects the academic performance of students in schools because whatever happens in the home has a bearing on the academic performance of the students.
Therefore, it is necessary to eradicate the youngsters who are yet to marry about the problems and causes of divorce and their consequences on the children. This will make youngsters to be careful when choosing their life partners.
Findings from this study will aid children from parents who have divorced the understanding of the problems experienced by the children and give them assurance about their future.
The present increase in the academic performance of students in our secondary school call for immediate attention, the researcher is eager to find out what exactly are the cause of this problem and the consequence on the children of such marriage. The following questions will be used for the study of these problems;
1 Does children from broken homes perform better than children from unbroken homes academically?
2 Does students/children who perform poorly in school are all from divorced homes?
3 Does divorce affect the academic performance of students?
4 Are children/students from broken homes opportune to plan with their sponsors what course to pursue in life?
5 Does insecurity and un – ruling attitudes of step parents of students of broken home lead them to steal love at school?
SCOPE OF STUDY
There are many secondary schools in Oredo Local Government Area where this research is to be carried out but due to time factor and poor financial position, the researcher shall limit this study to four different secondary schools;
1. Baptist High School
2. Ihogbe College
3. Edokpolor Secondary School
4. Idia College
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Divorce: This is a legal separation of husband and wife leaving each other free to remarry. It is also to break off a marriage legally.
Marriage: A state of being legally joined as husband and wife
Family: A group of people who are closely related especially father, mother and their children
Infidelity: Disloyalty or a state of being unfaithful to the husband or wife sexuality out matrimonial home
Couple: Two people together especially a husband and wife
Youngster: Young person or young boys and girls yet to marry.
Early marriage: A situation where either of the spouse is not ripe enough for marriage before getting married.
Universal escape: Means of regaining freedom from tensions of marriage
Family goals: the aims and objective which a family strive to achieve for better living.
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