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In Nigeria, more than in many other country is education, most necessary and suited as an effective instrument for National Development. This is because, Nigeria, being an African country, previously colonized by the British, and a third world country, is still bedeviled with political, social and economic problems which can be resolved only through sound education. Nigeria’s situation is further compounded by its multilingual and multiethnic situation which calls for an astute sensitivity as well as precarious balancing which is possible only by virtue of sound minds obtained from sound education.
The Nigerian National Policy on Education, a document first published in 1977 is the foundational document on any aspect or issues relating to education in Nigeria. The document specifies “Government’s way of realizing those parts of the national goals which can be achieved using education as a tool.” (P.6)
Lateness to school by pupils is one of the observable problems bedeviling the education system in Nigeria. Lateness to school relates simply to the failure to be present at appropriate times for school activities/lesson – leading to certain deficiencies in the attainment of the goals and objectives of the institution. The subject of lateness to school, though not specifically mentioned in the National Policy on Education, may however be related to ascertain elements in every aspects of the policy. For example, the principles of ‘harmony’ and ‘equality’ mentioned in the overall philosophy of Nigeria (P.6 paragraph. 2a) may be fundamentally derailed by lateness of pupils to school. A pupil who was not in the school during morning assembly may miss out on some important information and may thus be subject to some acts that could cause disharmony in the institution. Also, where a pupil is punished for lateness and another is not, for the same offence, may lead to the undermining of the principle of ‘equality’ in the country.
Lateness to school also relates to Nigeria’s Philosophy of Education, paragraph. 4b of section 1, p.6 states that “education fosters the worth and development of the individual, for each individual’s sake, and for the general development of the society.” It can be clearly seen that lateness to school can affect both the worth and development of the individual and that of the society.
The foundations of the philosophy of education are also threatened by lateness to school:
(a) the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen (section 1, paragraph. 5a) and
(b) the full integration of the individual into the community (section 1, paragraph. 5b).
A perpetually late coming pupil will certainly not develop into an effective citizen and may not be fully integrated into the community.
Several important elements of the Aims and Objectives of Nigerian Education (Section 1, para.6) namely self realization, better human relationship, individual and national efficiency, and also effective citizenship can be affected by lateness to school and lateness to classes.
The ramifications of lateness to school can also adversely affect the attainment of certain aspects of the National Education goals. The aspects that can be affected include:
(a) The inculcation of the right type of values and attributes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian Society (Section 1, paragraph. 7b).
(b) The training of the mind in the understanding of the world around (section 1, paragraph. 7c) and
(c) the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competences as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his society (section 1, paragraph. 7d).
Lateness to school may also extend its effect to affect the stated orientation of Nigerian education, namely:
(a) respect for the worth and dignity of the individual and
(b) acquisition of competences necessary for self reliance.
There are various measures adopted by the government towards the attainment of the goals and values of education. Two of these measures can be related to the resolution of the effects of lateness to school. They are namely:
(a) educational activities shall be centered on the learner for maximum self development and self fulfillment.
(b) efforts shall be made to relate education to overall community needs.
Not only does lateness affect the rubric of the National Policy on Education, lateness to school fundamentally affects the fabrics of the society. As a result, every society takes steps and measures to forestall the occurrence of such a devastating habit. For example, school Rules and Regulations published by Kaduna State Ministry of Education (August 2006) provided for the following academic rules among others:
(1) Students shall be punctual to classes and attendance is compulsory.
(2) Attendance at school assembly and roll call is compulsory for all students.
(3) Students shall be punctual to school on resumption and late coming to classes will not be tolerated.
At GGSS Barnawa, school assembly starts at 8am and classes begin at 8.30am for the morning shifts, while school assembly begins at 12.30pm and classes at 1.00pm for the afternoon shift.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Many pupils come late to school as a result; they miss classes, or when they are punished become affected and unable to learn again for that day.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To elucidate causes of lateness to school.
2. To determine the extent of incidence of late coming in GGSS.
3. To evaluate the consequences of lateness to school.
4. To proffer possible solutions to the consequences.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Several fundamental objectives of the Nigerian Education Policy are directly threatened by the incidence of lateness to school. The goal of the education policy to inculcate the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and Nigerian society will not be attained if lateness to school is not curbed. This study will go a long way to illuminate this phenomenon and provide policy makers with facts that can be used to provide solutions.
Fundamental questions to be answered by this research include the following:
(a) What is the extent of lateness to school in GGSS?
(b) What are the possible causes of lateness to school for girls in GGSS?
(c) Does lateness to school impact negatively on learning in GGSS?
(d) What are the possible solutions to the problems of lateness, particularly in GGSS and in general?
The following assumptions are taken for granted during this research. That:
(a) the students of GGSS and indeed any student at that, does not willfully wish to be late to school.
(b) the factors responsible for lateness of the pupils can possibly be controlled by them.
(c) there are consequences due to lateness on learning.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study examines the case of lateness by students of GGSS Barnawa only, through the instrument of a questionnaire administered to those who were randomly selected by the researcher as representatives of each level of the school system.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
It is possible some of the recipients may not have understood what response is required from them. Every attempt was made to prevent the influence of views or responses. Only one school was investigated in the case study. `
2.0 Literature Review
The Concept of Time
This research is about lateness. However, the concept of lateness presupposes that there is a concept of time.
Time has been studied by philosophers and scientists for 2,500 years but many issues still remain unresolved for example, the issue of what exactly time is, if time is related to mind and whether the future and the past are real. (Dowden, 2007). The controversies notwithstanding, time is only definable within certain given frames of reference. These frames of reference are otherwise known as theories of time as espoused by well known Philosophers.
A mathematical theory of continuity to physical processes espoused by Grunbaum (1950) implies that time is a linear continuum. The linearity of time predisposes it to directionality. The directionality of time is conceived as ‘time arrow’. The arrow of a physical process is the way it normally goes the way it unfolds. Time as a process unfolds. Time as a process unfolds or goes in only one way. It is unidirectional, an irreversible process.
A different but also popular theory of time was that of Alfred North Whitehead. His detailed theory of time implies that time is form of becoming; however we need to be told what the term ‘form of becoming’ means.
Michael Dummett (2000)’s theory of constructive model of time, propounds that time is a composition of intervals rather than of directionless instants. This simply implies there do not exist any times which are not detectable in principle by a physical process.
Of the three theories, time is most commonly seen in relation to a combination of all the theories. Thus the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (ALD, 1963) defined time as – a succession of states. This immediately bears out the time is a quantifiable directional and composed of successive instants in which events happen. This is the time that accurate clocks measure.
The concept of time is better understood as a component of the measuring system, used to sequence events to compare the duration of events and the intervals between them to quantify the motion of objects (Wikipedia). Among prominent Philosophers the Newtonian time is defined as a dimension in which events occur in sequence (Rynasiewicz, 2004).
According to Hall, 1990, Time is one of these fundamental bases on which and around which all human activities revolve.