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1.1 Background of the study

The cost of education is at its highest now more than ever even in first world countries where a lot of measures have been tactically put in place to aid and raise the standard of education and level of literacy per individual. Students take out loans to put themselves through college especially for the study of professional courses to be paid after graduation and working. Governments of these developed countries make it possible for people to study without the overly hindrance of the financial factor but the cost is there nonetheless. It doesn’t show still as the importance of education especially in these developed countries are still more significant and all the more and seems to be directly proportional to the rising cost so that it doesn’t pose so much of a social problem as it would seem. However the issue is not so bad in these developed countries as it is in the developing and underdeveloped countries where the quality and importance of a tertiary education isn’t as profitable as in developed countries and no as proportional with the hard and stringent economic conditions so that the effect is visibly on the students and potential students. Seeing the importance of education the impact is of devastating proportions especially as it is pertaining more to the youth of the nation with their strategic significance to the overall survival of the country’s future.

Commission of Inquiry into Education System of Nigeria Report (2000) indicates that annual average expenditure on schooling in Nigeria by families shows that about 50% of total expenditure is spent in uniform and other indirect costs. This places heavy burden on poor families who cannot afford the required school fees as per the government fees guideline and the extra fees not covered. According to GoK (2004 uniform makes all students to be equal. Therefore those who cannot afford feel inferior and discriminated from others. This affects their participation and some students opt to drop out. 

Parents, Teachers Association levies are charges that are assumed to have been agreed upon by parents in an Annual General Meeting for support provision of education in a given secondary school. It covers the cost of construction of classroom, Purchase of buses, salaries for Board of Management’ Teachers/Workers among other expenses. According to Maryan (2008) PTA in United States of America seek to promote welfare of the child and youth at home, in school and in the community. P.T.A also sought to bridge the gap between home and school by connecting educators with public in securing child friendly school.  P.T.A in role in Nigeria is to ensure that civil society supporting government to ensure that all Nigerians have access to good quality education by 2015. 

Verspoor (2008) argues that PTA levies are instrumental in provision to physical facilities in schools. Mbugua (2008) concurs that one of the areas where P.T.A levies are utilized in Nigeria is in developing school physical facilities school management should therefore ensure that there is adequate facilities to enable teaching learning process to take place. Poor households who cannot afford to pay for P.T.A levies may end up having their children send home for the same affecting participation. Some may opt to drop out completely resulting to wastage. 

Although there is FDSE, parents are expected to cater for children cost of education. Cheruiyot (2011), when studying effectiveness of subsidies in enhancing enrolment in public secondary schools found that though tuition waiver greatly reduces financial burden, parents still meet the rising costs of school uniforms, PTA levies for example infrastructure fund, lunch charges and opportunity costs among others. It is in reference to this background that the researcher wishes to find out the influence of rising costs in education on students’ participation in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state, Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Education in the 21st century is no doubt a basic need as its need is fused into the entire existence and needs of society so that to even navigate through the world of a technologically advanced world and a global one at that, one needs not only basic education but a significant level of it. For this reason governments have put measures in place to subsidize it seeing the importance of it. However, even with the subsidisation of education, its cost still borders along the level of preposterousness almost as much as health care. The implications are significant especially on the youth. This is the problem that the present research work has elected itself to grapple with: to study the implications of the rising cost of education on the youth with the Ungogo local government area of Kano state Nigeria as a case study.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the therising cost of education and its implication on the youth in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state, Nigeria.

1.4 Objectives of the study

The study was guided by the following objectives:

(i)                  To determine how school meals’ charges affect students’ participation in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state.

(ii)                To establish the influence of P.T.A. levels for example infrastructure fund on students’ participation in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state.

(iii)              To assess how cost of school uniform influence students’ participation in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state.

(iv)              To determine the influence of opportunity costs on students’ participation in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state.

1.5 Research questions

(i)                  How do school meals’ charges affect students’ participation in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state?

(ii)                How do parents Teachers Association levies for example infrastructure fund affect students participation in public secondary school in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state?

(iii)              To what extent does the cost of school uniform influence students’ participation in public secondary school in Ungogo L.G.A?

(v)What is the influence of opportunity costs on student participation in public secondary school in Ungogo L.G.A, Kano state?

1.6 Significance of the study

The study may provide information on factors influencing students’ participation rate in public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A.  This information may be useful to educational planners, administrators, parents, learners, community and other stakeholders to device measures that could ensure that student joining secondary school complete the school cycle.

The Ministry of Education will also find the study useful when addressing factors that hinder transition even other parts of the country.  The study may also add to the growth of knowledge on influence of rising cost on students’ participation in secondary school education.  The finding of the study may also be used as basis of research in other part of the country.

1.7    Scope of the study

The study was confined in the public secondary schools in Ungogo L.G.A.  The study focussed on specific factors influencing students’ participation in public secondary school which include school meal changes, PTA levies for example infrastructure fund,policy on use of school uniform and opportunity cost.

1.8 Limitation of the study

Limitation according to Best and Khan (1998) are conditions beyond the control of the research that may place restriction on the conclusion of the study and their application to other situations.  In this study it was not be possible to control the attitude of respondents which may affect the validity of the responses.  This may be because the respondent could give socially acceptable answer to please the researcher.  However to ensure maximum cooperation and honesty of the respondents, the researcher explained the importance of the study and need for guaranteed confidentiality of the respondents.

1.9 Definition of Significant Terms

Access – refers to making education available and affordable to targeted population.

Foregone earnings–  income that could have been earned when not in school.

Rising costs – expenditure on education which is not covered under FDSE yet parent have to pay for them, example expenditure on school uniform, school/meal, PTA levies for example infrastructure fund and opportunity costs.

Opportunity cost – alternative activity foregone for a student to enjoy full school time Participation - refers to access, retention and completion of secondary course. PTA Levies–  fees charged to parents after approval by parents during annual general meetings.

Public secondary school – schools maintained or assisted out of public fund

Retention – ability of student to remain in school until they complete their school life cycle.

School uniform – is a unique clothes recommended for a student by the school

Wastage –refer to learners who do not complete secondary education in time or drop out of school.

Meal charges-money paid by student towards meals taken in school

1.10Organisation of the study

The study is organized into four chapters.  Chapter one consists of the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, assumptions of the study and limitation of the study.  Chapter two consists of literature review under the following subtopics: Rationale of investing in secondary education, factors influencing participation in secondary education summary of literature review, theoretical framework and conceptual framework.  Chapter three discusses the research methodology.  It contains: research design, target population, sample size and sampling techniques, research instruments, instrument validity, instrument reliability, data collection procedures and data analysis techniques.  Chapter four contains data analysis, interpretation and discussions.  Chapter five contains the summary, conclusion, recommendations and suggestions for further studies.  

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