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1.1 Background of the study
The history of marriage dates back to the history of mankind. Biblically, God created the first man called Adam and he was without helper. God being omnipotent and omniscient know his problem and hired him into a great slumber and removed one of his ribs and created a woman called Eve (Genesis 2:21-22) from this time, marriage was first contracted by Adam and Eve who was the first parent on earth to highlight this, the holy bible says, so God created man in his own image in the image of God he created him, male and female and God blessed them and said to them “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth ad subdue it” Gen. 1:27-28. Throughout the world, marriage is regarded as a moment of celebration and a milestone in adult life. Sadly, the practice of early marriage gives no such cause for celebration. All too often, the imposition of a marriage partner upon a child means that a girl or boy’s childhood is cut short and their fundamental rights are compromised (UNICEF, 2001). Young girls are robbed of their youth and required to take on roles for which they are not psychologically or physically prepared. Many have no choice about the timing of marriage or their partner. Some are coerced into marriage, while others are too young to make an informed decision. Premature marriage deprives them of the opportunity for personal development as well as their rights to full reproductive health and wellbeing, education, and participation in civic life. The literature identifies many interrelated factors almost similar worldwide with small variations between societies that interact to place a girl child at risk of early marriage. Those factors include among others, search for economic survival, protection of young girls, peer group and family pressure, controlling female behavior and sexuality, wars and civil conflicts, maximization of fertility where infant mortality is very high (The working group 2000; UNICEF2001; Mathur et al. 2003) Early marriage contributes to a series of negative consequences both for young girls and the society in which they live. It is a violation of human rights in general and of girl’s rights in particular. For both girls and boys, early marriage has profound physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional impacts; cutting off educational and employment opportunities and chances of personal growth. In this project more emphasis is given to girls as this is an issue that impacts upon girls in far larger numbers and with more intensity. Besides having a negative impact on girls themselves, the practice of early marriage also has negative consequences on their children, families, and society as a whole. UNICEF (2000) argues that it is not only girls that pay for early marriage but also the society as a whole. Population pressure, health care costs and lost opportunities of human development are just a few of the growing burdens that society shoulders because of teenage pregnancies. Early marriage also undermines international efforts to fight against poverty in developing countries. Bunch (2005) makes it clear that the widespread practice of child marriage makes it increasingly difficult for families to escape poverty in the developing world, thereby undermining critical international efforts to fight poverty, HIV/AIDS and other development challenges, and making billions of dollars in development assistance less effective. Drawn from an extensive reading of published materials; textbooks, journal articles and magazines, consultation of different web sites, listening of videos related to early marriage, this project will emphasize on the following : Firstly, it argues that “a number of factors such as poverty, social cultural and religious norms, civil conflict, value of virginity and fears about marital sexual activity are the major factors that contribute to early marriage of girls in Ibesikpo and Nigeria at large”. Secondly, it asserts that “early marriage is a violation of girl’s human rights as it deprives her from freedom, opportunity for personal development, and other rights including health and wellbeing, education, and participation in civic life.”Lastly, it argues that “early marriage is a developmental challenge for the growing burdens such as population pressure, health care costs and lost opportunities of human development that society shoulder.” However, the foundation of any human society is the family and for any family to come to the existence there must be marriage institution in the world of Heroine Boetlner (1980:322) marriage is a Holy Sacred relationship between man and woman, designed to continue as long as they both live, beside, St. Paul argue that for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and to be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh holy bible (R.S.V) Ephesians 5:30-31. As a matter of fact, things that normally accompany marriage ceremony among Nigerians and the Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State in particular are today clear manifestation of the high degree of self respect and sense of admiration for the marriage institution.
Especially, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, parents give out their daughters for marriage at very tender age or early age which form the centre point of this project. The issue of early marriage of girls which is often contributed by parents on behalf of their children when they are still two young to appreciate what marriage is all about, have generated a lot of problems to the people of Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area. This explain why Duoglas C. Kannel (1980:223) says men and women who married before the age of 20 had the highest rate of divorce, they were over two times more likely to divorce than men and women who married between the age of 25 and 29. With this idea of marriage at the back of our mind, we can now define early marriage according to Henry J. I. (1953:313) early marriage is the uniting in formal marriage of children under 13 years of age with a much older men. Again, Cohel R.S. et al (1980:186) argue that the teenage mothers usually forgo education, even those who return to school do not continue as far as their peers who did not become pregnant while teenagers. The above statement show how bitter these anthers were particularly on girls who were being denied of their right to education regardless of their abilities. This equally deprives them what they would have made to national development if their potential were fully maximized. Traditionally, the people of Nkanu East have the notion that whoever refuses to marry at his or her youth has defined the culture and the custom of the area. This goes a long way to explain the custom whereby if one marries without off spring or fail to married, the property of such victim is usually shared among his or her relations and will be buried outside the compound in a place called Ogbunkwu (evil forest) without befitting and ceremonial burial. This shows that early marriage is generally accepted in the area because, a situation where one marries and dies without producing children, the property of that person is usually shared among his or her relation. Beside, the influence of Christianity is gaining much in that aspect. This is because the members of the congregation are always ready to bury any of their members with or without issue. These days the non Christian through association of age grade or peer group has a lot of influence on the old age tradition idea, hence such members can buy piece of land and bury such victim instead of allowing the traditionalists to bury such dead body in the evil forest.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Early marriage is a symbol of poor orientation. Throughout the world, marriage is regarded as a moment of celebration and milestone in one’s life. Sadly, the practice of early marriage involves the deprivation of fundamental human rights. Young girls are robbed of their youthfulness and required to take on roles, they are not emotionally prepared for. Majority of the young girls have no choice about the timing of marriage or about their partner. Some are coerced into marriage, while others are too tender to make an informed decision. Premature marriage deprives them of the opportunity for personal development as well as their rights to full reproductive health, wellbeing, education and participation in civil life.There has been consensus in literature that early marriage disrupts, disturbs and distorts the academic performance of female students, but these does not imply that all students involved in early marriage perform poorly in education. Early marriage poses great threat to the academic performance of students coerced into it. Poor attendance to class, limited time to read and study, digressed focus from academics to families’ welfare, withdrawal at times and poor time management. All these challenges have been identified in existing literature as the effects of early marriage on female academic performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of early marriage on female academic performance. The specific objectives of the study include
1. To identify the possible reasons for early marriage in Nigeria.
2. To examine the educational effects of early marriage on female academic performance in Nigeria.
- To examine the
non-educational effects of early marriage on female academic performance
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there are no possible reasons for early marriage in Nigeria
H1: there are possible reasons for early marriage in Nigeria
H02:there are no educational effects of early marriage on female academic performance in Nigeria
H2: there are educational effects of early marriage on female academic performance in Nigeria
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study through its findings is of immense benefits in the following areas:Female students will gain from this study by learning that education is the only way to achieving greater goals in life, and this will help them in correcting the instability that had existed in girl’s education.Parents will gain a great deal in this study by getting to learn that women education is not a waste, and also if you educate a man, but if you educate a women you educate a family, a nation, and this will help change their attitudes and ignorance towards girls education.Government, both the Federal, State and Local levels will gain from this study by realizing from this study that funds, higher access education, poverty easing programmes should be made available for education at all levels.Educators, educational planners, the general public will gain from this study by learning that girls are in no way inferior to men, they also gain by learning how to educate, guide and counsel girls in carrier choices of educational courses.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study focused on the effect of early marriage on female academic performance on Nigerian women who have experienced early marriage. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Education: Education is defined as the process of easing learning, or the learning of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
Early Marriage: Early marriage or child marriage is defined as the union between two people in which one or both parties are younger than 18 years of age.
Academic Performance: Academic performance is the outcome of education, the point to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic performance is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are more important.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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