1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
This research is on Effects of polygamy on academic performance of students in Osogbo local government. Marriage is a union of two opposite sex in order to reproduce self and reproduce that family. Polygamy can be described as a custom of having more than one wife at the same time. It is a form of marriage which involves the union of a man and woman, permitting a man to take more than one woman. Its practice varies amongst countries over the world and also in religious settings such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism (Wikipedia, 2009).
In Africa polygamy existed as an aspect of culture and religion especially in Nigeria where children were seen, as a form of wealth. Thus, the more children a family had, the more powerful it was, and so it was a part of empire building. Polygamy is a popular type of marriage especially among the Muslims and traditionalists.
In the modern Islamic world, polygamy is an exception rather than the rule and is traditionally restricted to men who can manage the family responsibilities and so, illegal for men who are unable to accord due care to each of the wives and family members. However, the Bible shows quite a number of polygamists who suffered greatly; some directly punished by God as it was not considered the ideal state of marriage, except a realistic alternative in the case of famine, widowhood, or female infertility and strangely condemned by Roman Catholic Church on ground that it is against moral law thus directly negates the plan of God.
Therefore, with these diversities in view on polygamy, it is imperative to know its effects on academic performance of students from such homes. A child that does not enjoy love, warmth and responsibility at home are proved to have destructive behaviour in schools. The home background of a child influences his behaviour outside home especially in the classroom.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
According to Oladipupo (2004), of all the influences, which operate upon a child during his infancy and childhood years generally, and particularly in his formative years, usually put by psychologists at 0-6 years, the family is the most important. It is the first agent of socialization, which the child comes in contact with. When the family offers little or nothing to the child to adapt to the society, maladjustments result. Hence, if one cares to look deeply into the problems of any child, one will find that the root of the problems is almost to be found in his family situation.
Early personality formation starts within the family, which is the sole agent for character building and training. It is the first training school in both behaviour and misbehaviour and it is the channel through which any child becomes familiar with his culture. Lack of parental supervision for their children, poverty and ignorance on the part of parents are some of the problems the infant, children, and adolescents of today struggle to cope with, having negative influence on their ability to perform well in their schools.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a school is a place where children are educated. Therefore, education is generally for an initiation into the society and preparation for adulthood. Education emphasizes social responsibility, job orientation, political participation, and spiritual and moral values. In order to achieve all the necessary things that a student needs in the early life, the parents must be ready to give all the necessities of life to the child. Therefore, it can be said that the family is a great moulder. A family which lives in conflict and serious disharmony will have negative impacts on the academic performance of children from such home. The type of emotional relationship existing within the family certainly affects the family’s ability to transmit moral values to and exercise control on the children. Family instability, parent’s cold attitude towards the moral development of the children and the inability of parents to educate or train the children, and provide conducive atmosphere for learning will affect the students negatively in their academics.
1.3 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the reasons why people engage in polygamy?
- What are the perceived benefits of polygamy to the people involved?
- What are the effects of polygamy on the academic performance of student from polygamous homes?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
From the research questions stated above, the broad objective of this study was to analyze the effects of polygamy on the academic performance of students in Osogbo local government area of Osun State.
The specific objectives were to
- examine the reasons why people engage in polygamy in the study area;
- examine the benefit of polygamy to the people involved; and
- examine the effects of polygamy on the academic performance of students within the study area.
1.5 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY
This study was designed to analyze the effects of polygamy on academic performance of the students in Osogbo local government area of Osun State. This study is important as it would provide practical guidance for the generation that is coming on the effects of polygamy. It would enable the society to know the effects of polygamy on the performance of students (youths), who are the future of the country and the leaders of tomorrow. The world is going through economic crisis due to over population which calls for the need to reduce family sizes. It will also help the young ones in the society to know the implication of polygamy to the development of youths and the nation.
1.6 LIMITATION TO THE STUDY
This research study could not cover the whole population of students in Osogbo Local Government due to financial constraints and limited time schedule for this project.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERM
Polygamy: In this study, polygamy is described as a custom of having more than one wife at the same time.