TEENAGE PREGNANCY AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This project was carried out in order to identify and examine the causes and effect of teenage pregnancy on their academic pursuit, including its general and social implications in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Chapter one focuses on introduction (background to the study), statement of problem purpose of study. Research question, scope of the study, limitation of the study, and definition of terms. However, apart from the general introduction in the first chapter, chapter two deals with the review of related and relevant literatures. This chapter will enable the reader to gain an insight into the concept of teenage pregnancy, its causes its general and social consequences. Chapter three involves the research method. The method used for data collection were questionnaire and oral interview and method of data analysis through likert scale and simple percentages. Chapter four talks about the detail analysis of data or presentation and discussion of results. It was discovered that teenage pregnancy affect the academic and career prospects of the teenage involved. Chapter five consists of summary, conclusion, recommendation and references in conclusion it was obvious that a teenage student who become pregnant is not likely to complete her education. And the non-completion of a university education could limit her life earning potential which could in turn make her child to live in a cycle of poverty out of which is hard to broke. In order to prevents attack and reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy, it was recommended that teenagers should be given abstinence education as well as sex education.
1.1 Background of the Study
Human sexuality has been an element of life since the beginning of time. It has allowed humans to express their love and devotion to one another in the deepest sense. There are many reasons why adults today still carry on the tradition of expressing their sexuality. For many adults, having the ability to engage in an intimate relationship, not only is gratifying for them, but it validates the depth of their relationship. Other reasons may include, but are not limited to freedom of sexual expression, physical bonding with a marriage partner, experiencing the miracle of conception, the joy of procreation and having the opportunity to bring a new life into the world. As adults, expressing our sexuality may be viewed as a privilege one has within the realm of marriage. Adolescence is the time of life when a significant number of individuals become sexually active. “Adolescents, broadly defined, are a vital population segment, making up approximately one-fifth of the world’s people” (Noble, Cover, & Yanagishita, 1996). The sheer size of that age group demands attention, especially when it deals with their sexuality. As societal needs have changed, so has our focus on adolescent sexuality. During adolescence, young people very much need the support and guidance of their parents and families. This is a time of rapid growth-physically and emotionally. It is a time when adolescents begin to develop their own standards, as well as question the values of their family and community. While providing guidance has never been a simple task, vast social changes make it even more difficult for parents to know how to help their children and prepare them for the future.
Maturation has taken on a whole new dimension in today’s society. Youth are pressured by societal norms to “grow up” and act maturer at a faster pace than what may be humanly possible. While asking those same adolescents to act mature, we as a society are opening our nation to a host of premature sexuality concerns. What once was considered an adult only act, to be engaged in the boundaries of marriage, has turned into a social past time for adolescents. Just how serious a problem is adolescent sexuality? “The United States has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and births in the Western industrialized world. The financial impact on the United States alone is estimated at least $7 billion annually” (Guttmacher, 1997). Of the estimated twenty-nine million young people between the ages of 13-19, approximately twelve million have already engaged in sexual intercourse. “Of this group, in 1981, more than 1.1 million became pregnant; three quarters of these pregnancies were unintended and 434,000 ended in abortion” (Guttmacher, 1984). “Four in ten young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of twenty and seventy-nine percent are to unmarried teens” (Ventura, Mathews, & Curtain, 1999 p. 5-10). “One in every three girls has engaged in intercourse by age sixteen (33%), two out of three girls had intercourse by age sixteen (66%) and two out of three boys engage in intercourse by the age of eighteen (66%)” (Moore, Driscoll & Lindberg 1998). Even though the United States has the highest adolescent pregnancy rate in the industrialized world, the pattern of adolescent pregnancy is on the decline. “Since the early 1990’s, the adolescent pregnancy rates, birth rates and abortion rates have declined dramatically; pregnancy and abortion rates have reached their lowest point since they were first measured in the early 1970’s, and birthrates are similar to those that prevailed between the mid 1970’s and mid 1980’s” (Henshaw, 1998 p. 24-29). Declines in adolescent pregnancies can be credited to contrasting means; first, changes in sexual behavior and the increased availability and usage of contraceptives, especially condoms; and second, these approaches have a direct impact on the educational programs that are available for school districts and other learning facilities. Even so, these findings suggest that the best strategy for continuing the decline in adolescent pregnancy levels is a multi-faceted approach. Programs and policies should aim at encouraging teenagers; particularly those at the youngest ages, to postpone intercourse and at supporting sexually experienced youths that wish to refrain from further sexual activity. At the same time, it must be recognized that most young people become sexually active during their teens and sexuality education information should also prepare them to adequately prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease infection.
Adolescents need to understand the severity of the consequences that can occur with sexual involvement. Parents, governments and communities in general are concerned about early childbearing for a multitude of reasons. It can limit educational attainment, restrict the skills young people bring to the work force prevent the possibility of supporting themselves financially, and reduce their overall quality of life.
Teenage pregnancy affects the family of the teen and baby and also on the society at large. Pregnant teenagers do not have a life built up to support a baby, so they often need the help of those around them. This help comes in the form of informal community support, such as babysitting or hand-me-down baby essentials. These parents also usually need help from the local, state or federal government agencies in the form of food stamps or housing assistance. Long-term effects include lack of education of both the parents and child. Teen parents tend to leave school or not attend college, which limits their potential contributions to society and prospects for career advancement. The children of teenage parents, especially those from working class families, often face many of the same challenges as their parents. This puts a continuing cycle of strain on society, especially social welfare programs. Increased health care costs for both teen parents and their children costs the public a large amount of money, as well. It is against this background that this study sought to investigate educators‟ perceptions on the effects of teenage pregnancy on the academic development of adolescent in Kaduna State.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The consequences of adolescent pregnancies are enormous and inimical to the health and wellbeing of Nigeria’s adolescent population as well as development in general. Educationally, it results in school dropout. Adolescent pregnancy certainly truncates adolescents preparing for higher education (statistics).In this era when issues interrelated to the wellbeing of children and the youth are receiving high priority from governments, principally those who are signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, teenage pregnancy has become one of the issues affecting a considerable number of the school going teenagers taking into consideration that it is considered harmful to their growth and development. Given that Nigeria is a developing nation and a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of a Child, makes the subject of teenage pregnancy among Nigerian teenagers worth researching. In spite of all the efforts from the government and stakeholders, teenage pregnancy statistics are compelling, hence the need for government, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations to step their awareness raising campaign until the figures decline to an appreciable level.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to assess the effect of teenage pregnancy and educational development of youth in Kaduna; A case study of Kaura local government. However, the specific objectives of the study are to;
- Examine the causes of teenage pregnancy.
- Find out the sources of sex education to teenagers.
- Examine the effects of teenage pregnancy on the performance of teenagers who fall pregnant while attending secondary school.
- Discover the educators‟ perceptions about the emotional behaviour of pregnant teenagers.
- Identify the factors that lead to teenage pregnancy
1.4 Research Questions
The study is anchored by some basic research questions:
- What are the causes of teenage pregnancy?
- What sources of sex education for teenagers?
- What are the effects of teenage pregnancy on achieving educational development?
- How do educators perceive the emotional behaviour of pregnant teenagers?
- What are the factors that lead teenage pregnancy?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The results of this study will to a larger extend be useful to the practitioners in the Department of social development and also educators at secondary school level and the Department of Social welfare. Educators at secondary schools will acquire knowledge on how to handle the behavioural problems related to teenage pregnancy. The rural secondary schools and their communities will be educated and encouraged to prevent more incidences of teenage pregnancy.
The department of health and social welfare can use the information or the results of this study to assist the affected learners. The study is directed towards the knowledge base of the social work profession so as to create a better understanding of the issues teenagers are confronted with. Social workers would probably also gain more insight into the phenomenon which will enable them to respond positively and effectively towards extending a helping hand to learners who fall victim to teenage pregnancy.
The authorities and policy–makers in the Department of social development may use information derived from this study to come up with policies to address the phenomenon called teenage pregnancy. The results of this study may also be used by the researchers as a baseline study for future studies in the area.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
This study is based on the following assumptions:
- That teenage pregnancy is an epidemic and involves a number of complex social and emotional issues.
- That there has been an increase in the rate of teenage pregnancy.
- That broken homes, and poverty and adverse life circumstances are not strange factors influencing and contributing to teenage pregnancy.
- That ignorance of the consequences of sexual activity, sexual abuse and coercion as well as the changing attitudes towards sex can contribute to teenage pregnancy.
- That education about responsible sexual behaviour and specific, clear information about the consequences of sexual intercourse are beautifully not offered in the home, at school or in community setting.
- That, it is possible to prevent and reduce teenage pregnancy in Kaura local government area of Kaduna Sate.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The research work is to scrutinize the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy among secondary schools. Since there are limitations on this research, the investigation is limited to the following groups of girls within the adolescent age of 12-18 years in Kaura local government area of Kaduna State.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The study was limited by the following constraints which ultimately influenced the acquisition of knowledge gained about teenage pregnancy: interviewing the participants after working hours made some of them feel they were being deprived of their leisure time; interviews were conducted at the time when schools were about to close for winter vacations and some of the participants were under duress; some educators had to reschedule their interview appointments with the researcher for another date due to their personal reasons; the researcher experienced financial constraints such as transport costs when moving from one school to another.
1.9 Delimitations of the Study
This research was undertaken in kaura government secondary schools. The focus of this study was on the effects of teenage pregnancy on the behaviour of learners from rural secondary schools as perceived by educators.
1.10 Definition of Terms
The following concepts are to be defined in this study:
School performance: School performance is how well students meet standards set out by the institution or school itself, which catches the attention of parents, legislators and government education department alike (Bell, 2011:1). In this study, school performance entails the outcomes of the evaluated learners‟ tasks for regular grading whereby learners in rural secondary schools demonstrate their knowledge by taking written and oral tasks, perform in presentations and participating in class activities and discussions, which also include standardized tests geared towards specific ages in a school and based on a set of achievements learners in each age group is expected to meet (Bell, 2011:1).
Emotional behaviour :Emotional behaviour is defined by Saunders (2003) as a state of arousal characterised by alteration of feeling tone and by physiologic behavioural changes, such that the physical form of emotion may be evident to others, as in crying, laughing, blushing, or a variety of facial expressions. Emotional behaviour in this study entails the behavioural patterns manifested in pregnant or mothering teenagers at secondary school level, which emanate from anxiety and stress disorders that account for their learning difficulties, low self- esteem and a feeling of being more grown-up than their peers, denoting that the feeling of being a school girl is no longer appropriate when they are mums (Holgate, Evans & Yuen, 2006:70).
Teenage pregnancy :Teenage or adolescent pregnancy means pregnancy in a woman aged 10 to 19 years (Treffers, 2004:5). Macleod (2011:45) defines teenage pregnancy as a social problem in which adult practices and functions (sexual intercourse, reproduction, mothering) are displayed by a person who, owing to her age and developmental status, is not-yet-adult, that is, adult, but not adult, child, but not child. Teenage pregnancy in this study entails falling pregnant and parenting of younger girls in secondary schools, aged between 13 and 19 and enrolled in grades 8 to 12, which have various effects on one’s educational progress and negative implications for ones future adjustment into life in general.
Rural secondary schools: These are schools found in rural areas that do not have sufficient teaching and learning aids to enhance the teaching and learning process (Wanda, 2007:1). According to this study, rural secondary schools are public schools which are attended by children from poorer families who are generally deprived of essential services, living below the poverty line where drop-out rates and grade repetition are higher with only a small part of the population completing secondary education (Macedo, 2003:5).
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