Education is a powerful tool for a nation’s economic and human resource development. It builds an individual to achieve personal, mental, social and economic development. It is a powerful tool that assists in the transformation and sustainable development of the economy. The quality of education of a country determines the state or level of development of that country.

Primary education is the main thrust of education upon which other levels of education rest on. It is the first stage of formal education that prepares an individual for the other stages of education. A research carried out in developed and developing countries including Nigeria, shows that primary education has been universally accepted as the first most important form of education a child must undergo. This made the Nigerian government to establish the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme in 1999. The objectives of this programme are: to make education free and compulsory, reduce the cases of school dropout, and to eradicate illiteracy. Inspite of programmes like this, the level of school dropouts (withdrawals) is on the increase and is quite disturbing (Ikechukwu, 2000). UNESCO reported that 60 million children in the world were out of school in 2010 and slightly reduced in 2011 to 58 million children. The report equally stated that countries in the Sub Saharan Africa recorded more than half of those countries with the highest number of school dropouts, with Nigeria being the 5th in Africa. It is very obvious on how serious developed countries invest meaningfully in their education sector, compared to developing countries. Egwunyenga et al. (2004) in his study stated that Britain has made about 98% achievement in its education, United States of America 87%, Nigeria 57% and Sudan 34% according to World Bank (1996). This is a clear prove while the state and federal government of Nigeria need to pay rapt attention to the education sector, most especially the first-two phases of education. As a lot of Nigerians in the western states of the country lack the basic skills to contribute meaningfully in the labour market and the economy at large. The level of school withdrawals keep increasing on a daily basis. It is obvious that in the Nigerian society, not every child who starts schooling be it in the primary, secondary or tertiary institution completes it. There are various reasons for which students drop out of school, there include depression, unwanted pregnancy, family issues, bullying, mental illness, poor grade, etc. In addition to these, some personal factors contribute to school withdrawal by students Ikechukwu (2000). Ogunowo (2009), Akonobi (2009) and Okedara (2005) in their study outlined factors that contribute to school withdrawals among students to include low cost of income of parents, bad peer pressure, poverty, high cost of fees, ignorance and teachers poor attitude towards teaching. Studies have also proved that the family background of a student can contribute to the success or failure of the student’s performance at school (Rumberger, 1995). Another reason that most students withdraw from school is taking a job in other to support the family, very particular with families with low income earners or aged parents who can no more hustler. In some cases, some parents have the notion that sending their children to school is a waste of money, rather they should be sent to learn one trade or the other; and this has continued to add to the number of dropouts in the western states of Nigeria. The issue of primary school withdrawals is awful to the educational system of the western states of Nigeria and the country at large.

However, some techniques like counseling, self-management, shaping etc. can be used to reduce the rate of school withdrawals among primary school students.

This study aims at examining primary school withdrawals and recommending ways of curbing this menace.




Over the years in Nigeria, students who withdrew from school are affected socially and economically. Considering the current trend in the world, anyone who is not educated is discriminated socially. Such a person would lack social integration because he/she will not be able to interact fluently with his peers.

However, withdrawal from school leads to the increase in crimes in the society (Guleck & Guleck, 2008). A good example is Lagos state of Nigeria, were a lot of school dropouts are thwarts terrorizing the peace of the state. The streets have become their homes engaging in wrongful practices. 

Economically, school withdrawals remain in a state of poverty. They do not have the certification to contribute to the labour market. Consequently, they will not in anywhere contribute to the revenue of the government.

The focus of this study is to contribute towards eradicating or drastically reducing primary school withdrawals in the western states of Nigeria.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY                          

        The major objective of this study is primary school withdrawals in the western states of Nigeria.

                Other specific objectives include:

a)   To examine the effect of primary school withdrawal on the educational system of Nigeria.

b)   To examine the reasons primary school students in the western parts of Nigeria withdraw from school.

c)   To identify ways of tackling primary school withdrawals in the western parts of Nigeria.

d)   To examine the rate of primary school withdrawals in the western parts of Nigeria.

e)   To examine the effect of primary school withdrawals on the economic growth of Nigeria.



        The following research questions are generated to guide this study:

a)   What is the effect of primary school withdrawal on the educational system of Nigeria?

b)   What are the reasons why primary school students in the western parts of Nigeria withdraw from school?

c)   What are the ways of tackling primary school withdrawals in the western parts of Nigeria?

d)   What is the rate of primary school withdrawals in the western parts of Nigeria?


H0:   There is no effect of primary school withdrawal on the educational system of Nigeria.

H1:   There is an effect of primary school withdrawal on the educational system of Nigeria.



This study is meant to inform parents, school administrators, government, counselors and policy makers on the importance of dealing with primary school withdrawals.

Parents have a great role to play in curbing primary school withdrawals among their children. It is quite noticeable the way some parents stop their children from going to school to go hawking on the streets. If parents are well educated that such act affects the academic performance of students, there will stop doing such.

School administrators equally have a part to play. They should employ the services of counselors who will counsel students on the dangers of school withdrawal.

The government is not left out as they should fully implement free education (fees and learning materials) across primary schools in Nigeria; by way of doing this, many parents who use the high cost of education to withdraw their children from school will be encouraged to send them back.

Finally, policy makers need to enact policy on the dangers of primary school withdrawals in other to remain fresh in the minds of people. 

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.




This study is restricted to the preliminary study of primary school withdrawals in the western states of Nigeria.

Limitations of study

  1. 1.        Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. 2.        Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.




  • PRELIMINARY: Preceding or done in preparation for something fuller or more important.
  • PRIMARY SCHOOL: Elementary or primary school is a school in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve, coming before secondary school and after preschool. It is the first stage of compulsory education in most parts of the world, and is normally available without charge, but may be offered in a fee-paying independent school. The term grade school is sometimes used in the US though this term may refer to both primary education and secondary education.
  • WITHDRAWAL: The action of ceasing to participate in an activity.
  • WESTERN STATES OF NIGERIA: The former Western State of Nigeria was formed in 1967 when the Western Region was subdivided into the states of Lagos and Western State. Its capital was Ibadan, which was the capital of the old region.

In 1976 the state was subdivided into three new states, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo.




Ikechukwu, B.N.C. (2000) Variables that predispose adolescents to dropout of schools implication for guidance and Counselling, project to para italics M.Ed. in edito, Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Nigeria.


Egwunyenga EJ, Nwadiani Oyeabo 2004. An analysis of dropout rate among secondary school students in Abia State 1995 –2000.

Journal of Educational Research and Development Abraka, Nigeria, 3(1): 23-26.


Ogunowo, N. (2009). Social psychological mechanism affecting school dropout. West African Journal of Education, 6 (5), 36-40.


Akonobi F.B. (2009). The attribution process in life course perspective. Journal of applied social psychology 10 (2), 46-52.


Okedara, J.T. (2005). A preliminary study of primary school withdrawals in western states of Nigeria. Ibadan: Nigerian Institute of social and economic research.


Rumberger, R. W. (1995). Dropping out of school: A multilevel

Analysis of students and schools’’ American Educational Research Journal 32, 3, 583-625.


Guleck, S & Guleck, E. (2008) Unraveling juvenile delinquency. New York: Commonwealth fund.


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