1.1      Background to the Study

Lateness to school is one of the major problems that that has been negatively affecting the academic performance of students especially, the primary school pupils in Nigeria. The impact of this great menace cannot be over emphasized, as it has contributed immensely in a negative way to the academic achievement of learners and the functioning of the school (Okpupara and Chuwuone, 2007). A school is primarily an established institution that aims to educate learners (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2010). It is designed with the purpose of bringing children from different families together under one roof (the classroom) for the purpose of teaching and learning under the direction of teachers. One of the important Successful person’s character exhibits the habit of punctuality (Phurutse, 2005).

Late coming among the pupils is against the principle of punctuality and if not curbed at the early stage, may become a habit with the individual involved and may have negative impacts on the pupils (Breeze et al., 2010). The importance of education is increasing and is regarded highly. The societies of the past are on the front rank of the world civilization on account of education, this educational system may be seriously hampered as a result of late-coming especially in high schools. Lateness is a major and a continuous administrative problem among primary school pupils in Nigeria (Egbule, 2004; Dafiaghor, 2011). The society suffers a lot as the children of school going age hang around the street corners, intimidating other people and stealing properties of those who are in school and other places of work. Lateness could result into poor academic achievement, disruption in class, difficulty in keeping accurate records, reduced ability to meet instructional target and damage of school reputation (ETC, 2009).

The present curriculum offers continuity and progression in pupil learning and any absence from school will adversely affect the pupils’ ability to participate and benefit from the learning programme. In South Africa, the new National Curriculum Statement (Curriculum Assessment Statement CAPS) prescribes tight learning schedules and prescribed assessment targets- which require efficient use of time by learners and teachers. Reports have shown that schools that have kept children in school, separated from their peers have been able to maintain their continuity of learning. In Nigeria, schools resume at 07:30am, but in most cases, pupils are seen roaming the streets up until 9:30am. The students argued that if school kids are allowed to start at least an hour later, the attendance would improve, as well as grades and attitudes. The student’s perception and experience of school is important in any approach for promoting good attendance. There is a need to identify causes of lateness to school among primary school pupils in order for a positive relationship to prevail so that the school system can lead to good output. This study will therefore investigate the factors responsible for pupils’ lateness in primary in Anambra State.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Amongst other components of any organisation, human beings are the most difficult to manage. Folks pose the most problems to administrators anywhere in the world, not excluding school organisations as learning factories in Anambra State, Nigeria. Many authors have posited as a matter of fact that it is easier to manage the financial and material components of any organisation than to manage the human component. (Nakpodia, 2006; Peretomode, 1991; Peretomode, 2001; Ubogu, 2004; Emore, 2005; Ukoshi, 2004) postulated that “it is easier to manage even animals than to manage human beings”. Thus, in the school system, the school head, which is usually the headmaster/headmistress or the principal, is confronted with numerous problems posed by staff and/or students. But Lauby (2009) stated clearly that: “As a Human Resource professional, I have dealt with plethora of employee issues: sleeping on the job, theft, sexual harassment but I have found over the years, there is one issue that plagues managers more than all these other issues combined attendance and punctuality. That is, people not showing up at all people not showing up on time”. It can be said from the above excerpt that staff and pupil’s lateness pose a great challenge to school administrators in Anambra State and also in Nigeria as a whole.

1.3   Research Objectives

The general objective or main objective of this study is to investigate the factors responsible for pupils’ lateness in primary in Anambra State. The specific objectives are:

i)             To understand the extent of lateness to school among primary school pupils in Anambra

ii)           To identify the impacts of lateness to school among primary school pupils in Anambra

iii)         To proffer lasting solutions to the problem of lateness to school among primary school pupils in Anambra

1.4   Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i)             What is the extent of lateness to school among primary school pupils in Anambra?

ii)           What are the impacts of lateness to school among primary school pupils in Anambra?

iii)         What are the possible solutions to the problem of lateness to school among primary school pupils in Anambra?

1.5   Significance o the Study

      The study is an investigation into the factors responsible for pupils’ lateness in primary in Anambra State and how this lateness can be avoided. There effects on the pupils teachers, parents and community as a whole. Lateness to school has effects on the pupils’ teachers, parents and community in the following ways.

          Students who go to school late will have the problem of not starting the day’s work with the teacher and his classmate. He comes with the fear in his heart that the teacher may punish him for being late to school. With all these in the latecomers heart, he is already upset and will not even be able to settle down to relieve the days lessons obviously the situation will gradually retard the progress, the child in class work and even  his attention in the examination.

          On the part of the teacher who goes to school always, one finds that he or she is not only showing bad example but also waste the pupils time. He or she ought to set a standard for the pupils to emulate. The parents are usually affected for instance it result to poor performance on the part of the pupils during examination parents are also responsible for pupils lateness to school. Charity begins at home ‘if the pupils were brought up to be punctual to wherever they are going to, consequently, they would continue even when they are grown” you should bring up a child in the way he should grow and when he is grown up, he will not depart from it so parents should bring up their children to be punctuality conscious in all functions. In our community, lateness is generally taken as one of the African way of life. African time even when they are late to a place or gathering they take it as one of those things. This has really entered deep into the marrow of their bones and therefore should be handled with all seriousness.

1.6   Scope of the Study

The study examines the factors responsible for pupils’ lateness in primary in Anambra State, 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. Four primary schools in the city of Akwa shall be selected for this study.

1.7   Limitation 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 four schools will be investigated in the case study. `

1.8   Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Factors: – This refers to the conditions that affect the behaviour and development of the physical conditions that exist in the pupils learning environment.

Lateness: – This refers to pupils getting to class daily, below the normal time schedule for the class.

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