1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education can be described as the process of imparting information, skills, attitudes, and values in order to integrate a person into a particular community or to change the values and norms of a society. Education is seen as a basic human right as well as a driver of economic progress and human development. As a result, significant enrolment in schooling is essential.
Enrolment is also known as membership registration (Roget's 21st century Thesaurus, 2011). According to Schultz (2012), enrollment in schools is the most important component of human capital investment in most cultures. The human resources of a country are seen as the engine of that country's progress. These, however, must be effectively created and exploited. According to Aliu (2011), education bestows on its receivers the inclination to acquire information and skills for the rest of their lives. As a result, quick social-economic growth of a nation has been seen to be dependent on the caliber of that country's human capital. As a result, education is critical to the growth process.
The Universal Basic Education (UBE) system, which was inaugurated in 1999, is the focal point of educational policy throughout the Federal Government of Nigeria (Rahji & Fakayode, 2011). This is intended to be a method for reducing illiteracy in the country and enabling the poor to be educated out of poverty. The decision to expand the initiative to the junior high school is a positive step forward. According to Ralji and Fakayode (2011), the expansion is in accordance with international standards.
Enrollment in secondary schools, on the other hand, is a significant and relevant policy in Nigeria. Secondary education is the education that students acquire following primary school but before they enter the university level (NPE, 2013), and parents who are aware of this natural endowment invest in their children. Children are cherished by their parents for various reasons in such settings, and girls and boys are not identical equivalents. As a result, the enrollment of boys and girls in secondary schools in Nigeria varies. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the gross enrolment value of girls in secondary schools in Nigeria is higher than that of boys. According to the survey, male enrolment is greater than female enrolment, showing that secondary school education for males is favoured above secondary school education for females in most states in Nigeria.
Historically, there has been a widespread idea in African culture and in Nigeria that a male child will later in life achieve a greater social and economic standing and turn to help his parents when they get elderly. Females, as Halima (2012) observed, are viewed as marital commodities that may be stolen by someone else. The general feeling is that females belong to outsiders and contribute absolutely little or nothing to the economic well being of their parents . As a result, males are given higher priority in terms of schooling than girls.
On the contrary, it has been found that the number of females in schools in Aba, Abia State, is significantly more than the number of boys in schools. According to Okoye, the gender ratio is 3:2. (2017). However, the office of research and statistics, post Primary Schools Service Commission (2018) states that female students outnumber male students in secondary schools in Aba, Abia State. This indicates that female enrolment is higher than male enrolment, indicating a fall in male enrolment.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
The process or art of transmitting information, skill, and judgment is referred to as education. As a result, it is critical that every child has the right to an education. However, some obstacles have made it nearly hard for some youngsters to exercise their right to an education (Steven, 2013). The low enrollment of male students in secondary schools in Bayelsa State has been a source of concern.
Poverty, in particular, is one of the key causes of poor enrolment of male students in secondary schools. Many households struggle to consume three square meals every day (Onyeka, 2010). In such homes, male children are pushed to find a way to provide for their family, forgetting the importance of education. Furthermore, according to Jackson(2014), the unexpected loss of parents is a significant factor contributing to poor male enrolment in secondary school. As a matter of responsibility, the male children shoulder the burden of caring for their siblings. The weight of these obligations prevents them from enrolling in school.
Specifically, Aba is a business area, where most male children prefer to go into businesses instead of going to school. In other words, male children in Aba are forced to study one or more trades at an early age (Tomina, 2011). The ambition to start a business at such a young age diminishes the likelihood of their attending school.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general aim of this study is to an analysis of the attributed factors to for the decreased enrollment of male in secondary schools in Aba, Abia State. Further, the study will be guided by the following specific questions;
1. Ascertain whether parental socioeconomic status contributes to low enrolment of male children into secondary schools in Aba.
2. Determine whether sociocultural background contributes to low enrolment of male children into secondary schools in Aba.
3. Determine whether parental attitude towards education contributes to low enrolment of male children into secondary schools in Aba.
4. Determine whether sudden death of parents contributes to low enrolment of male children into secondary schools in Aba.