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1.1     Background to the Study

Student truancy is becoming more of a concern. It's when you skip one or more lessons on purpose. Truancy has been seen as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the educational fabric and caused many setbacks for secondary school pupils in their educational ambitions across the world (Stoll, 1993; Gesinde, 2004; Adeyemi, 2006; Animasahun, 2007b). Suspension, expulsion, or dropping out might lead to delinquent behavior, social isolation, or scholastic failure (Huizinga, Loeber, Thornberry & Cothern, 2000; Huizinga, Loeber & Thornberry, 1994; Morris, Ehren & Lenz, 1991). Any purposeful, unauthorized, or unlawful absence from obligatory education is referred to as truancy. It might also be used to describe pupils who go to school but do not attend lessons. Non-attendance at school is referred to as truancy. It is a case of sporadic attendance at school. Truancy is an antisocial and delinquent behavior (Animasahun Victor, 2009). According to Animasahun V. (2009), truancy is an act of not going to school, which is one of various types of antisocial behavior. Truancy is defined as an unjustifiable deliberate absence from school (Petegem Orey, 1994). Truancy, according to Fogelman and Hibbett (1995), is any absence from school without an appropriate excuse.

The causes and degrees of truancy related elements are various and varied. Several things contribute to truancy. Truancy is a four-fold issue that involves the student, the student's family, the school, and the community. The reasons of truancy, according to Rohrman S.G, (1993) and Kinder, Harland, Wilkin & Wakefield (1995), include the child's personality, family, school, and community. In a similar spirit, Osarenren G.B,(1996) considers the family, school environment, peer group culture, and society to be factors in student absenteeism.

Truants in secondary schools may be classified as poor and at-risk students who encounter a variety of educational obstacles that need the development of counsellor professional ability in order to avoid negative outcomes for students and learning. Students often have high absenteeism rates, low academic performance, transition issues, a lack of enthusiasm in school, and a negative attitude toward schoolwork and learning. To deal with the academic and social issues and obstacles that come with education, such students need the support of a professional counsellor. Due to the persistence and growth of truancy among secondary school students, it is necessary to strengthen the professional ability of school counselors in order to reduce the harmful impacts of truancy among secondary school students. The degree or prevalence of truancy among secondary school pupils is an issue that has yet to be properly investigated. Factors thought to predispose kids to truancy are linked to the occurrence of truancy. Previous research (Gesinde D.W, 2005; Okwakpam Z.U, 2012 and Igwe A.N, 2013) looked at the reasons of truancy and its impact on student academic performance. Such research left important concerns unaddressed, such as the incidence of truancy and the characteristics that predispose kids to truancy. The answers to these questions are crucial to understanding truancy and enhancing school facilities, as well as guidance and counseling services, in order to minimize truancy among kids. Students with truancy are more likely to drop out of school because they have a history of increasing absences from school over time (Epstein & Scheldon, 2002). Truancy, according to Nwana R.I, (2004), is the purposeful absence from school without permission, leaving without consent, and skipping specified subjects. Many variables are thought to encourage student absenteeism, according to reports. Shortage of trained instructors, a lack of teaching and learning resources, and a lack of devotion on the part of teachers are some of these problems (marital adjustment and broken homes, lack of affection, disability of parents). It was determined that in order to comprehend the issue of truancy, one must first comprehend the reasons, which were divided into four categories: student demographics, family characteristics, personal and psychological variables of students, and school atmosphere.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Truancy is a widespread occurrence among students, particularly those in government institutions, at the elementary, intermediate, and upper secondary levels, and it has reached frightening proportions(Nwana R.I,2004). Truancy is, without a doubt, a major issue for stakeholders and parents, since truant children cause issues for parents, schools, and society. Continuous absence from school has major negative implications for both the children who engage in truancy and the community in which they live, causing social deformation.

Truancy may result in undesirable repercussions such as criminal activity, social isolation, or academic failure as a result of suspension, dismissal, or dropout. Truancy obstructs effective learning and results in low academic success in truant children. Long-term absence from school has major negative implications for both the children who engage in truancy and the communities in which they live, causing social deformation. Similarly, Mac Gillivary & Mann-Erickson (2006) discovered that truant conduct among children contributes to daytime crime. Baker and Jansen (2000) argue that truant children do poorly in school and that truancy leads to criminal and delinquent behavior. The effects of absence and truancy on secondary school pupils' academic performance were investigated. This research therefore aims at investigating the factors that influence truancy behavior among secondary school students.

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