1.1  Background to the Study

Before the ages of 9 and 10, majority of the child’s behaviors is directly influenced by his or her parents. However, after this age range, which coincides with their leaving for secondary schools, the child, especially the boy child, tends to turn to his or her peers for advice and influence. This can be a good development and at the same time a disadvantageous one in that first, it is a very quick mode of socialization. From a child’s peers he is much more enthusiastic to learn and quickly than he would with his immediate family. So that he quickly imbibes the various unspoken cultural and social codes of respect, collective understanding of things and a broader worldview than that offered to him by his parents.

At any event, this can also be disadvantageous because the child’s peers also happen to always consist of children his age margin; children who are curious and highly experimental and who do not have the answers they seek or have full grasp of the consequences of their actions. What could go wrong in such a precarious arrangement is a list of acquired habits that are counterproductive of the idea behind the child’s education; one of which is drug abuse.

Against this background, this research work is taking it upon itself to study the problems of drug abuse on student academic performance in Secondary school.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Academic excellence requires much more than good teachers, conducive environment, adequate reading materials and sound curriculum. More than these it requires that the subject, that is the student, be of sound psychological state and the child’s willingness to actively participate in this process of self development. This process has to be cast in the child’s mind as being of utmost priority. In the event that this soundness of mind cannot be met owing to say a mental defect, arrangements are made to adapt to such an illness. However, drug abuse has poised itself against this very important criterion for good learning. And it is rife in the basic level of education namely primary and secondary schools and mostly in the latter. This research work aims at studying this problem and possibly proffering feasible and qualitative solution in the end.

1.3    Research Questions

1.3.1  What would make a secondary school student engage in drug abuse.

1.3.2  To what extent does this habit wreck havoc on the child’s academic performance.

1.3.3  Who stands in the best position to checkmate the perpetuation of this problem.

1.4   Objectives of the Study

Academically, it is this research objective to successfully study the processes of radicalization of the child which ends in his or her engaging in drug abuse. Drug abuse in the youth has always been looked at from the zenith of university undergraduates seeing that stereotypically, they are seen as the most prone to drug abuse. Since, the tediousness of university activities can logically turn one towards drug abuse. But researchers don’t fully grasp the dire need to carry extensive research of this same problem at secondary school level because in as much as they hardly feel the logical need to turn to drug abuse, curiosity and peer pressure stand as the two major factors that inform drug abuse in youth; a habit which once one is hooked on, lasts through university years and most cases a life time.

1.5   Significance of the Study

The areas of guidance and counselling stands to gain significantly from this present research work. Here, the problems of drug abuse which negatively influences the child’s academic performance at secondary school level will be duly enumerated and discusses and hopefully feasible solutions will be proffered. This will bear upon the development of guidance and counselling methods and approach to the issue. Sometimes age and environment can determine the methods to be adopted in combating an issue such as drug abuse.

Secondly, this research will also be of importance to publishers who specialize on children’s books. The findings here could go a long way in their instructional materials and their subtle advices to these secondary schools students.

1.6   Research Hypothesis

This work is working on the premise that drug abuse is highly rife in secondary schools and is a  great deterrent to learning at this stage.

1.7   Scope of the Study

As was mentioned in the background to the study of the present research, this research work would focus it’s study on the prevalence of drug abuse and it’s hampering of child’s academic performance at secondary school level only. This means that attention would be given first to the problems of drug abuse peculiar to secondary school students first before treating those that they share with other age range.

Secondly, the scope of this research will be around how drug abuse is problematic to the child’s academic performance. The health and sociological implications would be given secondary attention.

1.8    Limitations of the Study

A research such as this one would require a thorough examination of the  large pool of students and reading materials as it is a research that requires lots of one on one counselling of students from various topography which will enquire particularly, of the reasons why they engage in drug abuse. This means that lots of questionnaires would be distributed to secondary school students with questions designed to explicate the problems involved in drug abuse among them and why they engage in it. The above are the limitations of this research work namely the time constraints and financial inadequacies to cover wider grounds.

1.9    Definition of Terms

Drug Abuse

This refers to any use of pharmaceutical products for non-medical purposes. This is also referred to as substance abuse. The drugs in question are usually illegal in majority of the countries.