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IMPACT OF CULTISM ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA

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Abstract

This study was set to investigate the Impact of Cultism on Students’ Academic Performance in secondary schools in Bayelsa State. Three hundred principals and teachers from selected secondary schools in the study area participated in the study. Four research questions and hypotheses were generated for the study and simple percentage statistical method was used to analyse the data gathered with the impact of Cultism on students’ academic performance questionnaire. The data collected was tabulated and analyzed appropriately. The statistical procedure used in this research work to analyze the data collected was the simple percentage. Findings from the study show that the cultism activities on the secondary schools campus in Beyelsa State have some significant impact on the students’ academic and spiritual life. The study thus concluded that the student exposed to the danger of cultism manifested a positive change in their academic life. The study therefore recommends that Parents should also endeavor to provide the basic needs of their children to prevent them from falling prey to inducement by cults, through which they can be lured to join secret cults.

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                                       TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTENTS                                                          PAGE

TITLE PAGE                                                             i      

CERTIFICATION                                                       ii     

DEDICATION                                                           iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                          iv    

ABSTRACT                                                               vi    

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                             vii

LIST OF TABLES                                                      ix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Statement of the problems

Objectives of the study

Research Questions

Research Hypotheses

Significance of the study

Scope and Limitation of study

Definition of terms

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Introduction

The Concept of Cultism

History of Cultism in Nigerian Educational System

The Recruitment Process of Cultism

Causes of Cultism in Nigerian Secondary Schools

The Impact of Cultism on Students

The Dangers Involved in Cultism

Theoretical Framework

Factors that Motivate Student into Joining Campus Secret Cults

Empirical Literature Review

CHATTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY     

Research Design

Area of Study                                                  

Population of the Study                                          

Sample and Sampling Techniques                          

Instrumentation                                                      

Validity of the Instrument                                          

Reliability of the Instrument                                   

Administration of the Instrument                           

Method Data Analysis                                             

CHAPTER FOUR

Data presentation, analysis and interpretation

Hypotheses Testing                                                 

CHAPTER FIVE

Summary, conclusion and recommendation

Summary

Recommendation

Conclusion

Reference    

Questionnaire

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                                                 CHAPTER ONE

                                                INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Cultism activities seems to be the most intractable of all the factors militating against smooth academic calendar in Nigerian educational system today. Display of acts of terrorism, and the wanton destruction of life and property perpetrated by members of secret cults have become grave social concern in and outside the school system. The situation is rapidly assuming alarming and wilder proportion.

 Cultism is a secret organization formed by students while in the school, most especially in the tertiary institution. Molagun (2003) defined cultism as a religious group often based on immediate emotional experience rather than on a throughout ideology of most world religions Beth (1982). Advanced Oxford Dictionary defines cultism as a term coined out of the word cult, and that cultism is an extreme religious group that is not part of an established religions. Omebe and Omebe (2015) were of the opinion that the problem of secret cults has assumed crisis situation in the Nigerian education sector. The spread of cult activities to secondary schools, and sadly, some primary schools in the country has made cultism more worrisome than ever. Onyemwinmina and Aibieyi (2015) asserts that

“The greatest and most embarrassing problem facing tertiary institutions in Nigeria today is the renewal of the menace and aggressiveness of cult activities”

 The reckless use of offensive weapons including arms and ammunition by cult members or groups portends a grave danger for the growth of education in our country. Ojo, (1995) paints a gloomier picture of the situation when he writes that “students keep dying, getting maimed and disfigured; they keep being sexually harassed by occult confraternities. Yet the school authorities are doing nothing to confront the evil” (p.47). Lar (2005) in the same vain, points that the activities of cult members have led to so much loss of life and property especially in our institutions of learning; Students kill and injure themselves during intra and inter cult clashes on revenge missions valuables like cars and houses are burnt down electronics, provisions in shops among others are looted.

Palpable fear and worry are understatements of emotions shared by parents and guardians of children at different levels of the education system, especially in our secondary schools, as a result of wanton killing and mayhem unleashed by cults on the society. Equally disturbing is the high economic cost associated with mindless destruction of property such as commission of arson to press home the supremacy of rival cult group(s) attempting to portray a level of lawlessness that creates the impression of their being above the law of the land, to the general public. Cultism constitutes a major social menace which hampers peace and harmony in Nigeria tertiary institutions (Mediayanose, 2016). Oju (1991) also attests to the crisis dimension of cultism in Nigerian higher institutions by asserting that above all other problems, the greatest debate of the Nigerian University system is that of cult violence. The resurgence of cultism, in spite of relentless effort to eradicate it, makes it imperative to investigate this perennial plague of the education system.

The proliferation of cult group such as Vikings, the black axe, the morphine, the buccaneers,  the pirates, the black arrow to mention but a few have become  familiar features in our secondary schools today even in Mission owned Secondary schools.  According Olaoye, (1999) in 1994, nine students of Baptist High School, Abeokuta were caught performing initiation rite for members of their cult in the midnight. A similar incident was reported in Abia state, where the principal of Methodist College Uzoakoli caught thirteen students with guns in protestation of the expulsion of two students belonging to their cult over the allegation of raping female students in the school. Reports from various institutions as posited by Babatunde (2010) have shown that most secondary schools in Nigeria have become arenas for cult activities.

Musgrave (1996) has emphasized that the claims which schools make concerning their impact upon children characters are probably both extravagant and unfounded that they are in general of negligible influence. The real prime and lasting influence is in home and if there is a deprivation here (i.e. materially, mentally or spiritually there will be some form of deprivation in the personality of the child Bowlby (1995) described that observation of several deprived children demonstrated that their conscience and potentialities were not developed. The family moulds the personality of a child throughout his school life. The question now arises, what are the factors responsible for the causes of cultism in our secondary schools and how has cultism affected the students’ academic performance in our institutions? People differ in their opinions some blame the cause on the parents while some blame the cause on school authorities while others are of the views that the students themselves and even the government are not helping matters as regards the issue of cultism in our tertiary institutions.

The researcher’s focus in this study therefore anchors on factors like, why students join cultism such as students socio-economics background, search for self-image or self-esteem and student desire to belong. It is also assumed that inferiority complex on the part of the students has a lot to do with cultism in tertiary institutions. It is assumed also that the influence of home environment, peer group pressures and many other factors are all contributory factors that cause cultism in our tertiary institutions, now that the research is out to find out the influence of cultism on student’s academic performance in Bayelsa state Metropolis. It is assumed that at the end, the result of this study will bring awareness not only to the school authorities and the parent but to the population at large, thereby giving enlightenment on how the impact of cultism on students’ academic performance in Bayelsa Metropolis can be curbed in secondary schools.

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1.2 Statement of Problem

The fundamental problem of cultism is the uncertain and unsafe atmosphere in our environment. The teachers, parents and government have complained that standard of education in allergies is falling very fast especially in our secondary schools, there is of the fact that the problem caused by cultism are very many and deadly. Any time they struck there is always tension amongst the student’s population as it leads to insecurity of life and properties. In Beyelsa State, the last two decades going by research, has witnessed, a lot of bloodletting, massacre, maiming and killings. Cultism is a social ill that has placed so much debris on its victims. Innocent student suffer humiliations and molestations from cultism. It has left many others hopeless by way of amputating their legs, hands, arms, or even mutilating some part of their body. Ironically these cultists do all these in ignorance. Cultism has send many secondary schools students to their early grave and many other disabled for life. The open display of cultism crisis in schools today causes tension to other students not involved in such secret societies. It also causes insecurity in that both teachers, students and school management are always at risk during such crisis. When referring to the impact of cultism activities, it means basically that, it causes their feelings to tense or tightly stretched. Also when we say that it causes insecurity incessantly. It implies basically that, it causes their feelings to tense or tightly stretched also when we say that it causes insecurity incessantly. It means that other students are unsaved continually without stopping. It has been seen that many people across the strata of the society have been affected by these groups of individuals. And the standard and academic performance of secondary school students in Bayelsa is falling very fast, it is against this background that geared towards investigating the causes of cultism in our secondary schools and its impact on student’s academic performance.

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1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study was to investigate the impact of cultism on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Bayelsa State. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. Ascertain the actual cause of secondary school student’s involvement in cultism in Bayelsa State.
  2. Examine the influence of cult crisis on academic performance of students in secondary schools in Bayelsa State.
  3. Critically outline the danger of being a cult member to secondary schools students and its impacts on their academic activities.
  4. Recommend possible ways of cubing cultism and poor academic performance among secondary school students in Bayelsa State.
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1.4 Research Questions

The following research question has been drafted out to guide the researcher carry out a successful research thus:

  1. Does cult activities disrupt academic calendar in secondary schools in Bayelsa State?
  2. Has cultism crisis led to violence and loss of lives and properties to the extent that the standard of education in Bayelsa is been affected?
  3. Does cultism lead to tension and insecurity to students and teachers who are not cultist in Bayelsa State?
  4. Does peer groups in secondary schools influence students to join cult group?
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1.5 Research Hypotheses

To aid the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0Cultism does not lead to tension and insecurity to students and teachers who are not cultist in Bayelsa State.

H1Cultism does lead to tension and insecurity to students and teachers who are not cultist in Bayelsa State.

H0Cultism does not lead to violence and loss to lives and properties to the extent that the standard of education in Bayelsa has been affected negatively.

H2Cultism does lead to violence and loss to lives and properties to the extent that the standard of education in Bayelsa has been affected negatively.

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1.6 Significance of the Study

All research works are aimed at finding solution to already existing problem. The study will be significant to the students, teachers, principals, parents and the society at large. The study will be of benefit to the educational administrators, policy makers and students In particular to identify the causes and impact of cult activities on educational standard of secondary schools in the Bayelsa State in particular. With that motivating factor that leads secondary school students to part take or join cult groups unidentified, the school administrators would be in a better position to handle problems related to cultism. The study can also lead to other researchable variables with a view to find better solution to cultism in our schools i.e. primary secondary and our higher institutions. If the findings and recommendations are utilized as supposed, it will create mush awareness among the parent’s educators and government functionaries to ameliorate problems of cultism in the country. This study will help to expose the public to the current situation of cultism in our secondary schools and society at large. However, this study will serve as a reference materials to future researchers and also help to identify other areas of research interest.

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1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope of the study covers the impact of cultism on academic performance of secondary school students, the researcher intends to focus only on selected secondary schools in Bayelsa Metropolis. But in the cause of the study, there were some factors that limited the scope of the study;

(a) Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b) Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c) Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover

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1.8 Definition of Terms

Cult: In modern English, a cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal.

Cultism: This is the devotion to the doctrine or a cult or to the practices of a cult. Devotion here stands for commitment to some purpose. It is an enclose organized association of people devoted to the same cause.

Cult activities: Diabolical actions and displays usually anti-social in nature perpetrated by students in mission secondary schools in Jos North Local Government Areas

Academic Performance: Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects. Teachers and education officials typically measure achievement using classroom performance, graduation rates and results from standardized tests.

Plaging: it means an action done deliberately for no good reason

Exasperationit means getting extremely annoyed or irritated of solution that one can do nothing to improve

Incessant closure: it means to process of closing or an act of continuing without stopping

Curb the Menace: it means to restrain word of threatening or action

Canker worm: it means contemptible evil or dangerous influence that spreads and affects the human behaviors.

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